I'm looking at the Tuesday night's slate of MLB games and I see some opportunity. The Angels battle the Dodgers, the D'Backs take on the Rangers and the surging Yankees go up against the Braves. Carpe Diem and let's pick up some "W's."
Los Angeles Angels vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Angels were a team that I predicted 100 wins for this season. Little did I know that Albert Pujols would have the worst slump of his career at the beginning of the season. Saying that, the Angels have really been on a tear of late. The combination of Torii Hunter, Albert Pujols, Mark Trumbo and Mike Trout has been on fire. Pujols is finally living up to expectations, Trumbo is having a breakout season and is the MVP of this team, Hunter has overcome adversity in the form of his son's legal trouble in Texas, and Trout is having a sensational rookie season.
The Dodgers, on the other hand, have managed to dominate baseball despite the loss of superstar Matt Kemp with reoccuring hamstring problems. This team hasn't buckled under the pressure yet.
This is the first time that I sense a little extra pressure on the Dodgers. The Angels are really running on all cylinders and, although this is an interleague game, it's a battle for supremacy of Los Angeles.
Last night, the Angels outplayed the Dodgers for most of the game but trailed due to a costly first inning error. Both teams weren't at their best, but ultimately the Angels grinded it out and broke the 2-2 tie in the 9th inning on an Albert Pujols single that knocked in Trout for the winning run. Mike Trout was the star of this game as he hit a 4th inning home run and went 2 for 4 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI.
I feel like, if the Dodgers don't come back strong in this series, it could be demoralizing and their season could take a turn for the worse. A Jerome Williams vs. Aaron Harang pitching matchup is a wash. Take the Angels in this spot; they've become one of the strongest teams in baseball and the baseball betting odds are desirable.
Pick - Los Angeles Angels -111Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Texas Rangers
Even though I lost my last underdog pick, I'm 6-2 in my last 8 underdog picks overall. I'm not saying that this will be an easy matchup by any stretch of the imagination. This is a game where MLB odds makers are tempting you take the Diamondbacks at a +157 price
and starter Ian Kennedy taking the mound for the D'Backs. They've sold me. Kennedy is a much better pitcher than Texas starter Colby Lewis.
In Kennedy's last 2 starts, he's went 13 2/3 innings and allowed just 1 earned run while striking out 19 batters. Texas is the better team here but with the D'Backs are on a 5 game winning streak and Ian Kennedy has the starters edge, I think Arizona is the better team in this particular game.
Pick- Arizona +157New York Yankees at Atlanta BravesAfter watching the Yankees dominate the Braves in yesterday's game
and watching how hot that they've been as of late, I was easily drawn to this game. Yes, the Yankees only won 3-0 yesterday and missed cashing in on a couple of bases loaded opportunities. Catcher Russell Martin let his ego get to him as he had a 2 home run game in the Yankees series against the Mets in which the Bombers were able to pull off the sweep.
Martin made some public declarations about his "mastering" the opposing pitching. He was brought back down to earth yesterday with his ineffectiveness and is the main reason why the final score didn't portray a larger margain.
Aside from Martin, the Yanks are playing well and have tied the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League East Division lead at 35-25. The Braves have nothing to hang their heads about as they're just 3 games behind the National League East leading Washington Nationals at 34-27. Washington's great play couldn't have been expected and the Braves find a way to be near the top of the division almost every season.
The pitching matchup has a big influence on this game as C.C. Sabathia takes the mound for the Yankees and he'll be opposed by Mike Minor for the Braves. C.C is C.C, and Minor has had a real tough time at home this season
, sporting an unattractive 6.56 ERA.Other than his last start in which he went 5 innings and allowed just 1 run, Minor hasn't pitched well.
Brian McCann is a player that the Braves rely on and took the collar last night at 0 for 4. After McCann's 2nd at bat, he didn't want to pay a visit to the pitchers mound when Randall Delgado requested it because he was disgusted with his offense. As the announcers put it, he had 780 feet of hitting power but nothing to show for it as he was robbed by Nick Swisher on one of those occasions in a home run saving catch for NY.
In being a catcher, the defense is more important than the offense, and McCann really showed some selfishness there. McCann is 0 for 14 in his last 4 games and is batting .234 with 7 HR and 28 RBI on the season. If he plays, expect Sabathia to pick him apart.
New York has gotten by with the play of it's best player Robinson Cano. After a poor start to the season, Cano has finally reached the .300 mark along with 11 HR and 30 RBI on the season. Look for Cano to stay consistent as he's found his stroke.
Odds makers usually make Sabathia a heavy favorite and nothing's new here as he and the Yankees are a -156 betting favorite on the road. I'm going to stick with the moneyline as C.C. has had his ups and downs this season despite the 7-3 record and 3.69 ERA.
Pick- Yankees -156
Good luck everyone! Let's cash it!