Joe C. Record of 71-79 -29.86 Units: We’re Hot
I started off the season in a major slump, but the baseball season is a grind, and people need to realize that. We went 4-0 on Saturday and are 13-3 in our last 16 games. Slowly (but surely) I’ll make the readers of these articles benefit as I have in the past. Enough of me, onto the games. Riding momentum when winning is mandatory.
Pittsburgh Pirates (26-30) at San Diego Padres (26-31): Playing With Confidence
I’m not thrilled that the Bucs haven’t been able to provide starter Charlie Morton a decent amount of run support as Morton carries an outstanding 3.29 ERA, and is just 1-7 on the season. What I am thrilled about is what I saw from Pittsburgh on Sunday Night Baseball as they knocked the cocky (but great) Zack Greinke off of his perch in Los Angeles. The Pirates are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and were convincing winners on Sunday as they got 4 earned runs off of the great Greinke, sending people into shock.
Reigning NL MVP
I kind of wondered why the award was so convincingly handed over to Andrew McCutchen last year since he’s never going to be a 40 home run hitter, but I’m starting to see just how great of a baseball player that this little man is.
Against the Dodgers, McCutchen used all of his 180 pounds to smash a home run into right-center field against Zack Greinke, and he also made one of the better diving catches that you’ll ever see. McCutchen is slight in frame, but knows how to get the proper leverage to get the maximum amount of power with his swing, and his speed is second to none as I would take him in my outfield anytime.
Pittsburgh also had to be encouraged on Sunday about the timely hitting, and good eye that Pedro Alvarez used in facing Greinke. Alvarez is usually an “all or nothing” hitter, but last night he was the catalyst in Pittsburgh’s win as he started the game off with a timely, well-placed hit that knocked in a couple of runs to give Pittsburgh the lead.
San Diego is lucky to have the record that they currently possess, because their offense is simply awful. The Pads rank 30th in the MLB in runs, 30th in batting average, and 30th in on-base percentage. When your offense is getting on base 28.2% of the time as a team collectively (.282), that’s simply awful and the team’s pitcher needs to be flawless. Even though San Diego is the favorite in this game, Tim Stauffer who gave up 7 runs on 6 hits in 1/3 of an inning in his last start, is far from “flawless”.
Free MLB Pick: Pittsburgh +105 at 5 Dimes
Seattle Mariners (28-28) at New York Yankees (29-26): Scratching Their Heads
The New York Yankees have to be baffled as former Yankee, Phil Hughes, came into Yankee Stadium and pitched “lights out.” Hughes was efficient; something that he wasn’t for New York. Could this possibly be the same guy that would have a 100 pitch total by the 5th inning when he played for the Bombers?
New York’s bullpen let them down as the Minnesota Twins defeated the Yanks 7-2 on Sunday. The problem with the Yankees is they simply can’t score runs. Ever since Jacoby Ellsbury got into a huge slump, this team has been lifeless. Now, Mark Teixiera is getting nagging injuries every other game and he’s forced to miss games. Teixiera was the Yankees major source of power, and now they’re forced to play “small ball.”
Tonight, the Yankees may really be forced to play small ball as one of the best pitchers in baseball in King Felix Hernandez starts for the Mariners at Yankee Stadium. To make things worse for New York, former Yankee Robinson Cano, is making excellent contact with the baseball as he sports a .327 batting average. Cano’s 2 home runs have to be a concern for Seattle, but he’s playing quite well as of late, and this can be another former Yankee who comes into Yankee Stadium, and embarrasses the Bombers. Good pitching wins games, and at -128 odds, I’m siding with Hernandez, and the hitting of Cano over Yankees starter David Phelps (1-2, 3.38) as my Monday MLB pick.
Free MLB Pick: Seattle -128 at 5 Dimes