The MLB board gives us plenty to choose from for our MLB Picks of the Day. There are early games, midday games and night games. We cap two of today's contests: Yankees at Tigers and Cubs at Padres. Read our preview and picks.
Chicago Cubs vs. San Diego Padres
I never thought that I'd say this, but the San Diego Padres have been looking spectacular lately as they have a modest 3 game winning streak. They could make it 4 as they look to sweep the lowly Chicago Cubs in the final game of their 3 game series.
The Chicago Cubs, on the other hand, have lost 7 straight and are 0 for the month of August. Tonight's starting pitching matchup gives Chicago a chance as they start former Notre Dame football hero Jeff Samardzija (7-9, 4.37). Even though his record doesn't necessarily standout, Samardzija is holding his own as he plays on a lousy baseball team.
For San Diego, it will be left-hander Clayton Richard (7-11, 4.01) to take the mound in this final game of three. Richard should feel confident as he's been pitching well, and the Padres offense has finally woken up.
In his last 2 starts, Richard has pitched 12 2/3 inning while giving up just 3 runs. This is a pitcher with a 3.46 ERA at home; he should give a good effort here.
Jeff Samardzija is coming off of a disappointing loss to the Dodgers in which he gave up 5 runs and 8 hits in 5 1/3 innings. When you sum it all up, the Padres have a very slight edge pitching-wise in Wednesday's game.
One player who's performance level can usually be measured by his health is outfielder Carlos Quentin. Quentin has been playing well of late. He's coming off of a game in which he blasted his 12th home run of the season, and even when he makes an out, you can see that Quentin is getting good contact on the ball.
Against the Cubbies, Quentin has more than held his own; he's a lifetime .330 hitter with 8 HR and 23 RBI in 27 games. Against Jeff Samardzija, Quentin has also fared well, going 3 for 5 with 1 double, 1 HR and 1 RBI. I don't see why the spectacular play can't continue. If he stays healthy, Carlos Quentin will be very productive the rest of the season.
Factor in the play of 3rd baseman Chase Headley, and the Padres look like the stronger team in tonight's game.
As the season has progressed, left fielder Alfonso Soriano has shown that he still has some gas left in the tank. Saying that, he didn't play on Tuesday but I expect him to play tonight
Soriano is a lifetime .304 hitter against the Padres and is 2 for 3 off of Clayton Richard. So far this season, Alfonso Soriano is hitting .270 with 19 HR and 64 RBI. Chicago has to be very happy with those numbers. He's similar to Carlos Quentin in that when he's healthy, he plays well.
San Diego looks to have the momentum with a hot Clayton Richard taking the mound while Chase Headley and Carlos Quentin could provide some offense. These are two teams going in different directions
Pick: 2 plays - San Diego -127 and San Diego -1 1/2 +175 (Good value and worth the risk)
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
New York sends ace C.C. Sabathia (11-3, 3.53) to the mound to face Anibal Sanchez (1-1, 4.50) and a Detroit Tigers team playing at home and possessing a 6 game winning streak.
The Tigers have been getting late inning rallies, and good pitching performances from Justin Verlander and even Rick Porcello on Tuesday. If the Tigers win their 7th straight game, it will have to be off of the bats of players like Miguel Cabrera, Austin Jackson, and Prince Fielder.
Cabrera and Jackson are both in the top 3 in the American League in batting average. I bet the Yankees wish that they could get Jackson back since Curtis Granderson can't hit for average, is getting older, and seems to basically be a Yankee Stadium home run hitter.Miguel Cabrera, AL MVP?Cabrera has been en fuego all season long
- and especially of late; he's hitting .326 with 29 HR and 95 RBI. When this player comes to the plate, he's a threat to any pitcher and any team in the majors.
Cabrera completed a 5-run 10th inning, two-out Tiger comeback in a recent game when he blasted the game winner. On Tuesday, he delivered again with a 4th inning home run off of Phil Hughes
. It doesn't matter if Sabathia takes the mound, look for Cabrera to continue to find his pitches.
My main concern for the Tigers is that their closer is not reliable. I have no confidence in Jose Valverde - hee almost let a game slip away last night - and I'm not impressed with his very slowed-paced, hittable approach.
I dislike going against streaks, but if there's anyone to put out the Tigers' fire, it's C.C Sabathia. Take the Yankees and lay the juice.Pick
: New York Yankees -140
Good luck, everyone. There's baseball all day, so enjoy the early games and then cash in on the later games I provided for you.