The aces are out in full force as there are a lot interesting matchups. Let's see if we can translate today's slate into a couple of wins & a chunk of change in our readers pockets with our picks.
Joe C. Record 116-64 +62.72 Units
Kansas City Royals vs. Boston Red Sox: Johnny On the Spot
The Boston Red Sox may be coming off of a win over the Kansas City Royals and are on a 3 game winning streak, but they're going nowhere as far as this season is concerned and they face one of the top pitchers in baseball in Johnny Cueto (9-7, 2.46) and have a 13.5 game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central Division. It's difficult to stay motivated with that kind of a lead, but the Royals want to be in top form when they enter the playoffs.
The Difference Maker
Cueto could be the difference maker for this 73-47 team which was so very close to winning a World Series title. Some people believe that a team needs two or three really good starters in a 7 game series and a trade off of James Big Game Shields for Johnny Cueto makes the Royals even that much stronger.
Since coming to the Royals, Cueto has been nothing, but spectacular. Some elite pitchers need to be on a contender to be their best. In 4 starts as a member of the Royals, Cueto has pitched 28 inning while allowing just 6 runs. All 4 starts have been considered quality outings and Cueto has went 2-1 during that time period. He has also held opposing hitters to a mere .201 batting average for the season. Boston should be shaking in their cleats, even at home, at the thought of facing this elite pitcher.
Kansas City didn't get much offense in their 4-1 loss to Boston yesterday, but they have 3 hitters in the 2-3-4 positions in Ben Zobrist, Lorenzo Cain, and Eric Hosmer, all of who are hitting over .300 and have an OBP% of .363 or greater. There's some pop in this lineup, but the meat of the order likes to play small ball and that's fine as they have a well rounded team that are facing a Red Sox team with no motivation.
MLB Pick- Kansas City -149 at 5Dimes - 2 UNIT PLAY
Texas Rangers vs. Detroit Tigers: One Game At A Time
At 59-61, it's difficult for the Detroit Tigers to think about playoffs, but with Miguel Cabrera back in the lineup, they're a totally different team. The Tigers are on a 3 game winning streak, have Justin Verlander starting, and I could see theme going on a massive run with 42 games left in the season.
Is it too late is the question? I've seen stranger things happen and never say never with a lineup up with the best hitter in baseball in the last decade in Miguel Cabrera in it.
The Old "JV"
Justin Verlander was supposed to be one if not the top pitcher in the American League, but has been on a major decline. That said, in his last 2 starts, he's returned to his old form, allowing just 7 hits and no earned runs in 13 innings pitched. A good showing here would put a great taste back in the Tiger's mouths.
They held the Rangers to a mere hit yesterday and the confidence level has swung back in the Tigers direction with Miggy back in the lineup, Some of the pressure will also be taken off of J.D. Martinez, who has carried this squad this season with 32 HR, 81 RBI, and a .288 BA.
For his career, J.D. is 2 for 3 with 1 HR and 2 RBI against Texas starter Colby Lewis. Now, if the Tigers could only get Victor Martinez to return to his old form of 2014, but that would be asking a lot. It wouldn't be asking a lot for a good performance out of the Tigers at Commerica Park with Verlander starting tonight. Let's go big with the Tigers tonight as our MLB pick.
MLB Pick- Detroit Tigers -126 at 5Dimes - 3 UNIT PLAY