With the lack of top-flight pitchers, we may have to adjust our MLB picks as the ball might carry a bit more today in the blistering heat.
Cincinnati Reds (33-20) at Cleveland Indians (28-24)
I’m a bit surprised to see Scott Kazmir’s ERA so high (5.94). Except for a couple of lackluster performances, I thought that he’s made a decent return back to his old form. His control is there and he’s also put up a couple of fantastic performances. One really bad performance can bloat any pitchers ERA.
Kazmir is coming off of an forgettable outing in which he gave up 2 runs and 5 hit in just 5 innings to Boston. Cleveland has been reliable all season and seems to be in a good value spot at home against a legitimate force in the Reds.
The Indians are coming off of a 5-2 victory over Cincinnati in which Justin Masterson had another masterful performance. You know when a 42 year old Jason Giambi hits a home run and goes 2 for 4 with 3 RBI, things are going your way. That aside, the Indians have a very reliable lineup from Bourn to Brantley.
No Homers From Homer
Homer Bailey (3-3, 3.08) comes into this game with a lot of momentum on his side as a Reds starter. In his last 3 starts, he’s pitched 22 innings and has given up just 4 earned runs with 21 strikeouts. Bailey will have the support of an offensive attack that contains lethal bats such as the red hot hitting Joey Votto.
NL MVP Candidate
Votto hit a home run in the 1st inning of yesterday’s game and is having an MVP-like season. He’s hit safely in 9 of his last 10 games and has also scored a run in 9 of his last 10 games. In this 10 game stint, Votto has 5 HR and 7 RBI. He’s also batting .352 on the season; the man is simply on fire and Kazmir will have his hands full in dealing with the Canadian native.
Most signs point out that the Reds would be a good bet at -128 MLB betting odds, but I like Cleveland to build off of yesterday’s victory at home. Scott Kazmir has plenty of offensive support and he’s a lot better pitcher than his record indicates.
MLB Pick- Cleveland +118 at Bet 365
Did the Mets Pull a Fast One On Toronto?
I saw R.A. Dickey in his last outing, pitch for pitch on MLB TV, and he’s not the Dickey that won 20 games for the Mets in 2012.
The Baltimore Orioles hit Dickey at will in a 6-5 loss for Toronto. Maybe the Mets didn’t want to adhere to Dickey’s demands knowing that he was a one- time flash in the pan at 38 years of age. The knuckle ball is quite unpredictable and up until now, it seems like a bad move for Toronto.
Major, not Minor
In tonight’s game, Dickey and the Jays face the Atlanta Braves behind the pitching of Mike Minor. Minor has pitched like an ace all season and is coming off of a dominant performance against the Mets in which he pitched 7 1/3 innings and allowing just 3 hits with 10 strikeouts. Atlanta’s offensive effectiveness will be the key to this game as they have a decisive edge in the pitching department.
The Braves are coming off of a 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays, but they’ve been in cruise control all season. The offense lacks a consistent player except for Freddie Freeman, but someone always manages to step up and win the game whether it be 2 home runs in a game from Brian McCann, a Justin Upton home run, or a Freddie Freeman base hit to knock in a couple of runs and be the game winning hit to sway things in Atlanta’s favor.
Toronto’s offense is actually stronger than the Braves behind the hitting of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, but their starting pitching is suspect as it is in this game with Dickey. I’ve said this many times; Atlanta just finds a way to win ball games.
Free Pick- Atlanta Braves -149 at Bet 365 for your sports picks.
Good Luck, everyone!