Thursday baseball kicks off with a small card with some day games on the
I've got my eye on the Nationals - Padres game (first pitch 10PM EST) and
the Boston Red Sox - Chicago White Sox. Be sure to check out what we have in
store as we look to pick some more winners.
The 14-4 Washington
Nationals visit Petco Park as they take on the 5-14 San Diego Padres the line
is set at -105 for each side with the OVER/UNDER at 6.5. In my opinion these
two pitchers are getting way to much respect from the MLB odds makers for a
total this low.
Edison Volquez and
Edwin Jackson take the hill in the first game of the series and the total is
set at 6.5; like this is Roy Halladay vs. Matt Cain.
Edwin Jackson has an ERA of
4.26 and in his last start he didn't make it past the 5th inning as he gave up
5 runs on 7 hits, in fact, Jackson has only made it past the 5th inning in one of
his first three starts. The man is the definition of hit or miss, he either takes
the mound and throws a 9 inning shut out or struggles with a high pitch count
and does not make it out of the 5th. More often than not, it is the latter.
Then you have Edison
Volquez who the Padres picked up in the off season. When Volquez first came up
with the Reds he looked like he was going to be a #1 ace, than was injured, had
surgery and has been trying to put back the pieces ever since. He, like Jackson, also as an ERA above 4 at 4.50, the Padres are 0-4 in his starts. Volquez
has nasty stuff but when the ball leaves his hand he has no idea where it is
going as he has had 15 walks in just 23 innings.
The Padres are
actually starting to produce some runs
San Diego, not known
for their offense, has put up 11 runs in the last three games. Just four days ago they
hung a 5 spot on the league’s best pitcher Roy Halladay. Then rocked Joe
Blanton for 6 runs as well. Earlier in the year they put up 4 runs against
Clayton Kershaw, so although the book on the Padres is their offense is very
anemic, they are starting to turn the corner a bit. The Pads are averaging
close to 4 runs per 9 innings against right handed pitching, so we see no
reason why they can't hang some crooked numbers on Edwin Jackson after already
being tested and responding well against two Cy Young winners this year.
The Nationals power
hitting line up
The Nats hung a 7
spot last night on the Pads at Petco as Adam Laroche continued his blistering
start going 3-4 chipping in an RBI, giving him 14 on the year. La Roche leads
the team in batting average, home runs, RBI, OBP, and hits.
The Nats are not
known for getting runners on base and stringing together hits to produce runs,
yet they play the late 80's early 90's, Davey Johnson (Nationals manager) style
ball, get a couple of runners on and get the big 2 or 3 run home runs and more
often than not they have done it, which is part of the reason they sit at 14-4.
The pitching talent has always been there, which now has come full circle, but
the offense was often anemic last year which cost them a run at the playoffs
but this year is different. They are getting production out of Jayson Werth as
he is hitting .293, 19 hits and 8 RBIs (still does not live up to that monster
contract but better than nothing) and one of our favorite young prospects, Ian
Desmond is starting to mature at the plate with a .280 batting average and is
tied for Laroche in hits at 21.
With the Padres
scoring runs lately, the Nats power to go deep and Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde,
(Edwin Jackson and Edison Volquez) we feel the value lies in OVER 6.5 as this
total may be off by a run and a half.
Our second game of
the day is the Boston Red Sox vs. Chicago White Sox and we feel Boston is
hitting their stride as they just swept the Twins.
After Boston dropped
that crushing 15-9 defeat to the Yankees, you would figure that’s it; lights
out, the Boston Red Sox are at rock bottom and aren't getting up off the mat anytime
soon. Well they have gotten up off the mat and have started delivering some hay
makers. They've responded by sweeping the Minnesota Twins and done it in
In the first game of the series, the Sox got out to a 3-0 start
but then the Twins stormed back to take a 5-3 lead and Bobby Valentine had to
be thinking, "here we go again" but Cody Ross was not having it and he hit a 2 run home absolute moon shot to tie the game and than a solo shot to
put the Twins away for good and Boston has not looked back since.
That game seemed to
give them all their swag bag as the next game the Red Sox and Josh Beckett, one
again faced adversity and overcame. Boston scored 3 in the top of the first,
than Beckett came out in the bottom half of the inning and almost imploded as
he threw close to 40 pitches, as home plate umpire Adrian Johnson was squeezing
Becketts’ zone bad. Beckett loaded the bases and walked in a run, though he was
throwing balls across the plate, hitting the black, he was just not getting the
calls. He even had words worth Adrian Johnson, things got heated and Josh could
have easily imploded and gotten tossed but Beckett gritted his teeth, buckled
down and got out of the inning and went the rest of the game unscathed.
offense went on to rock Nick Blackburn for 11 runs to come away with the win
11-2. Then again last night the team again found themselves faced with
adversity as they held a one run lead in the bottom of the 9th with the bases
loaded but Alfredo Aceves got the save and gave his team the victory.
Many times this team
could have and have had the opportunities to just completely fold and throw in
the towel but they have responded like warriors and this is a freight train
that is on a roll and nothing is getting in its way anytime soon. Number one
rule in baseball is you never bet against a hot streak, always ride it until it
flames out. This one is just picking up steam.
Take the Sox in the second
of our MLB picks of the day.