July 9th, 2011
Cincinnati (44-46) at Milwaukee (48-42)
We have a good pitching matchup as Johnny Cueto (5-3,1.77) takes the moundagainst Shaun Marcum (7-3, 3.32). Cueto was the hard luck loser in his lastouting against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 1-0 defeat. Cueto has beensensational all season, not giving up more than 3 runs in any outing. ShaunMarcum will have the job of going up against the dynamic duo of Joey Votto andJay Bruce of the Reds.
Marcum has pitched well but has been kind of sketchy inhis last 2 outings. He’s given up 3 home runs, 8 runs ,and 12 hits in 11innings pitched. Milwaukee has won 3 straight and is exceptional at home. Lookfor both pitchers to pitch well in a low scoring affair.
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 breakthat habit with this game. The Rangers have won 5 consecutive games, lead theAmerican League West, and defeated Oakland on Friday, 8-5. I’m going the sentimental routein this game. Obviously, most of us are aware of the tragedy that took place inTexas when Josh Hamilton threw a baseball in the stands to a father for hisson. Hamilton will be playing with a heavy heart for a while.
Texas played wellin their last game, scoring 7 runs in the first 2 innings. Colby Lewis pitchesagainst Brandon McCarthy of Oakland in this game. McCarthy has been on thereceiving end of poor run support. He has an ERA of 3.33 with a 1-5record. (one of those games, he was hit hard. Before that McCarthy’s ERA was inthe low 2’s). Don’t let the record fool you, McCarthy is a quite capablepitcher. As they wear the black ribbons on their uniforms, the Rangers will win6 straight after tonight. (not worth risking on the runline)
Mets (46-43) at San Fransisco (50-40)
The Mets were able to hold Ryan Vogelsong in check Friday night as the Giantsbullpen 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 Metshave been playing good baseball even without the great play of shortstop JoseReyes. San Fransisco’s offense is one of the worst in the league. The Giantsare 27th in the league in runs with 3.61 per game.
Their team is a winning teamdue to pitching. Their ace Tim Lincecum has been pitching poorly with a 6-7record. Look for Lincecum to turn that around in this spot and go into the allstar break with a .500 record. He’s too good a pitcher to play poorly for thislong. This will be a good spot for Lincecum if his team can come up with a fewruns.
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 theroad. The Red Sox are a heavy MLB odds favorite at -200 even the way that pitcher JohnLackey (5-8, 7.47) has been pitching. In his last outing, Lackey gave up 7 runsand 9 hits in 2.1 innings. Lackey has had a good career against the O’s. He’s alifetime 10-4, 3.05 ERA. The total for the game is 11 and rightly so. Look forLackey to bounce back and have a good pitching performance. He’s a career 30games over .500. Boston rolls and the total (my pick) will be low.
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 theYankees. The Yankees have been playing very solid ball as of late and Sabathiahas been lights out in his last 3 starts. In his last 3 starts, C.C. has givenup 1 run in 22 2/3 innings will walking 5 and striking out 33 batters! .C.C. isplaying the best baseball of his career. The Rays had an opportunity to play adouble header on Saturday due to a rainout on Friday and they declined. Thiscould possibly affect Derek Jeter getting his 3000th hit at home. Enough said.Yankees roll in this spot.
Atlanta (53-37) at Philadelphia (56-33)
The Braves manage to play well year in, year out without the personnel of ateam like the Phillies. This season, the pitching is responsible. The Bravesare 1st in the league in ERA with a 3.03 ERA. Catcher Brian McCann has carrieda lot of the weight on his shoulders. He leads the team in home runs, runsbatted in, and batting average.
Mets (46-43) at San Fransisco (50-40)
I always like to provide the Sunday Night Game for the action junkie whetherit’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 Fransiscoplays low scoring games and Mike Pelfrey is unpredictable. One game, he couldlook like Cy Young and the next game he could look like a AA minor leaguepitcher.
Let’s all take a deep breathe and exhale as we approach the all star break andwatch the Home Run Derby and the MLB All Star Game. After that, it’s back tobusiness as the baseball season will become more interesting and hopefully I’llcontinue to give you folks some good picks.