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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, August 17, 2011 at 12:58 AM

With a 25-unit winner on the New York Yankees (-160) over the Kansas City Royals 9-7, and a 15-unit winner on the Chicago Cubs (-140) over the Houston Astros 5-2, the dean of Vegas handicappers Kelso Sturgeon rocked the sportsbooks with a pair of mega-play winners.


Kelso talked to you about the importance of bouncing back this past Monday right here in the VSM blog. A MNF win on the Houston Texans (-2.5) over the NY Jets 20-16 got his football back in gear, finishing off a 3-2 weekend on the gridiron. Tuesday. BOOM IN THE BASES!


Congrats to Kelso, and all of you who cashed in with his terrific Tuesday.


Catching up with the pennant races…


*In the AL East, the New York Yankees snuck back into first place with their win at Kansas City. Boston split a day night doubleheader with Tampa Bay. It could have been worse for the BoSox. They only had SIX hits combined over the two games! Red Sox hitters were just 6 of 57 on the day, for an anemic .105 batting average. Tampa Bay only used two pitchers in a doubleheader. James Shields went the distance early despite a loss. Jeff Niemann had 10 strikeouts for the Rays in his nightcap victory. A fortunate split for Boston in that respect.


*In the AL Central, Detroit held serve as Justin Verlander was dominant again. The Cy Young frontrunner moved to 18-5 on the season with 7.2 innings of one-run ball. The Cleveland Indians scored a run in the 9th inning to stay alive in a huge game at Chicago. They were still playing as of our 12:45 a.m. ET publication deadline…


*In the AL West, Texas and the LA Angels continued their four-game set in a game that finished after publication deadlines. Texas is hoping to go for a knockout blow this week in Anaheim. They led the division by five games entering the night, and tried to take full advantage of facing vulnerable spots in the Angels rotation in the first two showdowns of the series.


*In the NL Central, Milwaukee pulled even further away from St. Louis as they won again and the Cards lost again. The Brewers now lead by seven games as their red-hot tear continues. Great pitching has been a centerpiece of their 18-2 run over the last 20 games. Opponents have scored just 47 runs during that stretch. That’s a “run average” of 2.35. Note…that’s not an “earned run average” for a hot pitcher or two. That’s a FULL GAME run average of 2.35 for the ENTIRE STAFF over 20 games. Look out National League…the Brewers now have the kind of pitching that will give them a real shot in October.


*In the NL West, Arizona also extended its lead. The Diamondbacks rallied for two runs in the 9th inning off Roy Halladay to stun the Phils 3-2. San Francisco lost another toughie in Atlanta, falling 2-1 in 11 innings. This could prove to be a critical night once the full season is in the books. Arizona busted through as +220 underdogs vs. Halladay. San Francisco failed to take advantage of Randall Delgado making his second major league start for Atlanta. Arizona is now up by 3.5 games. Be sure to check back in the morning for expanded coverage of the Diamondbacks as they prepare for a national television appearance Wednesday Night on ESPN.


A lot of drama Tuesday Night! Arizona was down 2-1 in the 9th before rallying. SF/Atlanta was 1-1 into the 11th inning. Milwaukee was 1-1 in the bottom of the 9th vs. the Dodgers. St. Louis was 3-3 into the 9th at Pittsburgh, then 4-4 into the 11th. Cleveland trailed CWS 7-6th in the 9th inning before rallying to force an all night marathon.


The drama and the dollars of August continue on Wednesday. See you then!

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