Los Angeles Dodgers (47-47) at Washington Nationals (48-47)
You have two teams that are practically dead even in the standings. The Nationals have been hovering around the .500 mark all season long while the Los Angeles Dodgers have saved manager Don Mattingly’s job with the addition of Yasiel Puig and the energy that he bring’s to this team.
Strasburg could be the difference for our MLB pick in this game as Washington has a below average offense, led by Ian Desmond. Desmond will have plenty of energy coming into this game as he was snubbed from the Mid-summer Classic.
Strasburg on the other hand, has lacked run support, but has really pitched poorly in his last 2 starts. Over the 2 starts, Strasburg has allowed 11 runs and 12 hits in 8 innings pitched. He’s coming off of an atrocious 8-3 loss to the Miami Marlins.
After be snubbed by the fans for the All-Star Game, look for a well- rested Strasburg to come out strong in this game. The Dodgers don’t have an overwhelming offense themselves and the pitcher usually wins the head to head battles against the hitters.
Yasiel Puig is starting to slow down in recent times. His average has dropped from .430 on July 4th to .391 currently as we’re hitting the latter stages of July.
We’re going to have to lay the heavy juice and back Strasburg and the Nats at home.
Pick- Washington -160 at Bet 365
Cleveland Indians (51-44) at Minnesota Twins (39-53)
Scott Kazmir (5-4, 4.60) takes the mound for the Tribe as he faces the much improved Mike Pelfrey (4-7, 5.55) for the Twinkies. Pelfrey has had two consecutive good outings; one in which the Jays could barely get a hit.
In Kazmir, you have a player that was once thought to be a superstar, but injuries have taken their toll, and he’s come back strong as of late.
Kazmir gets a lot of no-decisions, but hasn’t lost a game since June 10th. In his last 5 starts, he’s 2-0 and has allowed 8 earned runs in 31 innings pitched. The Twins have the home field advantage, but the Indians have the slight advantage at starting pitcher with Kazmir.
Both teams are on winning streaks; Cleveland is on a 4 game winning streak while the Twins are on a 2 game winning streak. That said, the Twins have only won 3 out of their last 10 games. They’ll need Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau to provide some much needed offense off of Kazmir.
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Although the All-Star break kind of puts a stop to momentum, Minny is coming off of a 10-4 victory over the Bronx Bombers. In this game, everyone in the starting lineup had at least 1 hit while the Twins busted out 14 hits, sparked by an early 3-run home run by Aaron Hicks that really gave the Twins the lead for good.
This game will all be about if Pelfrey can continue to pitch well as he has a great opportunity to pitch at home after the Twins finally had a major offensive outburst.
We have a very high total of 9 runs and look for both pitchers and teams to keep the score quite low. 9 runs is a gift.
Parlay- Minnesota/Cleveland UNDER 9 and Washington -160
Good luck, everyone!