MLB – Texas Rangers @ Atlanta Braves

Interleague is back again and the Texas Rangers, who just lost in 12 innings to the Yankees, travel to Atlanta for a three-game series. The last interleague series the Rangers had was at Philadelphia where they went 1-2. Colby Lewis takes the mound with a 5-7 record and a 4.97 ERA. During that interleague series, Lewis pitched in one of the losses, although he only allowed two runs (on seven hits). He only has 12 strikeouts in three games this month, and his last start was a dreadful 1.1 innings where he allowed six runs on seven hits at Minnesota.

However, Atlanta’s offense ranks in the bottom five in the league in on-base percentage and batting average. While the pick would have gone to the Braves, the pitching issues for Atlanta are going to swing this Texas’ way. For the Braves, Tommy Hanson was supposed to start, but he’s been scratched due to tendinitis in his right shoulder. Instead, Randall Delgado will get the start. Who, you ask? Delgado was just called up from Double-A Mississippi to take Hanson’s start. In Double-A, he has a 3.54 ERA and a 64:26 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Scouting reports have said that he looks to strikeout each batter, rather than trying to get them to fly out or hit into a fielder’s choice. He has a .357 winning percentage in the minors, and it’s not likely going to be any easier in the majors.

Expect a high-scoring game, but Texas’ offense is much better than Atlanta’s.

Pick: Texas Rangers

Soccer- San Jose @ Sporting Kansas City

The 2nd soccer match of the day is a prime time battle from the MLS.  This match could be one of the easier matches to pick of late.  These two teams aren’t the best teams in the MLS and this could be quite the match. Let’s go behind the numbers in this one shall we….

 

San Jose

Overall Record:  5-4-4

On the Road:  2-2-2

Last 5:  4-1-0

 

Sporting Kansas City

Overall Record:  2-4-6

At Home:  0-1-0

Last 5:  1-3-1

 

Sporting KC is at the bottom of the MLS which makes me wonder why San Jose has the draw option here.  With that being said, Sporting KC did come off a 4-1 road win at FC Dallas and have played better of late but San Jose is the better team and has the draw option on their side.  This could be almost a gimme from the streak master but like all picks on The Streak For Cash nothing is a lock but I would go with the Win or Draw in this match.

 

Pick:  San Jose Win or Draw

 

 

Soccer- Bohemians @ Derry City

In the first Soccer match of the day we get another pick from the Irish Premier League.  This is another match that is too hard to predict and if you have a respectable streak(W2 or higher) I would stay far away from this one. Let’s go behind the numbers in this match….

 

Bohemians

Overall Record:  6-5-6

On the Road:  4-1-2

Last 5:  2-1-2

 

Derry City

Overall Record:  8-5-4

At Home:  4-3-1

Last 5:  1-3-1

 

After looking at the numbers in this match it seems like Bohemians could be the safer pick of the two especially since they have the draw option on their side.  The teams are only separated by 6 points on the table and they both have drawn 5 times each this year.  With that being said, it looks like draw 6 for each teams looks likely.

 

Pick:  Bohemians Win or Draw

 

Prop – Golf – Mahan vs Fowler – Lower Front 9

I don’t like these “sprint 9-hole props”, but if you’re going to increase your streak quickly, they sure help a lot if you can get them right.  Both Fowler and Mahan have both played fairly well this year, but no one is going to blow this course away this year.  If anything, the course will blow up the players.  This 9-hole prop is very difficult to call, but I would tend to suggest taking the older Hunter Mahan.  He may not drive the ball as far, but he hits more fairways and that’s what you need on a US Open course.  Straight and easy.  He should win this with probably even par or one under.

Pick: Hunter Mahan

Prop – Golf – Phil Mickelson’s First Round

All reports and notions point towards Phil Mickelson playing very good golf right now.  After yesterday’s visit to the White House, he should be inspired and ready to take the Congressional head on.  He’s finished in 2nd place 5 times and had a great T-4th last year.  Based on the scores so far today, I can imagine that he’ll salvage par or better.

Pick: 71 or Lower

MLB – Pittsburgh Pirates @ Houston Astros

The Houston Astros are not only 14 games back from the Brewers in the NL Central, but they are 10 games back from the Pittsburgh Pirates. The problem in Houston is the pitching. They are second to last in the league in batting average allowed and ERA. They are third to last in overall WHIP, although with an overall record of 25-44, that’s not surprising.

The last time these two teams met was at the beginning of May in Pittsburgh and Houston only won one of those games. In this three game series, Houston lost the first game 1-0 in a game that featured 10 pitchers, and Houston lost the second game 7-3 Wednesday night. 

Rookie Jordan Lyles will make his third start of the year. He’s 0-1 with 17.1 innings pitched and 18 hits and 12 strikeouts. His ERA is 4.15. He filled in for Wandy Rodriguez and the Astros have said that he will remain in the rotation – for now. Closer Brandon Lyon has gone back on the DL, as he hasn’t performed well since coming off the DL. Mark Melancon will remain the closer, and he’s done a decent job, but his coming out to close the game requires the Astros to be winning the game. With the meager offense and the struggling pitching staff, Pittsburgh is looking like a good pick.

The Pirates’ offense is almost as bad as the Astros’ pitching. They rank in the bottom five of the entire league in runs, slugging percentage and batting average. James McDonald rivals Lyles’ ERA with 4.80 and a 4-4 record on the season. Those numbers are slightly inflated by a terrible outing April 21 against the Marlins, where he only got through three innings but had eight earned runs. McDonald has only gone into the sixth inning once this season so the Pirates’ bullpen is going to have to carry the last third of the game. Unfortunately the bullpen, in 195 innings pitched, has allowed 185 hits, including 20 home runs. They have 73 earned runs and 169 strikeouts. Mike Crotta did bring those numbers up, with a 9.28 ERA in 10.2 innings, and he is on the DL now.

This will be a battle of two struggling teams, so it is a gamble of which bad team will play worse. Given the rookie pitcher, the slight edge goes to Pittsburgh.

Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates

Prop – Golf – Choi/Kuchar Combined Score on 18th

The 18th is a very demanding Par 4 standing at a long 523 yards and has a guarded green with water all around it.  There aren’t many stats on the history of this hole when under US Open conditions, but I can say that it isn’t easy.  Gathering two pars from Choi and Kuchar could be a lot harder than it looks.

If it were me, I’d check the course stats before they get to the 18th hole and see what other players are doing.  If the pin is in an accessible location on this expansive green, I’d recommend the under, but depending on what the trends are, it could be an easy bogey for one of these two players.  I have to assume two PGA Tour players can par without that knowledge.

Pick: 8 Strokes or Fewer