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Sunday Night Recap
My take on the situation is that although some players are really upset at the players involved in the PED scandal, Ryan Dempster clearly took advantage of an opportunity to hit a guy with a baseball that his team clearly doesn’t like.
Joe Girardi comes to Arod’s rescue and get’s thrown out of the the game instead of Dempster. Alex Rodriguez re-pays that loyalty with a bomb to straight center and look for the Yankees to make a move for the final wild card spot. Now that was a memorable television moment!
I want to come right back with this Red Sox team again after a demoralizing loss to the Yankees on Sunday Night Baseball. The Sox are a game ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East Division and an immediate trip 3000 miles overnight could have some effect on them as they face a disappointing club in the Giants as San Francisco starts Tim Lincecum (6-12, 4.38)
Lincecum has almost an equal ERA to that of his opponent, Jon Lester, but doesn’t have an offense like the Red Sox backing him and you see the disparity in the two starter’s records.
Lincecum is an enigma because he can pitch near no-hitters or get bombed like he did in his last outing. After 3 consecutive brilliant starts, Lincecum allowed 6 runs and 7 hits in a 7-6 loss to the Nationals in his last start. The starting pitching matchup is a “wash”. If Lincecum pitches to his maximum ability, San Francisco has the edge at home.
Although the Giants are coming off of a 6-5 loss to Miami on Sunday, Pence has been as beast as of late. In his last 10 games, he’s 15 for 42 with 1 HR and 13 RBI. In his last 3 games, Pence is 5 for 15 with 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR and 8 RBI. Although Lester has shutout Hunter Pence in 5 career at-bats, this is certainly a player to keep an eye on as the Giants have a legitimate chance to pull of the upset after the rough outing that the Sox had on Sunday Night Baseball.
For Boston, Will Middlebrooks finally woke up yesterday with a home run and his bat is needed in the lineup. Aside from David Ortiz, there’s not much power in the Sox’s lineup lately and this is reflected in the MLB odds.
Face Another Ace?
San Diego has to be feeling good about yesterday’s win over the Mets considering that it was a Matt Harvey start. Will Venable was the hero with a 9th inning home run to give the Pads a 4-3 victory. Now, the Padres face another ace in Francisco Liriano. (13-5, 2.68)
Except for one atrocious outing against Colorado, Liriano has pitched as well as he possibly could lately. Taking the poor start against the Rockies out of the equation, Liriano has allowed just 2 earned runs in 30 2/3 innings (4 starts) and has went 4-0. Look for him to continue to pitch well as the Pirates try to attain the ultimate goal; the National League Central Division Title.
Not only is Will Venable on fire, but he has flown under the radar, so to speak. He’s currently on a 15-game hitting streak and in his last 2 games, is 6 for 10 with 4 runs, 1 HR and 2 RBI. Look for the Padres to continue to receive production from the leadoff spot as Venable is simply unstoppable at the moment.
The difference in this game is that the Pirates have everything to play for while the Padres play spoiler, 14 games behind the 2nd wild card spot with just 38 games to go.
The Pirates offer a nice balance of offense and defense. Andrew McCutchen and Starling Marte, provide speed and a bit of power while Pedro Alvarez carries the heavy bat in the lineup. Considering his batting average (.232), I consider Pedro Alvarez to be a very clutch, big money player. For your sports picks, this is a good matchup for the Pirates with Liriano.
Good luck, everyone!
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