Twins & Nationals Are Two Fire ML Winners Featured In Our MLB Picks Of The Day

Danny Salazar

Joe Catalano

Monday, August 1, 2016 5:02 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 1, 2016 5:02 PM UTC

August has arrived and that means every MLB game will count a little bit more. Let's take a look at the slate and see which games are the best to benefit from with our Picks of the Day.

Minnesota Twins vs Cleveland Indians

Everything Is In Place
After picking up a reliever, Andrew Miller, from the New York Yankees, the Cleveland Indians (60-42) are ready to make a run for the World Series and bring home a 2nd consecutive world title where the major four sports are concerned.

When you think of the Indians, you don't think of any major stars such as Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout, but this team has a ton of young talent and the pitching is right there with the offense as the elite teams have a perfect balance of offense and defense. Tonight, ace, Danny Salazar (11-3, 2.97 ERA) faces a bottom-feeder in the Minnesota Twins in what should be a one-sided matchup.


AL Cy Young Award Winner?
Even though I went out on a limb and picked Aaron Sanchez and Michael Fulmer at long odds at the time and faded Chris Sale with my future bets for the AL Cy Young Award winner, Salazar is definitely a possible choice as he's been very reliable for most of the season. That said, Salazar has pitched poorly in 2 out of his last 3 outings and lucky enough to receive no-decisions in those two poor performances.

In his last 3 starts, Salazar has allowed 13 runs on 21 hits in 16 1/3 innings. Prior to those appearances, Salazar had been fairly untouchable. He's also had one poor outing against the Twins this season in which he allowed 3 runs on 3 hits in 4 2/3 innings while throwing very wild. While the performances that I've presented don't make a great case to choose the Tribe, I look for Danny Salazar to have a bounce back effort as this is a game that Cleveland should win and one in which they want to make a statement.

Cleveland is currently on a 3 game winning streak, but can't "let their foot off the gas pedal" as the Detroit Tigers have won 6 straight games and are just 4 1/2 games behind the Indians.

Huge Year For Napoli
Although he already knows what it's like to play on an elite team and win a World Series, Mike Napoli has found a new home in Cleveland. He's been coming up big on a regular basis and most of his hits have been leaving the ballpark. For the season, Napoli has 24 HR and 72 RBI. Although he's hitting just .247, the 72 RBI's have done a ton of damage as I place a lot of importance on ribbies. Napoli is also hitting .292 at home to go along with 15 HR and 48 RBI. Cleveland couldn't ask for more from this special player.

We're laying a lot of juice in this spot, but Cleveland is the team playing for something and the far superior squad.

Free MLB Pick: Indians -203 
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle

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Washington Nationals vs Arizona Diamondbacks

Strasburg Gets the Start
When Stephen Strasburg (14-1, 2.68 ERA) gets to showcase his skills, that usually means trouble for the opposition. In this case, it's an underachieving Arizona Diamondbacks (43-62) team who much more was expected from, but instead are going nowhere. Strasburg should be an example to guys like Matt Harvey that you can recover from the Tommy John surgery and various other injuries as he's had an outstanding season. This is also a great spot for the Nationals (61-44) as they lead the Florida Marlins by 4 games in the National League East Division and the New York Mets by 6 1/2 games. Just like Salazar for the Tribe, Strasburg need's to show that he's one of the best pitchers in baseball as the Nats have dropped 2 straight games and are a heavy road chalk in this matchup.

Injury Alert
Daniel Murphy, who is currently the Nationals best hitter, didn't play on Sunday with a leg injury. We don't know Murphy's status for this game and I'm sure that it will be a game-time decision as the Nats can ill-afford to lose Murphy for an extended period of time as we hit the last couple of months of the regular season. Thus far this season, Daniel Murphy has had an MVP-like season with 20 HR, 76 RBI, and a .350 BA. It would be a huge lose for Washington if Murphy couldn't play tonight as he's the guy that get's this offense going.

Bryce Harper, who had a monstrous season last year, has still hit for power and still reaches base with free passes but is hitting just .235 this season. It's a far cry from last season as people were labeling Harper as the best player in baseball. In a game such as this, Harper's offense is really needed as no other National player except for Murphy and Wilson Ramos (15 HR, 54 RBI, .327 BA) have been able to be counted on. Look for Strasburg to shoulder the load and for the Nationals to pick up an expected win.

Free MLB Pick: Nationals -200 
Best Line Offered: 
at Heritage

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