Get Your Sunday MLB Picks Of The Day As The Pennant Race Begins

Joe Catalano

Sunday, July 31, 2016 5:09 PM UTC

Sunday, Jul. 31, 2016 5:09 PM UTC

It's July 31st and It's officially pennant race time. Let's see if this affects Sunday's MLB slate of games as we provide you with our best MLB Picks of the Day.

Boston Red Sox vs Los Angeles

The "Wright" Stuff
That's exactly what starter and ace, Steven Wright (12-5, 3.12 ERA) have provided the Boston Red Sox (56-46) with as he's revitalized his career with the help of former Major Leaguer, Tim Wakefield. When the knuckleball is working well, it can become unhittable. Just look at R.A. Dickey's 20 win season with the New York Mets a few years back. If not thrown properly, it can also backfire, but as of now, Steven Wright is on point where his knuckleball is concerned and combined with a hard-hitting Boston Red Sox offense, this might provide some problem for the Halos despite their 5-2 win over Boston yesterday.

On July 21st, Wright carried a 2.61 ERA, but he had a rare poor outing in his last showing against the Detroit Tigers. He allowed 8 runs on 9 hits in just 4 2/3 inning pitched. This game also saw Wright's ERA go from 2.61 to 3.12. However, he's shown the ability to bounce back from a rare poor effort and I expect that to happen here despite having to deal with the deadly combination of Mike Trout (19 HR, 65 RBI, .310 BA) and Albert Pujols (20 HR, 80 RBI, .260 BA).

While Albert Pujols is carrying a very hot stick as of late, Mike Trout can sometimes look confused at the plate as he strike's out often. Dealing with a knuckleballer the caliber of Steven Wright, won't make it much easier for Trout.

He's Still Got It
His power numbers haven't gone down since becoming a member of the Los Angeles Angels, but Albert Pujols' batting average is not the .330 that it used to be as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals. That said, (as I stated earlier), Pujols has been hitting more than his weight lately. He's hitting .387 this past week, .435 against Boston, and .299 in for the month of July. If he can get on base that often, the Angels will win more games and will climb in the standings as they've already gotten themselves out of the AL West basement.

Look for the momentum of yesterday's game to carry over to today's although I think Steven Wright will pitch well. Take the Angels as your MLB pick in a close game.

Free MLB Pick:  Angels -114 
Best Line Offered: at Bodog

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Sunday Night Baseball
Seattle Mariners vs Chicago Cubs

What's Wrong With King Felix?
That's the consensus where fans are concerned as Felix Hernandez, who has been the best pitcher in the American League for the past decade, has had a poor season at 5-4 with a 3.45 ERA. Even though a 3.45 ERA, especially in the American League, is not considered "poor", King Felix isn't the imposing figure that he's been for the last handful of years.

Tonight, Hernandez has a chance to captivate public attention on national television as he faces a very good Chicago Cubs (62-41) team as the Cubbies are regarded as World Series contenders.


Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo
With such a strong pitching staff with the addition of Aroldis Chapman from the New York Yankees, these are the two guys that make the offense tick. In the beginning of the season, Ben Zobrist was beasting, but he has cooled down into the .270's, but Kris Bryant (26 HR ,68 RBI, .289 BA) and Anthony Rizzo (24 HR, 79 RBI, .285 BA) are the real heart of this Cubs offense that possess the power and also put the fear into the eyes of the opposition.

What's also good about these two players is their ability to get the free pass and be on base more often as an on-base percentage is more important than batting average. Thus far this season, Rizzo is carrying a .392 OBP% and Bryant right behind with a .384 OBP%.  

With all of that said, this could be an opportune moment for King Felix as Rizzo and Bryant's power numbers have been stagnant for the month of July. Although very formidable, Kris Bryant has only 8 RBI's for the month of July and that's on the low side.  These matchups could be the key to the game.


Big Hitters Not Hitting
Another key to this game is the play of Seattle's "Big 3" in Robinson Cano, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager. All 3 of these players are putting up similar numbers to that of Bryant and Rizzo. That said, all 3 players are slumping as Cano is 3 for his last 16 at-bats, Cruz is 3 for his last 13 at-bats. and Seager is 4 for his last 17. Hernandez can pitch as well as he want's, but run support is needed. 

I'm going to side with the under in this game. Some books, including Bookmaker, MLB Odds are at 8 1/2 and this game should stay below the betting total considering the quality of starting pitching and the fact that the neither offense is tearing it up.

Free MLB Pick: Under 8 1/2 -115 
Best Line Offered: at BetDSI

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