After having searched the MLB odds boards for the best value, capper Joe Catalano has selected two games that he feels hold the best value for us bettors today. Find out who he is adding to his MLB picks.
It's time for my Saturday MLB Picks of the day, and although I've been pretty sharp with my underdog picks (6-3), I had a bad showing in my last installment. I usually do well here, so let's shake off the last poor effort and get back on the winning track.
Pittsburgh Pirates at Cleveland Indians - Cleveland -132, total 8
The pitching matchup look's appealing here as you have two pitchers that are having good seasons that normally don't pitch well.
Pittsburgh starter A.J. Burnett (6-2, 3.61) has put his days of throwing celebratory pies and not producing in his Yankee career behind him, as he is now becoming one of the best pitchers on the Pirates staff. It could possibly have something to do with the pressure of pitching in New York, because Burnett was a good pitcher for the Toronto Blue Jays and he's seemed to regain the touch this season as well. Burnett will be opposed by Ubaldo Jimenez (6-4, 4.91). When I think of Jimenez, I think of the pitcher that went 19-8 in 2010 but he hasn't been the same on the mound since.
Saying that, Jimenez has pitched really well as of late. In his last 2 starts (13 2/3 innings), Jimenez has given up a total of 2 runs while walking just 1 batter and striking out 11. He is known for being wild, but it looks as if he has been able to find some sort of control lately.
Burnett on the other hand has pitched 7 consecutive quality outings,
Friday's game was very satisfying for the Tribe as they came out on top 2-0 in a pitcher's duel. Both of these teams have players that are capable of getting key hits, but aside from Andrew McCuthen and possibly Jason Kipnis, there's no legitimate and consistent star on either team. The baseball odds boards seem to have set the total slightly high, as I am looking for Burnett and Jimenez to pitch well.
Pick - Cleveland/Pittsburgh UNDER 8
San Francisco Giants at Seattle Mariners - Giants -116, total 7
The pitching of Tim Lincecum has been a major disappointment and shocker this season for the Giants and bettors alike. At one time, Lincecum was regarded as one of the top 3 pitchers in baseball and right now, he's just looking for a win.
Regardless, Lincecum get's the respect by the odds makers as his team is repeatedly made the betting favorite when he start's a game. The bettors that side with him have been getting the short end of the stick. The question is "Will Tim Lincecum snap out of his funk?"
Taking the rubber for the Mariners is veteran Kevin Millwood (3-5, 3.57). Millwood is pitching like he did when he played for the Bravesr, and his career has somewhat been revitalized. He hasn't always gotten the run support from a weak Seattle offense, but Millwood has been very reliable.
In his last start, Millwood went 6 innings without giving up a hit or a run to the Dodgers and unfortunately he couldn't pick up the "W". In his last 6 outings, Millwood has pitched 37 innings while giving up just 6 runs.
Six Game Slide
The Mariners as a team have really fallen back in the American League West Division as they've lost 6 straight games and currently reside in the basement at 27-39. They're coming off of a 4-2 loss to the Giants and just can't produce the runs.
Every team need's a player that they can count on in the clutch and for Seattle that player has been Ichiro Suzuki for the last decade. It's apparent that age has become a factor as Ichiro is barely an average baseball player nowadays and guys like Michael Saunders, Jesus Montero, and Justin Smoak have had to take over the role of the go to guys. These are slightly above average players but there's no real go to guy on this squad other than King Felix Hernandez and he only play's once every 5 games.
For Seattle, it's about the pitching and timely hits.
San Francisco has never had a great offense but their pitching has carried them. Every outing, I expect Lincecum to break out of his career worst slump but it hasn't happened. Although Millwood is pitching very well as of late, the Mariners have played more like a minor league baseball team.
Take Lincecum and the Giants in this spot. The odds are favorable and the Giants are just a much more talented baseball team than Seattle. Be sure to also check out capper Jeff Grant's pick on this game as well, where we both see little Tim coming out strong.
Pick - Giants -116
Good luck everyone! Let's nail this sucker!