It’s the beginning of the week and we have an unusual number of games for the MLB on Monday. Which ones will be worth your MLB picks?
Bye Bye NY!
The Phillies take travel cross-country after a beating at the hands of Matt Harvey and the Mets, 8-0.
Harvey was on cruise control making players such as Dominic Brown look like little leaguers with his blazing 99 MPH fastballs. Even after a short rain delay and Harvey was taken out, the Fightin' Phils were unproductive.
Philadelphia needs to forget about getting dominated by the Mets and deal with the San Diego Padres. The Padres are right at the .500 mark at 38-38 after 2 consecutive losses to the Dodgers, but are still in the thick of things in the National League West Division, just 3.5 games behind Arizona.
This is a very even matchup as the Pads have the home field advantage and have been a bit of a more consistent team while the Phils have the pitching advantage as they send Cliff Lee (9-2, 2.53) to the mound.
Model Of Consistency
It’s great to have pitchers like Justin Verlander that dominate at times, but in the Phillies case, it’s also great to have a pitcher like Cliff Lee that almost a guarantee to give a team a solid performance almost every time that he takes to the mound.
Lee has recorded 9 consecutive quality outings while going 6-0 in that period of time. The most amount of runs that Cliff Lee has given up in the 9 starts was 3 runs and that only happened twice. He’s holding opposing hitters to just a .217 batting average and has pinpoint control; the Padres are in trouble here and after yesterday, Philly needs a lights out performance by Lee.
“Chasing” the Minors”
One player that Lee won’t have to worry about is 3rd baseman Chase Headley. Headley somewhat reminds me of Paul Konerko in that both players have had superstar seasons last year and have fallen off of the map this season.
Headley is hitting just .224 on the year with 6 HR and 25 RBI. There’s no explanation for the dropoff.
12 in a Row?
The American League East is a tightly packed division with only 5 games separating 1st from last place. The big story at the moment is the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays have gotten themselves back into the pack with 11 consecutive wins. Now, this is the team that everyone expected to win the division.
Toronto is coming off of a 13-5 explosion against a good Baltimore Orioles team. Josh Johnson was the lucky recipient of the run support as Edwin Encarnacion and J.P. Arcenbia had 3 hits apiece for the Jays. With Arcenbia, he either gives the Jays nothing or he’ll have a monstrous game in contributing in the offensive attack.
Offense is no problem for the Jays and the transition from reliever to starting pitcher seems to be no problem for Esmil Rogers (3-2, 3.14). Since becoming a starter, Rogers has allowed just 3 earned runs in 13 2/3 innings. The Blue Jays have to feel good starting Rogers and look for consecutive win number 12.
Finding His Nitch
The Rays come into this game with a 3-1 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium to even up that series. James Loney did what he’s been doing all season and that’s getting on base. Loney was 3 for 4 with 2 RBI and is having a storybook season. The Rays will need a big effort out of guys like Loney and Evan Longoria if they want to stop the Blue Jays winning streak.
I’m going to side with Toronto on the road. Their pitching and offense are more than capable of winning and they have that word called “momentum”.
Good Luck, everyone!
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