There’s an abbreviated slate of baseball games on tap for Monday, but opportunity can still be found. Let's turn a profit from the MLB Picks of the Day.
After an extended run of wins, the Angels have fallen back to bad habits as they’ve lost the first 3 games of their series to the lowly Houston Astros and are one game away from a sweep. This game is very important to the Angels psychologically and they need to stop the bleeding before this escalates.
Blanton To the Rescue
Los Angeles turns to Joe Blanton (1-8, 5.94) to bail them out as Blanton has finally started to get into a groove.
He picked up his 1st win of the season on May 23rd against the Kansas City Royals and put forth a fairly decent performance in a loss against the Dodgers on the 28th in which he received no offensive support whatsoever. In his last 2 starts, Blanton has pitched 13 1/3 innings and has given up 5 runs. With the offensive lineup that the Angels have, they should be able to bomb the Astros.
5 Wins a Row!
I know that I called them the lowly Astros and 5 consecutive wins are impressive, but not enough to change my mind. The Astros send veteran Erik Bedard (0-2, 5.32) to the mound and even though Bedard is winless, he’s pitched good enough in any of his last 4 starts.
Bedard has given up 2 runs in each of his last 4 starts. This equates to 22 innings; talk about hard luck!
You look up and down the Astros starting lineup and Jose Altuve is the only name that’s identifiable.
The “Stros” are coming off of a 5-4 victory against the Angels in which catcher Carlos Corporan led the way with a home run. Corporan has actually made the most of his limited time. He’s hitting .308 with 4 HR and 9 RBI in 65 at-bats this season.
The Astros are fairly solid from the 1-4 spots in the lineup average-wise, it’s power that they lack and power that the Halos possess. With guys like Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, and Albert Pujols, the Angels should be destroying this team.
I like the Angels to salvage the last game in this series. Let’s make this a small play because L.A. has been quite inconsistent. The moneyline is too high so let’s go with the runline and see if the Angels bats wake up.
Pick- Angels -1.5 +105 for your sports picks.
Pittsburgh Pirates (35-22) at Atlanta Braves (34-22)
This is a matchup of two teams with almost identical records and almost mirror eachother with their lack of offensive productivity yet they still find ways to win.
A.J. Burnett (3-5, 2.72) vs. Kris Medlen (1-6, 3.48) provides a very good pitching matchup for the public yet these two starters are a combined 4-11. The reason being is that both starters don’t receive run support.
The Burnett Curse?
Burnett hasn’t let the Pirates down as he’s pitched a “quality start” in every one of his 12 starts this season and is 2 games below .500 with just 3 wins on the season.
Pittsburgh is a team with some formidable hitters such as Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen. You can add Pedro Alvarez to the list despite his .199 batting average as he leads the Bucs in home runs (11) and runs batted in (30). No wonder why Burnett wants to retire.
Medlen hasn’t pitched as well as Burnett, but this is a pitcher that carried a 10-1 record last season with a 1.57 ERA.
Atlanta is dominating the National League Eastern Division. They lead the East by 6.5 games with an offense that has been super-inconsistent all season. Upton, Uggla (.177), McCann (.264), Heyward (.142), and Simmons (.249) have all been less than inspiring, but this team keeps on winning.
Jason Heyward has been considered the future for the Braves, but at the moment he’s competing with Adam Dunn for the worst all-time batting average in baseball history.
With both offenses being unreliable and the pitching being the opposite, we turn to the total and the UNDER is the only play in this game.
Good Luck, everyone!