Let's see if we can close out the week in fine fashion as we offer two picks for our MLB Picks of the Day for Sunday, August 19th. My last pick was a success as I hit with Pittsburgh at +141, bringing my seasonal total to: 64-55-1 +12.41 units.
Red Sox vs. Yankees
These two teams are always scheduled for the nationally televised baseball game. This rivalry is the most heated in baseball.
Boston hasn't been the same baseball team this season; they would need a miracle to make the wild card. Obviously, this isn't how manager Bobby Valentine planned it. There's been some dissension in the lockeroom and injuries have been a key factor.
Starting pitcher Josh Beckett hasn't helped the Red Sox cause. There's a reason why he's such a huge underdog to Hiroki Kuroda. Beckett is a disappointing 5-10 with a 5.19 ERA. Coming into this game, he's been beaten up a few times. In his last 5 outings, Beckett has pitched 26 innings and given up 24 runs and 31 hits. One can't have any confidence in Josh Beckett currently.
On the other side of the coin, Huroki Kuroda has been a surprisingly solid number two starter with a 11-8 record and 3.06 ERA. The Yankees couldn't ask for more from Kuroda as this is an aging ballclub, and they needed someone to step up like this.
These Red Sox/Yankees games can be marathons as they almost always reach 4 hours a clip. There's usually a lot of offense, and this game could and should go to the bullpens.
Derek Jeter continues to defy father time and is hitting a lifetime .310 against Beckett. Look for the captain's involvement. Another player that's hit well against Beckett is Robinson Cano. Cano is the best overall player on the Yankees, and he's .329 lifetime against Beckett with 3 HR and 14 RBI in 73 at-bats.
The Red Sox can nearly match the Yanks in offense, but one major disappointment this season has been Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury was once thought to be MVP caliber, but thus far this season, he has been hampered by injury and ineffective when playing. I think the Sox really miss his superstar presence on the field.
These games can go either way, but I make this play with caution. This isn't worth putting a runline on. Take the Yankees.
Pick: Yankees - 165
Phillies vs. Brewers
Who would've thought that these teams would be two of the weakest teams in the league this season?
Many thought that the Phillies could win it all; they have egg on their faces now. Still others thought that Milwaukee could still contend without Prince Fielder. It's quite evident now that Ryan Braun needs another player of his caliber on this team such as Fielder. The record is the proof.
In this afternoon's matchup, Kyle Kendrick (5-9, 4.53) of the Phillies goes up against Randy Wolf (3-9, 5.65)
"Who's afraid of the big bad Wolf?"
Milwaukee's pitching rotation is really weak to be carrying around dead weight like this. In his last outing, Wolf gave up 6 runs and 10 hits in 5 innings. Simply put, he's a disaster. Kyle Kendrick of the Fightin' Phils isn't much better but did manage to pitch 7 innings of shutout ball in a victory over the Miami Marlins.
Philly has basically made a statement of giving up on the season when they unloaded Victorino and Pence but they still have some firepower on this ball club. They were able to come away with the victory last night against the Brew Crew and even though Rollins, Utley, and Howard haven't been hitting for average, they can certainly take advantage of Randy Wolf.
Wolf has no business ever being a favorite. Take the slight dogs in the Phils.
Pick: Philadelphia +104
Good Luck Everyone! Let's see if we can finish the remaining 2 months of the season strong.