Browsing Posts published in August, 2014

The suddenly hot New York Yankees (68-61), winners of five straight games, will look to keep their momentum going as they head to Detroit for a three-game set. On Monday, the Yankees offense scored four runs in the seventh inning en-route to an 8-1 victory of the AL Central leading Kansas City Royals. The Yankees tagged James Shields, Kansas City’s ace, for six runs in 6 1/3 innings. Derek Jeter, who made his last appearance at Kauffman Stadium, drove in two runs. The Yankees received a strong pitching performance from the resurgent Michael Pineda. Pineda struck out five hitters over 6 1/3 innings to pick up the win. Despite their recent string of success, the Yankees will need a strong showing to chase down one of their AL Wild Card foes, the Detroit Tigers. 

The Detroit Tigers (70-59) have won two straight games including a 13-4 beat down of the Minnesota Twins on Sunday. The Tigers currently trail the Kansas City Royals by 1.5 games in the AL Central and lead the Yankees by two games in a race for the second Wild Card berth. Earlier this month, the Yankees won three-of-four at home against the Tigers. Tuesday’s starter, Rick Porcello (14-8, 3.10 ERA) was a hard luck 1-0 loser in one of the games. Porcello is coming off a complete game shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays and has allowed two or fewer earned runs in five of his last six starts. Porcello carries a 4.08 ERA at home and has given up seven earned runs over his last two home starts. Porcello will be opposed by Yankee starter, Brandon McCarthy (8-12, 4.01 ERA). Alike Porcello, McCarthy is coming off of a complete game shut out of his own. Last week, McCarthy tossed a complete game shut out at home against the Astros. McCarthy beat the Tigers, 2-1 earlier this month. He struck out eight over 5 2/3 innings.

Current MLB odds list the Tigers as a small home favorite (-114). The Yankees have been traveling a lot recently, so I’m going to fade their recent hot streak. Take the Tigers with your MLB Picks!

Free MLB Pick: Detroit Tigers -114

Expect a physical battle when the Jets and Giants square in a battle between the Big Apple’s two major football teams. Trash talk has already begun as Giants’ rookie RB Andre Williams claimed that the Giants were ‘the real New York team’. Jets’ veteran offensive lineman did not respond to Williams’ trash talk. He’d rather let his play do the talking. The Jets and Giants are collectively 5-0 so far this pre-season, but as we’ve seen years past, pre-season performance does not correlate to regular season success. Both teams must fix issues on both sides of the ball.

For the Jets, establishing an offensive early on will be critical. All signs point towards Geno Smith starting under center, so Rex Ryan and Co. will want to see the offense move the ball. In addition, Ryan is hoping his team will clean up some of their play. The Jets were flagged for seven personal fouls last weekend against the Cincinnati Bengals, who scored 40 points on the Jets last year. The Jets first round pick, safety Calvin Pryor will get the start on defense. The Jets are hoping wide receiver, Eric Decker will suit up for the first time this season.

For the Giants, the first team offense must play better! Eli Manning is just 7-for-16 for 49 yards in his three pre-season games. The Giants are installing a  new ‘West Coast’ offense under first year coordinator, Ben McAdoo. McAdoo was the quarterbacks’ coach in Green Bay last season. Many are citing Manning’s physical limitations as the main issue surrounding the offense. However, Manning hasn’t had the luxury of star WR Victor Cruz or first round WR, Odell Beckham at his disposal. Beckham (hamstring) will not play on Friday night.

Current NFL odds list this game as a straight up Pick’Em. Overall, I like the Giants in this game. The offense needs to have a big showing and I think the team will play with a sense of urgency. Take the Giants with your NFL Picks!

Selection: New York Giants -ML

The Tampa Bay Rays (61-61) are playing great baseball…and will look for their sixth straight win over the New York Yankees (61-59) on Saturday afternoon in St. Petersburg. Tampa Bay’s starting pitchers have not allowed more than two runs over a 7-2 stretch, which is easily the best in the Majors. The Rays will send their most recent acquisition, LHP Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73 ERA), to build on their recent string of strong starts. Smyly was Tampa’s main return in a three-team trade that sent ace LHP David Price to the Detroit Tigers. Smyly is coming off a dominant seven inning, nine-strikeout performance on Monday against the Texas Rangers. Smyly only has one career start against the Yankees that happened during 2012. Smyly only allowed one run in six innings in a 7-5 win.

The Yankees will counter Smyly with RHP Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89). Greene hasn’t pitched since August 7th when he tossed eight innings a 1-0 victory over the Tigers. It’ll be interesting to see if Girardi opts to use Greene’s main battery mate, Francisco Cervelli, or opt for Brian McCann, who is coming off the disabled list.

The Yankees have lost five straight games and a loss on Saturday will give the Yankees their first six-game losing streak. The Yankees have only scored five runs during the losing streak. Jacoby Ellsburgh and Carlos Beltran have just one hit in their last 30 at-bats.

Current MLB odds slate Tampa Bay as a comfortable -140 home favorite. Baseball is a game all about streaks and trends. The Rays always play well against the Yankees in the Trop. Roll with Tampa Bay for your MLB Picks!

Today’s Pick: Tampa Bay -ML

After taking three of four games against the rebuild Detroit Tigers, the New York Yankees (60-54) will look to keep the momentum going against the Cleveland Indians (57-57). After Thursday’s victory, the Yankees moved within one game of the American League’s second Wildcard berth and moved into a second place tie in the American League East. The Yankees trail the first place Baltimore Orioles by five games. The Indians split a four-game set against the Cincinnati Reds earlier this week, but only sit four games out of the American League’s second Wildcard spot. 

If the Yankees want to keep their winning ways up, they’ll need a strong start from RHP Esmil Rogers (0-0, 5.84 ERA). Rogers has made two appearances out of the bullpen since joining the Yankees. Friday night will mark his first start in pinstripes. Cleveland will counter with RHP Trevor Bauer (4-6, 4.20 ERA). Bauer, who was once a highly touted prospect with the Arizona Diamondback, has had an up-and-down career. Bauer is only 23-years-old and has shown flashes of brilliance. Bauer has given up at least three earned runs in his last four starts. Bauer pitched seven innings and gave up only two runs a month ago against the Bombers.

Current MLB Odds slot the Yankees as a slight home favorite. The Yankee offense is coming through with timely hits and I expect that to continue. Take the Yankees with your MLB picks this evening!

MLB Pick: NY Yankees -ML