My baseball pick for 6-4-10 is:
Tampa Bay Rays at Texas Rangers – 8:05 p.m. ET
Bet #922 Texas Rangers -128 (Davis & Wilson MUST START)
The Rays have the best record in baseball at 36-18, as well as the best road record in the entire league at 21-6. The Rangers have the second-best home record in the AL at 18-9 and Rangers Ballpark in Arlington has not been kind to the Rays, who were 1-5 in this stadium last season.
Tampa sends Wade Davis to the hill. Davis has a decent 4.04 ERA on the season, but his WHIP of 1.46 is a bit high. That WHIP is 1.79 over his last three starts, so I don’t expect Texas to have trouble getting men on base tonight. This will be the first time Texas’ hitters will be facing Davis, so he could have the edge the first time or two through the lineup. So why am I on Texas anyway? Because the Rangers are batting .297 and scoring 5.78 runs per game at home against righties this season and Davis walks his share of batters, so Texas still has a good shot to break through early against Davis. One other thing to note about Davis: He has made 10 starts this season and he has yet to produce back-to-back Quality Starts. He had a Quality Start in his last outing, so…
C.J. Wilson will toe the rubber for Texas. Yes, Wilson has struggled in his last three starts, posting a 9.56 ERA and 1.50 WHIP. But even with those three duds thrown in, Wilson still owns solid season numbers (3.48 ERA, 1.19 WHIP). But here’s why I expect Wilson to have a solid outing tonight: The Rays have seen Wilson from his days in the bullpen, but only TWO guys have had any real success against him and one of those guys, Jason Bartlett, is on the DL. Willy Aybar is 2-for-2 off Wilson with a pair of singles. That’s it. Carl Crawford is just 1-for-9 (.111 BA) against Wilson. And while that one hit was a homer, Crawford also struck out three times. Evan Longoria, Dioner Navarro, Carlos Pena, B.J. Upton, and Ben Zobrist are a combined 0-for-14 lifetime against Wilson. Ouch. The Rays are also hitting just .240 on the road against lefties this season.
Bottom line: The Rays have struggled in Texas. They haven’t hit well against lefties on the road. The Rays lineup has had almost NO success against Wilson. Texas hits righties very well at home and Davis walks his share of batters. Add it all up and it sure sounds like a winner to me. Take Texas/Wilson over Tampa Bay/Davis.
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My MLB pick for 6-1-10 is:
Colorado Rockies at San Francisco Giants – 10:15 p.m. ET
Bet #966 San Francisco Giants -130 (Hammel & Zito MUST START)
Colorado’s Jason Hammel owns a 6.93 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, and .365 OBP on the season. The Rockies have lost all three of Hammel’s road starts, in which he owns an 8.80 ERA, 1.76 WHIP, and .389 OBP. Several Giants have had success against Hammel. Aubrey Huff is 2-for-6 (.333) with a double & a homer. Bengie Molina is 3-for-6 (.500) with a homer. Freddy Sanchez is 2-for-6 with a double. Pablo Sandoval owns a .364 OBP against Hammel. Nate Schierholtz is only 1-for-7 (.143) against Hammel, but that one hit was a homer.
The Giants’ Barry Zito has dominated Colorado over the years. Zito’s 2.00 career ERA against the Rockies is his best against any opponent, and he has a 1.24 ERA against them in five outings since the start of last year. He beat Colorado for the third straight time – all at home – with eight strong innings in a 5-2 win April 30. This quote says it all: “He’s always tough against us. I can’t hit him,” said Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who is 5 for 33 (.152) against Zito. “I’ve never been able to hit him. Hopefully one day I’ll figure him out.”
Zito, who has given up 3 runs or less in all but one of his 10 starts this season, has owned more Colorado hitters than just Tulowitzki. Todd Helton is just 5-for-20 (.250) against Zito. Clint Barmes is 4-for-22 (.182), although two of the hits were homers. Brad Hawpe is just 4-for-21 (.190), but again, two of the hits were homers. Melvin Mora is just 5-for-31 (.161). Miguel Olivo is 2-for-13 (.154) against Zito. Ryan Spilborghs is just 6-for-26 (.231). Ian Stewart is just 1-for-11 (.091) against Zito. Chris Iannetta is just 1-for-10 (.100) against Zito.
Bottom line: We have a huge edge in starting pitching and I believe we have the bullpen edge, too. Sure, Colorado’s pen owns the better season numbers, but the Giants pen sports a 1.90 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, .297 OBP, and .205 BAA at home. That’s more than enough for me. Take San Francisco/Zito over Colorado/Hammel.
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