Let’s get it on: It’s Wednesday's MLB picks of the Day.
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I hit with Cole Hamels and the Phillies yesterday as I stated that the Phils had the advantage in starting pitching and were closing in on Washington for 2nd place in the NL East division. Today, the matchup set up is all different as there are two premiere starters in Gio Gonzalez (6-3, 3.14) vs. Cliff Lee (10-2, 2.73)
Gonzalez is the hotter pitcher although both pitchers are getting run support which has enabled them to pick up the “W’s”.
In his last 3 starts, Gonzalez has pitched 20 innings and has allowed just 5 earned runs and going 3-0 in that time span.
Although his team has one of the weakest offenses in all of baseball, he’s a former 21 game winner. Look for Gonzalez to put forth a big effort as Washington is falling back in the standings.
Cliff Lee is the more experienced and big money pitcher. He goes out and gives the Phillies a solid 8 innings almost each start. Opposing hitters are hitting just .222 off of Lee this season. He will always keep the Phillies in the game and leave the outcome up to the offense. Lee is coming off one of his lesser efforts, allowing 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings against Atlanta and still picked up the win.
Philadelphia has the advantages in this game. They have the more reliable starting pitcher, better offense, momentum (winning 3 straight games), and home field advantage.
Inconsistency Leads To Losses
In yesterday’s 4-2 victory over Washington, the top 6 hitters in the Phillies lineup picked up hits. Washington on the other hand, has good hitters like Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and Ian Desmond, but all players mentioned are inconsistent and consistency is the key to any type of success in baseball.
Look for a low scoring game as both pitchers are more than capable of shutting down an offense.
Adversity For the Bombers
We talk about that word "consistency" and the New York Yankees, who are in 2nd to last place in the American League East Division and are on a 3-game losing streak, don’t have it.
All you have to do is watch the progression of Vernon Wells during the season. Wells looked like a huge pickup for the Yanks in the 1st month to month-and-a-half of the season and now he looks like a huge flop.
If you asked Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman before the season if he would take a 48-42 record after 90 games, he probably would. Not much was expected from New York as most of their starting lineup was on the DL.
New York faces a gamed Kansas City Royals squad that won’t give up on the season. This is a much improved team despite the 43-44 record. Jamie Shields finally got some much needed run support and the Royals are coming off of a 3-1 victory over the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
Yankee Stadium is a hitter’s delight with its short right field porch.
Getting Into the Groove
Although he’s a right-handed hitter, Billy Butler is finally starting to show flashes of power for the Royals. This former all-star has pounded out homers in back to back games. Butler is also a career 4 for 6 with 2 RBI against Yankees starter Ivan Nova.
Nova (3-2, 4.09) who once had a 16-4 season in 2011, has to be feeling good about himself as he’s coming off of his best outing of the season. Nova pitched a complete game victory over Baltimore in which he allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and struck out 11 batters. Nova can bring the heat and he’s the perfect pitcher to pitch the Yankees out of their funk.
I don’t know when the last time the Yankees got an extra base hit, but my gut is telling me to go with the value and Nova for my sports picks.
(My gut instinct is usually correct)
Good luck, everyone!
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