ONCE again I’m returning from an off week to resume my duties with the weekly Sunday Picks. I was tempted to get amongst the British Open to try and pick a winner, but by the time you read this, chances are someone will already be crowned. For that reason, once again I’m diving headfirst into 15 games of Major League Baseball.
Last Sunday Picks: 7-8
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Toronto Blue Jays @ Cleveland Indians
AS the Indians go for the sweep the Blue Jays will just be hoping they don’t have their hearts broken in extra innings yet again. They suffered an AL high 8th walk-off loss last night following Francisco Lindor’s 10th inning homer. With Cleveland sending their ace to the mound on Sunday this one won’t need extra innings.
Verdict: Indians W
Miami Marlins @ Cincinnati Reds
BEING at home is supposed to translate into more wins than losses. This hasn’t been the case for the Reds who are 1-8 at the Great American Ball Park since the return from the All-Star break. The good news is their homestand ends after Sunday’s game, the bad news it will translate to their 9th loss in 10 games.
Verdict: Marlins W
Oakland Athletics @ New York Mets
ON the verge of a sweep the New York Mets will be hoping Rafael Montero (1-6, 5.40 ERA) can finish this one quickly. Their overworked bullpen has been stretched thinly throughout the series so far and I’m tipping that the lack of rest will play a huge factor leading to Oakland recording a W.
Verdict: Athletics W
Image from fansided.com
Texas Rangers @ Tampa Bay Rays
JAKE Odorizzi (6-4, 4.37 ERA) was lethal in his first start since coming back from the All-Star break throwing seven frames for just one hit. The Rays will be hoping he can continue his stellar play to help them avoid being swept and record their 52nd W of the season. I’m confident.
Verdict: Rays W
Houston Astros @ Baltimore Orioles
HOUSTON is 11-1 against the Orioles over the past two years and has a chance to 6-0 in 2017 with a Sunday W. With top starter Dallas Keuchel returning soon and the Astors continuing to soar atop the American League, despite an injury to All-Star Carlos Correa, there isn’t much slowly them down lately.
Verdict: Astros W
Milwaukee Brewers @ Philadelphia Phillies
TWO struggling starting pitchers and two teams who are trying to string a handful of wins together meet in Philly. With the series at 1-1, both squads will be trying to claim a triumph and translate that to more wins down the line. I trust the Brewers bats to be the factor that controls the outcome of this one.
Verdict: Brewers W
Detroit Tigers @ Minnesota Twins
AFTER winning yesterday’s game the series ledger sits level, but history suggests the home team might not be the favourites. The loss was just Detroit’s second in their last 16 games at Target Field. The home team will start to right the ship starting today.
Verdict: Twins W
Chicago White Sox @ Kansas City Royals
THE White Sox clearly chose a direction to head in this week, trading established players away for a plethora of prospects as they focus on a rebuild. Travis Wood (1-3, 6.81 ERA) isn’t exactly a daunting starter to face though and Chicago has a real chance to grab win 39 of the season. I still see the Royals holding on though.
Verdict: Royals W
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Colorado Rockies
THERE is a stark difference between Kyle Freeland’s (9-7, 3.67 ERA) day time versus night time starts. Through 10 day starts Freeland has a 2.89 ERA compared to an ERA of 4.69 through nine night starts. Good news for Rockies fans this one gets underway with the sun still in the sky.
Verdict: Rockies W
Image from denverite.com
Boston Red Sox @ Los Angeles Angels
ATOP the AL East and sitting 2ns in the American League the Red Sox will be hoping they can get Rick Porcello (4-1, 4.60 ERA) back to his 2016 best before the season is out. The Angels starter Parker Bridwell (3-1, 3.18 ERA) is just happy to be there, serving the first half of the season as a largely unknown player. Helping LA record a win over Boston will help people remember his name.
Verdict: Angels W
San Diego Padres @ San Fransisco Giants
23 innings were required to decide the last two games between the Padres and the Giants, who right now are just looking forward to returning back to nine inning outings. A pair of rookie starters will vie for a win in the series finale with the Giants getting my tip via the ‘home field advantage’ moniker.
Verdict: Giants W
New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners
FRESH off his first career save Yovani Gallardo (4-7, 5.59 ERA) will resume his role on the mound as a starter. His opponents are the lethal run scoring Yankees, who, led by Aaron Judge, top the AL with 511 runs scored so far this season. Look away Mariners fans.
Verdict: Yankees W
Image from twitter.com
Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers
SUNDAY delivers the Atlanta Braves with an almost impossible challenge. Handing Clayton Kershaw a loss. With a 15-2 W-L record so far in 2017 and a league leading 2.07 ERA they may as well just chalk up a win for LA and a loss for Atlanta and save themselves three to four hours of baseball. I’m sniffing an upset though.
Verdict: Braves W
Washington Nationals @ Arizona Diamondbacks
A pair of the best teams in the National League are sending a pair of All-Stars to the hill to do battle in the series finale. Stephen Strasburg (10-3, 3.21 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Nationals versus the Diamondbacks’ Robbie Ray (9-4, 2.97). It might not be a great night for batters if one of the pitchers get’s hot, but this has all the makings of a great game of baseball Tune in!
Verdict: Nationals W
St Louis Cardinals @ Chicago Cubs
HIS first start for the Cubs was breathtaking, but what has Jose Quintana (5-8, 4.20 ERA) got in store for a follow-up performance? The Cubs seem to be hitting their straps post All-Star break, but don’t think their division rivals will let them just walk away with this one. Making his Wrigley field debut, I think Quintana will continue his stellar start to his Cubs career.
Verdict: Cubs W