SJ is locked and loaded for Saturday with a full list of MLB picks.
2012 MLB: 32-13-1 (+60.20 units)
2011 NFL: 48-33-7 (+34.75 units)
2011 NBA: 4-4-1 (-1.8 units)
2011 NCAA: 18-15-1 (-6.8 units)
*All bets are weighted between 1 and
Last Week (3-1, + 1.8 units)
was a lesson in human behavior. My first MLB pick of the day, the Texas Rangers -1 ½ was toast fairly early. It was a rare 5 unit maximum play and if you
have been following this column since football season, you will know that I
throw 5 unit games around like manhole covers. I don't like to use them too often because there are few teams, in even
fewer spots, worthy of a max play and so it was that the very first game of the
day last Saturday went down and the haters came out.
expect them don't you? At least you
should if you are putting your picks out there for public scrutiny. Few realize the absurdity of trying to please
all the people all the time until they start posting their own picks and
waiting for the inevitable cooler to bring out the fangs. Perhaps the most telling comment was from one
of my "supporters" who had thanked me in the past for posting winners
and being up over 58 units for the season heading into last week. He asked me if I thought I was worthy of
tailing going forward after the Rangers lost. Huh?! One loss and your
confidence is so shaken you have to ask me? Amazing.
haters went back into the dark recesses of their parents' basements after I
reeled off three winners in a row to wind up 3-1 for the day and +1.8
units. Oh, and by the way, I knew Texas
was a goner when the notorious Brock Landers showed up in my thread and
wholeheartedly supported my decision to back the Rangers. The Brock Landers kiss of death, the biggest
mush on the planet but at SBR, he's our mush.
Stay outta my threads Brock! However, the rest of you, as always, are free to jump in and share your thoughts and picks.
1:05 PM ET Los Angles Angels at Toronto Blue Jays
will call upon Garrett Richards to lead them to victory. Richards has been a godsend for LA since he
was called up to plug holes in a rotation that has been decimated by
injuries. Richards has made the most of
his starting assignments by winning all four of his starts and brings a
sterling 1.63 ERA into this afternoon's matchup. The Angels as a club have been swinging the bats
mightily, hitting .354 and averaging 7.3 runs per game in winning 7 of their
last 9 contests.
Jays have Henderson Alvarez on the bump today and hope he can rescue a Blue
Jays starting rotation that, like the Angels, has been injury ridden. Henderson has been beat up recently, allowing
13 earned runs over his last three starts and injuring his elbow against Boston
in his last start. An MRI showed only
mild inflammation but that sounds like the beginning of an issue for Henderson.
I like the
Halos in this spot despite the fact that they dropped a 7-5 decision last
night. LA has been rolling and I believe
last night was just a hiccup rather than a symptom of a losing streak yet to
come. I advise a play on LA -115 for 4 units.
4:05 PM ET Washington
Nationals at Atlanta Braves
It's hard not to love this game and
even it's even harder to believe that the Nats are not bigger favorites. As of this writing they stand at -150 when the baseball odds should be north of -200 in
my opinion. Sure go ahead and laugh (and
laugh you will if they get beaten today, trust me I know) but Strasburg is toeing
the slab today and the kid is lights out this season with a 9-2 record and a
2.60 ERA to accompany a 1.04 WHIP.
Conversely, the Bravos are trotting
out Mike Minor, he of the 3-6 record with a 6.14 ERA to boot. It's an obvious pitching mismatch and
Washington has won 5 of 6 this season against Atlanta. The Braves do have one advantage, home field,
but it's not enough to deter me from backing the Nationals. In Minor's last start he was hammered by the
Red Sox, not even escaping the 5th inning, and nothing makes me
believe that he will magically turn it around today. I see Washington walking away in a rout so we
will lay the run line. Play
Washington -1 ½ (+115) for 4 units.
7:15 PM ET Detroit Tigers at Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays snapped a four game skid as
they posted a 4-2 victory over the Tigers last night and are hoping that Jeremy
Hellickson can build off that effort. Hellickson is coming off the DL with shoulder inflammation but all
reports are positive that he should return with a well rested shoulder and
arm. In three starts against Detroit his
record is 1-2 but he recorded a 1.77 ERA in those starts.
Rick Porcello is going for the Tigers
and he had a good, quality start in his last appearance as he scattered six
hits and allowed only one run in a victory over Texas. But Porcello is a 5-5 pitcher with a 4.71
ERA. He's pitching a bit over his head
recently and what goes up will most certainly come down.
In my estimation we have the better
team at home with the better pitcher. Let's not over think this one and play the Tampa Bay Rays -115 for 3
10:10 PM ET Boston Red
Sox at Seattle Mariners
Josh Beckett is starting for Boston
and though he can be a whiny sort, he can still make the ball dance when he
wants. Beckett is another one coming off
the Disabled List but he couldn't return to face a better team, for him
anyway. Beckett has dominated the
Mariners since he landed in Boston back in '06. He is now 7-1 with a 2.30 ERA against Seattle and simply mows down their
lineup every chance he gets.
Erasmo Ramirez is a 22-year-old righty
who pitched for Triple-A Tacoma and was recalled June 13th. He sports an 0-2 record with a 5.29 ERA. I don't see him being the answer to the
riddle that is the Boston Red Sox. The
Mariners are trailing the entire league in home batting average with a
.197. Their bats have been even quieter
on their recent homestand, hitting an anemic .167 as they have gone into a
Again, we simply try to pick good
situations for good teams and this looks like one of those. Let's play Boston -1 ½ (+105) for 3 units.