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It's time for MLB Picks of the Day and time to keep winning, as we enter a limited Thursday with a handful of day games and just 3 night games.
The Royals need to stop the bleeding fast as they’ve lost 4 consecutive games and are now 6.5 games behind Oakland for the last wild card spot in the American League while the Chicago White Sox have had such a dreadful season, but have won 5 games in a row and have the name “spoiler” attached to their team logo.
When I think of this name I think of barely average and serviceable outfielder, but Viciedo comes into this game on a major high.
During a White Sox 5-2 defeat of the Royals on Wednesday, Viciedo had a 3-for-4 ball game with 1 HR and 4 RBI. Viciedo has also hit K.C.’s starter for today’s game, James Shields (8-8, 3.19) very well as he’s a career 6 for 13 hitter with 2 RBI’s against the right-hander. Viciedo, along with the rest of the Sox starters, will be hard-pressed to be effective against Shields; James Shields has really been a force as of late.
The Man For the Job
The Royals are in desperate need of a “W” and James Shields is starting at the right time if you’re a Royals fan or bettor.
Shields has pitched 7 quality outings in his last 8 starts. He had one lousy outing against Minnesota on August 6th, but this is quite similar to Francisco Liriano of the Pirates who had one bad outing with a bunch of great ones. Liriano proceeded to bounce back in a major way and Shields doesn’t even have to be concerned; he pitched a 7 inning, 3 hit shutout against Detroit in his last start in a 3-0 win. Shields’ earned run average is always superb; it’s the lack of run support that has hurt him at times.
For your sports picks, look for James Shields to be reliable as the Royals need their offense to scratch out a few runs to pick up the victory and break the losing streak.
(This is too risky a spot to take the runline)
Once again, the Cardinals have lost the divisional lead to the Pittsburgh Pirates as they sit 1 game behind the Bucs and continue to switch back and forth on who’s the top dog in the NL Central? The Cardinals can’t be blamed for their inability to hold on to the lead as they’ve won 7 out of 10 games. Things won’t get easier for the Cards as they face the team with the best record in the majors in Atlanta.
Every sport has an “America’s Team”. In football, it’s the Dallas Cowboys and in the MLB it’s the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta is coasting along with a 15 game lead over the 2nd place Washington Nationals. There are two concerns that you might have when you think about Atlanta; the Braves haven’t fared well in post-season play despite great regular seasons and now they’re without leadoff man. Jason Heyward, who got hit in the face with a baseball by the Mets Jonathan Niese, has a broken jaw, and will be out for the rest of the season.
Although Heyward is not near their Braves best player, this has to be a bit demoralizing after losing him in such a violent manner. Speedster, Jordan Schafer will likely take over for Heyward and the Braves still have some capable players in their lineup.
Should They Be Better?
The Cardinals are having an outstanding season, but when you look at their lineup, this is a 1st place team talent-wise and the MLB odds reflect that.
With a list of Carpenter (.311), Beltran (22 HR, 67 RBI, .307 BA), Holiday (16 HR, 62 RBI, .282 BA), Craig (12 HR, 90 RBI, .310 BA), and Molina(10 HR, 59 RBI, .332 BA), this list couldn’t be more deep. The Cards might lack in the power department a bit, but if Joe Kelly (4-3, 3.01) pitches well, he should be able to breeze past the Braves with the offensive support that he has.
Most of the main hitters in the Cards lineup have hit well against Atlanta starter Paul Maholm (9-9, 4.41) and that just re-inforces the idea that St. Louis should win this game.
Good luck, everyone!
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