I've had 4 consecutive winning weeks and one .500 week with a record of 22-13. Let's continue with another winning week as we approach the MLB All Star Break. Here are some MLB picks for the weekend of July 9-10.

Johnny CuetoJuly 9th, 2011

Cincinnati (44-46) at Milwaukee (48-42)

We have a good pitching matchup as Johnny Cueto (5-3,1.77) takes the mound against Shaun Marcum (7-3, 3.32). Cueto was the hard luck loser in his last outing against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1-0 defeat. Cueto has been sensational all season, not giving up more than 3 runs in any outing. Shaun Marcum will have the job of going up against the dynamic duo of Joey Votto and Jay Bruce of the Reds.

Marcum has pitched well but has been kind of sketchy in his last 2 outings. He's given up 3 home runs, 8 runs ,and 12 hits in 11 innings pitched. Milwaukee has won 3 straight and is exceptional at home. Look for both pitchers to pitch well in a low scoring affair.

Under 7.5

Oakland (39-51) at Texas (49-41)

I try to provide good betting value and stay from big MLB betting favorites but I'll have to break that habit with this game. The Rangers have won 5 consecutive games, lead the American League West, and defeated Oakland on Friday, 8-5. I'm going the sentimental route in this game. Obviously, most of us are aware of the tragedy that took place in Texas when Josh Hamilton threw a baseball in the stands to a father for his son. Hamilton will be playing with a heavy heart for a while.

Texas played well in their last game, scoring 7 runs in the first 2 innings. Colby Lewis pitches against Brandon McCarthy of Oakland in this game. McCarthy has been on the receiving end of poor run support.  He has an ERA of 3.33 with a 1-5 record. (one of those games, he was hit hard. Before that McCarthy's ERA was in the low 2's). Don't let the record fool you, McCarthy is a quite capable pitcher. As they wear the black ribbons on their uniforms, the Rangers will win 6 straight after tonight. (not worth risking on the runline)

Texas -169

Mets (46-43) at San Fransisco (50-40)

The Mets were able to hold Ryan Vogelsong in check Friday night as the Giants bullpen let a 2-2 tie go and the Mets came up with the victory 5-2 in the first game of the Giants & Mets series. The Mets have been playing good baseball even without the great play of shortstop Jose Reyes. San Fransisco's offense is one of the worst in the league. The Giants are 27th in the league in runs with 3.61 per game.

Their team is a winning team due to pitching. Their ace Tim Lincecum has been pitching poorly with a 6-7 record. Look for Lincecum to turn that around in this spot and go into the all star break with a .500 record. He's too good a pitcher to play poorly for this long. This will be a good spot for Lincecum if his team can come up with a few runs.

San Fransisco -1.5

Baltimore (36-50) at Boston (53-35)

Clearly, Boston is the better team here and Baltimore is an awful 14-28 on the road. The Red Sox are a heavy MLB odds favorite at -200 even the way that pitcher John Lackey (5-8, 7.47) has been pitching. In his last outing, Lackey gave up 7 runs and 9 hits in 2.1 innings. Lackey has had a good career against the O's. He's a lifetime 10-4, 3.05 ERA. The total for the game is 11 and rightly so. Look for Lackey to bounce back and have a good pitching performance. He's a career 30 games over .500. Boston rolls and the total (my pick) will be low.

Boston/Baltimore under 11

Sunday, July 10th, 2011

Tampa Bay (49-39) at New York (51-35)

In what seems to be a pitcher's duel in the Bronx, James Shields (8-6, 2.47) takes the mound for the Rays as they face C.C. Sabathia (12-4, 2.90) and the Yankees. The Yankees have been playing very solid ball as of late and Sabathia has been lights out in his last 3 starts. In his last 3 starts, C.C. has given up 1 run in 22 2/3 innings will walking 5 and striking out 33 batters! .C.C. is playing the best baseball of his career. The Rays had an opportunity to play a double header on Saturday due to a rainout on Friday and they declined. This could possibly affect Derek Jeter getting his 3000th hit at home. Enough said. Yankees roll in this spot.

Yankees -1.5

Cole HamelsAtlanta (53-37) at Philadelphia (56-33)

The Braves manage to play well year in, year out without the personnel of a team like the Phillies. This season, the pitching is responsible. The Braves are 1st in the league in ERA with a 3.03 ERA. Catcher Brian McCann has carried a lot of the weight on his shoulders. He leads the team in home runs, runs batted in, and batting average.
The Philadelphia Phillies are expected to win it all and have the best starters in the majors. Cole Hamels (10-4, 2.40) takes the mound for Philly  You have a good team when your 4th starter has been consistent and had 17 quality pitching performances out of 18 starts. Derek Lowe is a very solid pitcher for Atlanta. At this point, I'm unaware of the odds on the moneyline and the totals, therefore I'm going to stay safe and take the hot Hamels and the moneyline.


Philadelphia (ML)

Mets (46-43) at San Fransisco (50-40)

I always like to provide the Sunday Night Game for the action junkie whether it's a tough game or not. Mike Pelfrey (5-7, 4.64) faces off against Matt Cain (7-5, 3.22). This is a game where I'd lean to the total because San Fransisco plays low scoring games and Mike Pelfrey is unpredictable. One game, he could look like Cy Young and the next game he could look like a AA minor league pitcher.
Pelfrey has been pitching well as of late .In his last outing, he pitched 6 innings of shutout ball, giving up just 5 hits. Pelfrey's record away from Citi Field scares me. He's 2-7 with a 6.05 ERA. Look for Pelfrey to keep this a competitive game against the tough Giants and Matt Cain. I'm assuming the total will be low as it always is.

Mets/Giants - Under the total

Let's all take a deep breathe and exhale as we approach the all star break and watch the Home Run Derby and the MLB All Star Game. After that, it's back to business as the baseball season will become more interesting and hopefully I'll continue to give you folks some good picks.