There's a lot of teams that are still mathematically alive where the post-season is concerned. Run outputs have been high as offenses have picked it up. See who we like as our picks for Saturday.
New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves: Atlanta Is An Awful Baseball Team
Even though the Toronto Blue Jays have taken over the lead in the American League East Division, the New York Yankees are in a great spot where the post season is concerned and let's face it, they are playing an awful team. After watching the game yesterday, I heard the announcer say that the Braves relievers combined for 60 pitches in an uncompleted inning in a 15-4 Atlanta loss. Masahiro Tanaka was great but could been average as the Braves pitching was atrocious.
A.J.Pierzynski, an aging catcher on the Braves, actually sat out, to give a less experienced catcher a chance and it was even mentioned that the Braves management asked Pierzynski where he wanted to be traded to. He said either a contender, but not Minnesota. Pierzynski, decided to stay in Atlanta. That's how bad things have went for the Braves as they're 54-74 and 17 games behind the Mets.
New York Is Sitting Comfortably
They can't seem to pick up a game on the Blue Jays, but the Yankees are doing what they need to do in order to make the playoffs and quite frankly, they needed an outburst such as yesterday.
The question marks on their team are their two best players as Alex Rodriguez has cooled off and Mark Texeira the Yanks best player, got injured after being hit by a baseball. In order for the Yanks to win, they figured to sit Arod a couple of games and let him rest and hope for the best with Tex as his backup Bird is playing well. That said, without those two players, the offense has been struggling.
Didi To the Rescue?
Nobody would have thought as Didi Gregorious has had a respectable season, taking over for Derek Jeter, but nothing close to an All-Star caliber year and the Yankees didn't know if they could count on him. Gregorious let it be known yesterday that he could be counted on as he had a home run and 5 RBI's to spark the Yankees win. Look for Gregorious to gain confidence as young Lou Severino (1-2, 2.74) takes the mound and has provided a quality start in each of his 5 starts. In experience is a concern, but the Braves are over matched.
MLB Pick: New York Yankees -190 at 5Dimes - 2 UNIT PLAY
Chicago Cubs vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: First Place Team With a Last Place Offense
You know an offense is bad when the 1st place National League West Division leading Los Angeles Dodgers are the underdogs in this game. It could also be that with the exception of one start on August 19th, Jon Lester has been the pitcher that was advertised, coming to the Cubs from the Oakland Athletics.
If you take that poor start out against the Tigers, Lester has allowed 2 runs or less in 6 consecutive starts and have been giving the Cubbies 7 innings on a regular basis. He's pitching like an ace and is a big reason why the Cubs have went from a losing team to a contender.
A Lousy Dodger
I'm surprised the best that Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly, and the Dodgers management could put out their tonight is starter Mat Latos. In 3 starts with the Dodgers since being traded, Latos has pitched poorly in his last 2 games and has allowed 12 runs and 18 hits in just 14 2/3 innings.
I can already see Mattingly giving the sign for a reliever to come in from the bullpen as the Cubs have a far superior offense featuring Anthony Rizzo (26 HR, 78 RBI, .287 BA, .394 OBP%), Kris Bryant (20 HR and 77 RBI, and Kyle Schwarber (12 HR, 35, .273 BA in 150 at-bats). Schawrber has really come on like a ball of fire since getting playing time. We also add that 6 home runs and 20 of Schwarber's runs batted in have come on the road and he's hitting .333 away from Wrigley Field. Look for Lester to stifle the Dodgers.
MLB Pick: Chicago Cubs -107 at 5Dimes - 3 UNIT PLAY