Big Ben’s Absence Looms in Rivalry Game
While the rib injury Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger sustained on Monday is a rare one, Big Ben being out of the lineup for the bi-annual Steelers/Ravens AFC North showdown is not rare at all.
Since becoming the starting quarterback as a rookie in 2004, Roethlisberger has missed four games against the Baltimore Ravens. The Steelers are 0-4 without Roethlisberger under center.
The oddsmakers, as expected, have adjusted the line accordingly. The Steelers, expected to be a 3.5-point favorite with a healthy Roethlisberger are now +3 or higher at most sportsbooks. The adjustment is an enormous one for an NFL game, especially one with a total of only 41. Points are at a premium in this rivalry, and the oddsmakers consider the loss of Roethlisberger to be worth 6.5 points.
Here are the four occasions the Steelers faced the Ravens with someone besides Roethlisberger under center.
Nov. 20, 2005
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Ravens 16, Steelers 13 (OT)
Roethlisberger was out with a knee injury for the Steelers Week 11 matchup with the Ravens. Without Ben, the 7-2 Steelers fell to the 2-7 Ravens in overtime in Baltimore as third-stringer Tommy Maddox started for the Steelers. The Steelers would go on to win the Super Bowl with a healthy Roethlisberger.
Dec. 30, 2007
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Ravens 27, Steelers 21
With nothing to play for, the Steelers went on the road to Baltimore with Charlie Batch starting and Roethlisberger resting. Still, the oddsmakers made the AFC North Champion Steelers favorites, but, once again, the Ravens beat a Steelers backup.
Nov. 29, 2009
Pittsburgh at Baltimore
Ravens 20, Steelers 17 (OT)
Dennis Dixon found himself in his first starting role on a Sunday night in Baltimore as Roethlisberger was forced out of the lineup with a concussion. The Steelers were considered underdogs, getting nine points to an above-average Baltimore team. Dixon delivered a gutsy performance and the Steelers forced overtime where the Ravens ultimately prevailed thanks to a Dixon interception.
Oct. 3, 2010
Baltimore at Pittsburgh
Ravens 17, Steelers 14
Serving the final game of a four-game suspension, Roethlisberger was once again unavailable against the Ravens. The Steelers had gone 3-0 without Ben and they were well on their way to a 4-0 start behind strong play from Charlie Batch. However, after leading for a majority of the game, the Steelers defense allowed Joe Flacco to drive down the field with just over a minute left to connect on a game-winning touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmanzadeh with 32 seconds left.
The Steelers are 9-5 against the Ravens with Roethlisberger and 0-4 against them without their franchise quarterback. However the Steelers are 5-1 against the spread over the last five seasons without Roethlisberger, and they have showed gutsy performances against their hated rivals without Roethlisberger. The line movement is significant, especially for a Baltimore team that struggles immensely on the road. And while the Steelers have never beaten the Ravens without Roethlisberger, they have never started Byron Leftwich against them. Leftwich has been a proven starter in the league. Even though the Ravens are 4-0 against the Steelers without Roethlisberger, three of the wins were by exactly three points. So the most important thing may be the line move considering now the Ravens are giving three points and possibly more.
- LA Dodgers
- Larry Ness
- June 30, 2015 - 9:40 PM
- Offered at:
- williamhill @ -115 LA Dodgers
I want NO part of De La Rosa against LA (12.50 ERA in two tries TY) or an Arizona team which LA has beaten 23 of the L30 meetings...
My free play is on the LA Dodgers at 9;40 ET.
The Dodgers scored six runs on 10 hits Monday night but Arizona overcame deficits of 4-0 and 6-4 to win 10-6. LA had been 26-1 when scoring at least six runs. LA had allowed just 11 runs during the first seven games of its 10-game road trip but the D'backs almost equaled that total in the opener of a three-game set Monday, as Arizona pushed across 10 runs over its final four at-bats in the 10-6 victory, halting a stretch of SEVEN straight losses to the Dodgers.
The teams are back at it tonight, as Carlos Frias (5-5, 4.31 ERA) squares off against Rubby De La Rosa (6-3, 4.69 ERA). De La Rosa has faced off with all four of the Arizona's divisional opponents in his last four outings. He's had no problems with San Francisco, San Diego and Colorado from June 14-25, going 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in that span. Opposing batters hit just .222 over those three contests with a .547 OPS and De La Rosa walked only one in seven innings while allowing one run Thursday in a 6-4 loss at Colorado.
However, back on June 8, De La Rosa (a former Dodger) got 'rocked' in Chavez Ravine, allowing 10 hits, one walk and nine ERs is just five innings of a 9-3 loss to the Dodgers. It was reminiscent of his May 1 start in LA, when he allowed three hits, five walks and five ERs over five innings on an 8-0 loss to the Dodgers. That's 10 IP, 13 hits allowed, four walks and 14 ERs for a 12.60 ERA against his former team in two meetings this year!
I want NO part of De La Rosa here or for that matter the D'backs, as prior to last night, the Dodgers had won SEVEN straight and 23 of their previous 29 against Arizona. Frias had gone 0-3 during a four-start stretch before defeating the Chicago Cubs in his last outings, when he pitched five shutout innings against Chicago and allowed seven hits and three walks to land his second victory (4-0) in his last nine starts.
Frias pitched opposite De La Rosa in the May 1 meeting and also took down Arizona on June 9, 3-1. His 'line' is 12 IP, with one ER allowed for an 0.75 ERA In the two starts vs the D'backs here in 2015. A concern here is with Frias' endurance, as he has gone more than six innings in only THREE of 11 starts this season and has not reached 90 pitches in any of his last four appearances. That could become a problem considering LA's fatigued bullpen, as SIX Dodgers relievers combined for 107 pitches and allowed all 10 runs Monday after Mike Bolsinger exited after four innings with flu-like symptoms.
That said, I repeat, I want NO part of De La Rosa against LA or an Arizona team which LA has beaten 23 of the last 30 meetings!
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