Weekend Quick Picks (Saturday May 28th 2011)

This is the first edition of what will be occurring for at least the next week on Saturday’s and Sundays. Rather than performing the usual writeups we will simply be picking the weekend props in a very quick and concise manner. In some cases we will have a sentence or two about the matchup, in others just our pick.

 

K.J. Choi #3 in the world should win this matchup against the worlds #142 golfer.

 

Torquay United had more success than Stevenage on the road this year and I like them given that neither side will have home field advantage in this neutral field matchup.

 

#7 California, Woman’s softball can really be a crap shoot but I like the higher ranked team in this one.

 

Chicago White Sox, Carlos Villanueva is starting for the Blue Jays and that’s all I need to know. He’s having a breakout year so far out of the pen and has had one solid start but he showed flashes of being an effective starter back when he first came up for the Brewers and he failed time after time until eventually he was relegated to the bullpen where he was effective. Villanueva is an effective reliever nothing more, White Sox will beat him.

 

Sergio Garcia, Garcia was on fire yesterday and I like that to continue today.

 

Manchester United, I like Barcelona as a slightly better team but while technically this game is suppose to be on neutral ground, it is being played in England at Wembley Stadium. The home country advantage will tilt this one in Man United favor.

 

Virgina, Seriously Lacrosse again? I like Virginia but in a few hours I’ll probably like Denver. This is a crap shoot.

 

Maryland, Duke is probably the most famous Lacrosse team in the nation and not for good reasons, still I like Maryland to pull off the upset.

 

Houston Astros, As bad as the Astros are they will have a good pitcher on the mound in Wandy Rodriguez and they are at home. There’s a reason no team goes 162-0 and Houston will teach Arizona that lesson today, Astros win.

 

Boston Red Sox, What more do you need to know? The Red Sox are on fire in this one and I like this pitching matchup.

 

San Francisco Giants, Randy Wolf is inconsistent and the Brewers will be sluggish coming off of their first home loss in 10 games.

 

Any Other Result, (Baylor Georgia) Were bound to win one of these props right? I mean its woman softball but there has to be a close one soon right? Seriously though I like this matchup.

 

Missouri Wins by 2+, I’ll admit this one is a complete guess, but hell don’t you dare pretend you know anything about woman softball.

 

Seattle Mariners, The Mariners are a gritty team that just battles and they are one of the hottest teams in baseball… Or so I have been told. The difference in this one is the pitching matchup, Felix takes this one for the Mariners.

 

Florida Marlins, The Dodgers don’t score runs, the Marlins do and the Marlins pitch about as well as the Dodgers. I like Florida here.

MLB – Cleveland Indians @ Tampa Bay Rays

The Cleveland Indians (30-17) came down to earth a bit at home against the Boston Red Sox dropping two of three. They now travel to Tamp Bay a place they have struggled in the past to take on the Tampa Bay Rays (26-23) who after a sluggish start at home have gotten on a role there. Tampa Bay itself is struggling recently and is returning home after a 1-5 road trip. David Price (5-4, 3.89 ERA) will look to get the Rays back on track at home. The Indians meanwhile have struggled offensively and will need Josh Tomlin (6-1, 2.41 ERA) to continue his Cy Young like start to the 2011 season if they hope to pick up a win on the road in this one.

 

The Rays are a much better team than they showed on the road last week and I expect them to get back into gear at home with Price on the mound. Cleveland has historically struggled in Tampa Bay and Tomlin while definitely a very good starter has probably outperformed thus far and will likely regress a bit the rest of the way. Given their historical struggles here, Tampa Bay’s recent solid results at home and Price likely being due for a bounce back game against a struggling offense, I would take Tampa Bay to win this game, but as always baseball can really go either way. The tie breaker in this one for me is that Cleveland has really struggled to put runs on the board recently and baring one of those rare 14 run outbursts I think Tampa Bay’s lineup scares me more right now.

 

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays

MLB – Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets

The Philadelphia Phillies (31-19) travel to face the New York Mets (23-26). This is an interesting matchup. On one side you have an ace in Roy Oswalt (3-2, 2.77 ERA) who, while pitching lights out this year has struggled to get run support. On the other hand you have a former 18 game winner in Chris Capuano (3-5, 5.36 ERA) who is trying to come back from several years of major surgery’s and injuries to become an effective MLB pitcher.

 

Capuano’s numbers might look bad but in general he has been more effective than those numbers would let on. Capuano has given up 2 or fewer runs in 4 of his last 6 starts. He has had two terrible starts this year giving up 7 runs in his second start of the year and 6 runs his last time out vs the Yankees. The Yankees start was also at Yankees Stadium and as everyone who pitches there seems to be, Capuano was snake bit by home runs giving up 4. Outside of his last start, Capuano hasn’t allowed many home runs, giving up only 5 all season with just 2 home runs allowed over his 5 starts, prior to the Yankees game. Capuano has been very good but lately but he has done it very quietly, striking out more than 6 just once all year.

 

Roy Oswalt’s numbers unlike Capuano’s speak for themself this year. He has been every bit as dominant and lights out as the numbers would suggest but unfortunately for him the Phillies seem to forget how to hit when he is on the mound. Fortunately for Oswalt the Phillies may have remembered how to hit finally scoring 5 or more runs (twice with 10) in three of their last 4 games. The Phillies have also won 5 out of their last 7 games.

 

The Phillies are playing well lately and are on a bit of a roll, the pitching matchup in this one will be close but with the Phillies putting up some runs lately and the Mets internal turmoil I like the Phillies to win this one in a close one.

 

Pick: Philadelphia Phillies

MLB – New York Yankees @ Seattle Mariners

The Yankees (27-21) dwarf the Mariners (24-25) in just about every category.  The only thing that’s kept them alive is their pitching led by King Felix.  The Mariners’ offense has been pitiful to say the least and tonight, we’ll get to see a pretty good pitchers duel.  Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16 ERA) will be taking the mound, and has come off of two 7 inning shutouts.  He’s not someone to take lightly when facing in the batters box.  Striking about 6 batters out a game and posting a nasty 0.94 WHIP has given the Mariners those 24 wins this year.  The Yankees can’t be slouching just yet.  They’ll be sending A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02 ERA) to the mound, who hasn’t been quite what the Yankees paid for.  Getting about 5 Ks a game is decent, but he hasn’t posted a scoreless outing yet this whole year.  He hasn’t really had the need to with the bats behind him, but tonight could be a great opportunity for him to break out.

It isn’t a secret that the Yankees have a great hitting lineup and team in general, but the Mariners can try and counter that with their top ranked pitching staff.  Only problem being, they might not get any runs on offense.  It’s not going to be an easy game by any means, but I can’t see the Mariners turning it on tonight.  Burnett will get it done and the Yankees will string a few hits together.

Pick: New York Yankees

MLB – Florida Marlins @ Los Angeles Dodgers

This is a classic Streak for the Cash pick, as the Florida Marlins (29-19) are the road team visiting the struggling Los Angeles Dodgers (22-29).  And they aren’t throwing any special pitchers out there either.  Javier Vasquez (3-4, 6.41 ERA) hasn’t been spectacular this year, but the Marlins’ offense has helped him get 3 wins.  His 1:1 K/BB ratio and the high ERA don’t help his case either.  Good news is, he’s coming off of his best start of the season, which may mean he’s figuring it out a little bit.  Vasquez threw a lovely 7 inning, 3 hitter to the Rays getting his 3rd win of the season.  Against him is Jon Garland (1-4, 4.75 ERA), who has been plagued by a poor offense and he hasn’t really kept the other team from scoring.  He hasn’t had many strike outs this year and is coming off of a horrendous 11 hit, 7 run whopping by the White Sox.  All of this combined with the whirlwind of problems for the Dodgers organization doesn’t point in the right direction.

As I hinted at before, the Dodgers’ bats have been dormant.  They don’t score runs.  Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are just about the only people that keep that lineup breathing with life and hits.  If they can take advantage of Vasquez early, it’ll be an interesting game.  They’d just better hope the decent Marlins’ offense doesn’t rip Jon Garland right out of the ballpark.  Gaby Sanchez doesn’t have a great history against Garland, but has definitely improved his game. I’ll give the edge to Florida as they have one of the best road records in baseball and lead the season series 2-1, plus, they score runs.

Pick: Florida Marlins

MLB – San Francisco Giants @ Milwaukee Brewers

The hot batting Brewers (27-23) welcome the struggling and injured as-of-late Giants (27-22).  This game is truly a match-up of two aces.  Tim Lincecum (4-4, 2.06 ERA), 2 time Cy Young Award winner, has had pretty bad run support in his 4 losses this year.  That is a product of the Giants missing some key players and not swinging the bats like World Series Champions.  He no doubt strikes out a lot of people, averaging about 7 a start, and the Brewers do strike out a decent amount.  One thing that will hurt him are the walks.  When he’s not spotting the ball, walks come in bunches, and the Brewers have a good eye at the plate.  Could be dangerous for Lincecum.  The other pitcher is Shawn Marcum (6-1, 2.37 ERA) who is making his case for a Cy Young this year so far.  Striking out 6 batters a game and only losing his first start of the season, Marcum has been on a roll with his unique pitching style.  He uses a lot of different finger pressures and grips to get the ball to dance around the strike zone, leaving batters fooled.  He does give up more fly ball outs than ground ball outs, which could pose a small problem in Miller Park, but he’s dealt with it all season and gotten 6 wins.  It’ll be a good game.

What I can’t understand is why 77% of people instantly jumped on the Lincecum bandwagon and picked the Giants.  Yes, he’s a good pitcher, but it’s as if they didn’t even look to see what kind of a year Marcum is having.  Almost as many strikeouts, less walks, more wins, lower ERA.  That combined with the fact the Brewers have rolled off two sweeps in a row and the Giants just got swept and lost one of their best hitters and leaders still remaining in Buster Posey.  Their bottom ranked offense will only stoop lower without someone stepping up.  Meanwhile, Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, and company have been hitting home runs easily, and shocking teams late in games.  Should be a close game, but I’d have to go with the hot bats combined with the hot pitcher and the home field.

Pick: Milwaukee Brewers

NCAA – Softball – Stanford vs Alabama

The same argument as the first game goes along with this game as well.  If Alabama really is going to win by 3 or more runs, they’re going to have to get pretty lucky facing these pitchers.  Everyone is good.  Softball isn’t THAT hard to pitch well because they’re so close to you.  They still have more of an advantage because they are ranked pretty high and have had a great season, but anything can happen when pitchers are trying to just avoid solo home runs.

Pick: Any Other Result