2-2 from 8-27 ~ 16-10 overall

I was out of town for the past week and did not have access to a computer so this will be my first set of picks in exactly one week. I will be picking three games today with a possible fourth on the over/under for the first time this year.

Pick 1 ~ St. Louis Cardinals (H) over the Pittsburgh Pirates (A). Game 3 of 3. STL leads series 2-0.

Starting Pitchers (STL) Shelby Miller 8-9, 4.14 ERA Vs. (PIT) Edison Volquez 11-7, 3.45 ERA.

The Cardinals have finally seized first place in the NL Central and I do not see them looking back. Yadier Molina is back and Matt Holiday has been on a tear as the Cardinals seek their fifth straight victory and a sweep of the reeling Pirates. The Red Birds send Shelby Miller to the bump who has been snake-bitten by the home run ball all year long.  He’s allowed eight over his last seven starts, and 20 on the season. Miller is 0-1 with a 4.35 ERA in five August starts but pitched well during his last start, giving up two runs over seven innings as he didn’t get a decision in a 7-2 defeat to the Cubs. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA during the day compared to 4-7 with a 4.81 ERA at night. Pittsburgh counters with Edison Volquez who has been pitching very well of late going 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA in his last seven starts. Volquez continued his strong mound work Friday by giving up one run in 7 2/3 innings in a 2-1 win over Cincinnati, though he didn’t figure in the decision. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.96 ERA in four starts against the Cardinals this year, and 2-4 with a 5.50 ERA in seven in his career at Busch. I actually see this being a see-saw affair with the Cardinals getting the last laugh and completing the sweep.

Pick 2 ~ San Francisco Giants (A) over the Colorado Rockies (H). Game 3 of 3. Series tied at 1.

Starting Pitchers (SF) Ryan Vogelsong 8-9, 3.73 ERA Vs. (COL) Christian Bergman 1-2, 5.74 ERA.

Buster Posey and Hunter Pence have been leading this Giants offense of late. Posey is hitting .481 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 12 games, and 13 of his 26 hits have gone for extra bases and Pence , getting two hits and one RBI on Tuesday to extend his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest by a Giant this year has a .393 average with 15 RBIs and 17 runs over that stretch. Giants pitcher Ryan Vogelsong is 2-2 with a 7.50 ERA in four lifetime starts at Coors Field and was hammered for five runs and three homers before being pulled with one out in the second of an 8-2 loss April 21.Vogelsong, though, enters this meeting 3-1 with a 2.58 ERA in six starts after earning a 13-2 win over Milwaukee on Friday. The right-hander allowed two runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings. Veteran Ryan Vogelsong will face a much less experienced pitcher — rookie Christian Bergman. Bergman, who will be making only his sixth career start, was formidable in his last outing, which came against the D-backs at Chase Field. I see Pence and Posey getting a little help from Pablo as the 3 P’s account for a majority of the offense in todays victory.

Pick 3~ Baltimore Orioles (H) over the Cincinnati Reds (A). Game 3 of 3. BAL leads 2-0

1-2 from 8/25 ~ 14-8 overall

I’m on a little bit of a slide here the past few days so I will try and hit on 4 different games today. There are a lot of aces pitching today along with one match-up that sticks out to me.

Pick 1 ~ Seattle Mariners (H) over the Texas Rangers (A). Game 3 of 3. Series tied at 1.

Starting Pitchers (SEA) Erasmo Ramirez 1-5, 4.06 ERA Vs. (TEX) Colby Lewis 8-11, 5.54 ERA

This is the one match-up today where the ace of the staff is NOT pitching. I’m simply choosing Seattle to win because they have been on a roll of late, especially at home. Texas sports baseball’s worst record and they took the first game of this series, which I did not predict. The Mariners, who already have one more win than they did in 2013, own the AL’s second-best day record at 26-17. Rangers pitcher Colby Lewis is 0-2 with a 6.61 ERA in three starts against the Mariners this season but hasn’t faced them since May 20. He is 4-4 with a 3.15 ERA in 11 starts against them since joining Texas in 2010. I see this being a close game with both teams scoring multiple runs ultimately ending in a Mariners victory.

Pick 2 ~ Washington Nationals (A) over the Philadelphia Phillies (H). Game 3 of 3. PHI leads series 2-0.

Starting Pitchers (WAS) Doug Fister 12-4, 2.38 ERA Vs. (PHI) Kyle Kendrick 6-11, 4.93 ERA

The Nationals send their top pitcher to the mound in Fister – looking to avoid a 3-game sweep at the hands of the Phillies who have won 3 straight. Fister is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA lifetime against the Phillies although he has never faced them on the road. Kendrick sports an NL-worst 6.10 ERA since June 22 and is 5-10 with a 5.00 ERA against the Nationals, his most losses versus any team. He’s posted an 8.02 ERA in losing his last four matchups. The Phillies took the first two games of the season but both games were very close. I see the Nationals turning the tables and getting back to their winning ways – as they have won 12 of their last 15 games – as they win this close game.

Pick 3 ~ Cleveland Indians (A) over the Chicago White Sox (H). Game 2 of 3. CLE lead series 1-0.

Starting Pitchers (CLE) Corey Kluber 13-7, 2.46 ERA Vs. (CHW) Hector Noesi  7-9, 4.86 ERA

Indian’s pitcher Corey Kluber has been dominate this year and I see another excellent outing ahead for the young hurler. The White Sox have played well against the Tribe this year going 6-2 against their division rivals. I still see Kluber dominating them and getting just enough run support to sneak by the south siders tonight.

Pick 4 ~ Los Angeles Dodgers (A) over the Arizona Diamondbacks (H). Game 2 of 3. LAD leads 1-0.

Starting Pitchers (LAD) Clayton Kershaw 15-3, 1.82 ERA Vs. (ARI) Wade Miley 7-9, 4.29

All I have to say here is two words. Clayton Kershaw. Even know he hasn’t pitched well against the D-Back and at Chase Field, I see Kershaw dominating this match-up and getting the run support needed.

3-1 from 8/23 ~ 13-6 overall

Being a die-hard Cubs fan, it was hard rooting for the Baltimore Orioles the past 3 games as I picked Baltimore to sweep. It was even harder watching the Cubs win all three games! Yes, a sweep of the first place Orioles hurt my pockets. Today I stick with 3 games, all being the first game of a 3-game set. Wish me luck.

Pick 1 ~ Washington Nationals (A) over the Philadelphia Phillies (H). Game 1 of 3.

Starting Pitchers (WAS) Tanner Roark 12-7, 2.80 ERA Vs. (PHI) A.J. Burnett 6-14, 4.42 ERA

The Washington Nationals have won 12 of their last 13 games due in part to a sparkling 2.22 ERA from their starters and an offense that seems to be hitting its peak just at the right time. The Nats will now try to equal its season high with a fourth straight road win behind Roark. The right-hander is 5-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his last eight starts and 5-1 with a 1.78 mark in his last eight on the road. The Phillies counter with Burnett who has pitched well at home and against the Nationals. This will be Burnett’s fifth start of the season against the Nationals. He is 2-0 with a 1.98 ERA in two home starts against them compared to going 0-2 with a 10.57 ERA in two road matchups. I see the Nationals hot bats being able to break through against Burnett tonight as they collect the first game of the series.

Pick 2 ~ Oakland Athletics (A) over the Houston Astros (H). Game 1 of 3.

Starting Pitchers (OAK) Jeff Samardzija 5-10, 3.27 ERA Vs. Scott Feldman 7-9, 4.37 ERA

After falling back into a tie for first place in their division over the weekend, Oakland looks to get back on track against the woeful Houston Astros. The season series between these two ball-clubs has been quite close as the ‘Stros have placed well – especially at home – against the Athletics so far. The two starting pitchers are also very familiar with one another – being teammates on the Cubs – as well as facing off against each other twice last month . Samardzija limited the Astros to one run in eight innings of a 13-1 victory on July 24, then gave up four runs over 6 2/3 innings without taking a decision in a 7-4 road victory five days later. He’s 3-1 with a 2.86 ERA in five career starts against them. Feldman gave up six runs and walked a season-high five runs over 5 1/3 innings on July 24. He was much better in the rematch, yielding one run in seven innings, though he still owns a 5-7 record and 6.55 ERA in 15 career starts against them. I see this being a close and difficult win for Oakland with Samardizja pitching deep into the game.

Pick 3 ~ Seattle Mariners (H) over the Texas Rangers (A). Game 1 of 3.

Starting Pitchers (SEA) Roenis Elias 9-10, 4.09 ERA Vs. (TEX) Miles Mikolas 1-5, 7.48 ERA

Seattle is dominant at home and Texas is piling up the losses, especially on the road. Two mediocre pitchers face off but Seattle is coming off a sweep of the Red Sox with their offense leading the way. I see an easy home victory for the Mariners tonight as they win big.

1-2 from yesterday ~ 10-5 overall

Today’s picks will be short and sweet as I work a double tending bar tonight at my restaurant. I got hurt yesterday on my picks so today I will make up for it by hitting on 4 games…..I hope

New York Yankees (A) over the Chicago White Sox (H). Game 2 of 3, NYY leads 1-0.

Baltimore Orioles (A) over the Chicago Cubs (H). Game 2 of 3, CHI leads 1-0.

Seattle Mariners (A) over the Boston Red Sox (H). Game 2 of 3, SEA leads 1-0.

Kansas City Royals (A) over the Texas Rangers (H). Game 2 of 3, KC leads 1-0.

2-0 from yesterday ~ 9-3 overall

I hit on both of my picks yesterday although the Dodgers needed a late home run to sneak by the Padres 2-1. I’m going with three today although I was tempted to take up to five games.

Pick 1 ~ Baltimore Orioles (A) over the Chicago Cubs (H). Game 1 of 3.

Starting Pitchers (BAL) Kevin Gausman 7-4, 3.70 ERA Vs. Jake Arrieta 6-4, 2.61 ERA

Although I may be shooting myself in the foot again with the opening game of the series, the 3 game set has sweep written all over it. Cubs ace and former prized prospect for Baltimore, Jake Arrieta, takes the mound today for the Cubs. He has pitched well all year despite receiving little run support. Baltimore’s line-up features elite hitters that will likely make Arrieta work deep counts and long innings. I actually seeing this game being close but ultimately, Baltimore’s bats will have the last say. Look for me to pick the next two games for this series as well.

Pick 2 ~ St. Louis Cardinals (A) over the Philadelphia Phillies (H). Game 1 of 3.

Starting Pitchers (STL) Adam Wainwright 15-7, 2.40 ERA Vs. (PHI) Kyle Kendricks 5-11, 4.90 ERA

This is another case where I’m going against my better judgement of avoiding game one of a series. My reason this time is pitcher Adam Wainwright takes the mound for the Cardinals tonight and he looks to continue his dominance over the Phillies. The Cardinals ace holds a 5-1 record along with a 2.25 ERA in 11 career starts against Philadelphia. The Phillies are a sub 500 ball-club and the Cardinals are coming off a sweep of the Reds. I predict an easy win for St. Louis as Wainwright pitches deep into the game.

Pick 3 ~ Kansas City Royals (A) over the Texas Rangers (H). Game 1 of 3.

Starting Pitchers (KC) Yordano Ventura 9-9, 3.48 ERA Vs. (TEX) Colby Lewis 8-10, 5.52 ERA

Another game one that I couldn’t keep my hands off of as the leagues best faces off against the leagues worst. This is the simple reason I am choosing the Royals in this game. They are arguably the best team in baseball right now and Texas could be the worst. Colby Lewis has given up at least 10 hits four times this season, with three of those instances coming at home. He’s 2-7 with a 7.29 ERA in 12 starts in Arlington, marking the worst home ERA of any pitcher in baseball. I predict another easy win for the Royals, who are coming off a loss.

2-2 from yesterday~ 7-3 overall

After a rough 2-2 record from yesterday- no thanks to a crucial throwing error by the Mariners starting pitcher that let in 3 unearned runs- I’ve limited myself to just two games today.

Pick 1 ~ San Francisco Giants (A) over the Chicago Cubs(H). Game 3 of 3, SF leads 1-0.

Starting Pitchers (SF) Madison Bumgarner 13-9, 3.14 ERA Vs. (CHI) Travis Wood 7-10, 4.86 ERA

After protesting and winning that protest, first since 1986, the Giants went to crush Edwin Jackson and the Cubs pitching staff. I expect the same outcome today in the second of a game-and-a-half double header today at Wrigley Field. San Francisco sends Madison Bumgarner to battle off with Travis Wood of the Cubs. Bumgarner has been throwing lights out on the road going 9-3 with a 1.72 ERA in 14 road starts in 2014, compared with 4-6 and 5.17 at home.  He is 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA in four career starts at Wrigley Field. After a solid 2013 campaign for Wood, he has plummeted fast here in the 2014 season and he has not won in his last 11 starts while compiling a 5.40 ERA during that stretch. The Cubs may luck out and take the first game of this double header- seeing they have a 2-0 head start on the game-but I expect the Giants to rough up Travis Wood just as they did last night. I also expect Bumgarner to continue his road success and dominate a Cubs line-up that will be without one of their top hitters in Starlin Castro.

Pick 2 ~ Los Angeles Dodgers (H) over the San Diego Padres (A). Game 3 of 3, series tied at 1.

Starting Pitchers (LAD) Clayton Kershaw 14-3, 1.86 ERA Vs. Tyson Ross 11-11, 2.70 ERA

This is a case where the best starting pitcher in all of baseball is pitching and you almost always have to go with him. Clayton Kershaw has been dominant this year and he is coming off his first loss in 13 starts. Leading the majors with six complete games, Kershaw is looking to win a third consecutive start against the friars of San Diego. He struck out 11 in a three-hitter in a 2-1 victory July 10, improving to 10-6 with a 2.38 ERA lifetime against them. Though Ross has pitched well against the Dodgers in his career, posting a 2.91 ERA in 7 starts, he has yet to record a win against them going 0-4. The Dodgers are coming off a loss at home and they have just the man to get them back on track in Kershaw. I see a close pitchers duel in a Dodgers victory.

 

 

 

3-0 from yesterday ~ 5-1 overall

I hit on all three of my picks yesterday so I decided to amp it today by picking four games, 3 of which are in the same series.

Pick 1~ Seattle Mariners (A) over the Philadelphia Phillies (H). Game 3 of 3, series tied at 1.

Starting Pitchers (SEA) James Paxton 3-0, 2.20 ERA Vs. (PHI) Cole Hamels 6-6, 2.44 ERA

The Seattle Mariners team ERA leads the majors at 2.94 and youngster James Paxton has contributed. Since being called up to the majors last September, he owns a 6-0 record with a 1.88 ERA. The Mariners have won 11 of their last 14 games and I see them winning this game and taking the series. This is again a matchup of two very formidable starters as Philadelphia sends Cole Hamels to the bump. Hamels has been the lone bright spot in a lost season for the Phillies posting the 8th best ERA in the majors. This is another case where I believe that the starters cancel each other out and the better offense lifts their team to victory. Philadelphia also owns the second worst interleague record in the majors at 5-11 this season.

Pick 2 ~ San Francisco Giants (A) over the Chicago Cubs (H). Game 2 of 3, CHI leads 1-0.

Starting Pitchers (SF) Jake Peavy 1-3, 3.86 ERA Vs. (CHI) Edwin Jackson 6-13, 5.74 ERA

The Cubs squeaked out a rain-shortened 2-0 victory last night much to the dismay of Giants skipper Bruce Bochey, who claims that the team will protest the loss. The Cubs got help from mother nature but she won’t be playing a part today as I see the Giants taking this game with ease. Edwin Jackson looks to avoid a major league leading 14th loss of the season and he has been especially bad at Wrigley Field. He’s 0-5 with a 9.10 ERA in his last six home starts and 1-6 with a 6.75 ERA in his last 10 overall. The right-hander owns MLB’s highest ERA among qualifying starters. Although Peavy isn’t having one of his better years, he has fared well against the Cubs in his only start this year fanning seven in six innings for Boston, but was saddled with a 2-0 loss June 3oth.

Pick 3 ~ Baltimore Orioles over the Chicago White Sox.

Pick 4 ~ Kansas City Royals over the Colorado Rockies.

2-1 from yesterday ~ 2-1 overall

There were a number of games that stood out to me today but I limited myself to just three games, all with the road teams winning.

Pick 1 ~ Seattle Mariners (A) over the Philadelphia Philles (H). Game 2 of 3, PHI lead series 1-0.

Starting Pitchers (SEA) Hisashi Iwakuma 11-6, 2.72 ERA Vs. (PHI) A.J. Burnett 6-13,  4.35 ERA

My one miss from yesterday was the Phillies upsetting the Mariners in the first game of their three game series. I should stick to my guns and avoid game 1’s of most series. This is also a main reason I am taking Seattle in the second game of this series. The Mariners send their second best pitcher to the mound – although he would be the ace of most other staffs if King Felix wasn’t in town- and the Phillies counter with a struggling Burnett. In his last 6 starts, Burnett owns a 0-5 record to go along with a sorry 6.54 ERA. Iwakuma on the other hand has been just the opposite posting a sparkling 0.84 ERA in his first three starts of August. He has been especially good on the road going 5-1 with a 2.82 ERA in eight road starts. I feel that the Phillies got a lucky win in the first game of the series and that Seattle’s true colors will come out in the second game. I see an offensive outburst to go along with a pitching gem for the Seattle Mariners tonight.

Pick 2 ~ Baltimore Orioles (A) over the Chicago White Sox (H). Game 2 of 3, BAL leads series 1-0.

Starting Pitchers (BAL) Chris Tillman 9-5, 3.68 ERA Vs. (CHW) Jose Quintana 6-9, 3.14 ERA

Although the White Sox are sending the better of the two pitchers to the mound tonight, I still believe the Orioles top-tier offense will come through in a hitters-friendly U.S. Cellular field in Chicago. Like Iwakuma, Jose Quintana could make the case for being a number-one starter had he not pitched along side teammate Chris Sale. The southpaw from the south-side holds a 3-2 record with a 2.15 ERA in his last 11 starts. Had he been on a better team, Quintana could be looking at a much more appealing overall record. On the other side, Chris Tillman of the Orioles has pitched well on the road this season going 6-0 with a 4.68 ERA while faring decent against the White Sox in his career going 2-1 against them. I think that the pitchers cancel each other out and the Orioles high-powered offense gives them the W tonight.

Pick 3 ~ Kansas City Royals (A) over the Colorado Rockies (H). Game 1 of a 2 game set.

Starting Pitchers (KC) James Shields 11-6, 3.29 ERA Vs. (COL) Tyler Matzek 2-8, 5.50 ERA

The Kansas City Royals are on a roll of late and they also own a major league best 14-4 record in interleague games this season. James Shields has pitched like the ace of this staff so far this season and he is also 3-0 with a 2.55 ERA in five contests against the NL. He limited the Rockies to one run and struck out eight in seven innings in a 5-1 win May 13. To me, this game is almost a gimme as Rockies rookie starter Tyler Matzek leads all rookies in loses and has been especially lousy this month. Matzek holds an 0-3 record while posting an eye-popping 9.60 ERA this month to go along with an 0-2 record with a 10.80 ERA in 2 interleague starts this season. Combine the favorable pitching match-up and the Royals recent winning ways and that gives KC an easy victory tonight.

August 24th, 2014

Pick 2~ Seattle Mariners (A) over the Philadelphia Phillies (H). Game 1 of 3
Starting Pitchers~ (SEA) Roenis Elias 9-9, 4.14 ERA Vs. (PHI) Jerome Williams 2-5, 6.43 ERA

This pick goes against my rule of avoiding game 1’s of a series but Seattle is on a tear of late. While the Mariners have enjoyed dominant pitching during a stretch in which they have won 10 of 12 games, its their offense that has been leading the way of late. Austin Jackson seems to be settling in nicely at the top of Seattle’s order just in time for the final playoff push while the Phillies are already looking towards the 2015 season. While Elias isn’t one of the better starters for Seattle, Jerome Williams is making just his second start for Philadelphia after being claimed off waivers on August the 7th from Texas. Seattle’s recent offensive surge combined with the favorable pitching match-up gives me reason to believe that the Mariners should take this game with ease.

Pick 3~ Kansas City Royals (A) over the Minnesota Twins (H). Game 3 of 4. KC leads series 2-1
Starting Pitchers (KC) Jason Vargas 9-5, 3.27 ERA Vs. (MIN) Trevor May 0-1, 12.46 ERA

The month of August has been good to the Kansas City Royals as they have taken control of the AL Central thanks to a 13-3 record so far this month. The Royals are 20-5 over their last 30 games and Justin Vargas is coming off arguably his best start of his career while Twins starter Trevor May is making just his second start and his third appearance of his young career. This will be May’s first start at Target Field. Vargas is also 2-0 with a 0.86 ERA in three starts against the Twins this season and 4-2 with a 2.13 ERA in 10 road starts, two of which have come in Minnesota. The Royals recent winning pedigree combined with another favorable pitching matchup are the reasons I take KC in this game.