MLB – Pittsburgh Pirates @ Cleveland Indians

This is a battle of two teams that can’t provide any offense or run support to their pitchers. Expect a low-scoring game that is going to be decided on which offense can get going today. Cleveland won yesterday, 5-1, mostly thanks to Carlos Santana who finally got off the schneid. He went 3-for-4 with a home run. Prior to yesterday, he had one hit in his previous 30 at-bats. Historically he should be performing significantly better than that, so if he can turn it around, it will only help the Indians.

Righty Carlos Carrasco takes the mound for the Indians, and he has never faced the Pirates. He’s 6-3 on the year with a 4.09 ERA. In the previous interleague play, Carrasco got the win against Cincinnati on May 22. He has also won his last two starts, with the Indians’ only win against the Yankees in a four-game series (1-0) and their only win against Minnesota in a three-game series (also with a score of 1-0). Carrasco also struck out 13 batters in those two games.

Trying to stay about .500 are the Pittsburgh Pirates. They won all three against Houston and the last three-game interleague series they beat Detroit twice. However, Pittsburghs’ offense is worse than Cleveland’s. They rank in the bottom five of the entire league for runs scored, batting average and slugging percentage. They have scored five runs total in their last four losses and have been shut out eight times already this season.

Paul Maholm takes the mound for his third time ever against Cleveland. He’s 0-1 against the Indians with a 3.75 ERA. On the season, he’s 3-7 with a 3.12 ERA. He took the loss to Detroit in the last interleague series, but has earned two wins and two no-decisions since. In his last start June 13 against the Mets, he didn’t allow any runs, but allowed three hits, struck out four and walked two.

Pittsburgh has lost 11 consecutive interleague games on the road in the past two years. That streak may continue today.

Pick: Cleveland Indians

Soccer – Chicago Fire @ New England Revolution

The only club match of the day comes from the MLS between Chicago and New England.  These two teams are tied with 14pts each with Chicago ahead on Goal Differential.  This is a big game for each team to separate themselves from each other on the table.  Let’s go look at the numbers to compare these pretty evenly matched teams.

Chicago

Overall Record:  2-8-4

On the Road:  1-4-3

Last 5:  1-3-1

New England

Overall Record:  3-5-7

At Home:  3-3-2

Last 5:  0-1-4

Both teams are playing nearly identically in terms of points and in the last 5 games so this is a match I would not go near with any kind of streak.  If you feel that you want or have to pick this one I would go with the team who has the draw on their side.  New England is decent at home but have been playing atrocious of late while Chicago is coming off a road win at Columbus.  The MLS is a draw friendly league in my opinion therefore, if you play go with the team who has the draw on their side.

Pick:  Chicago Win or Draw