MLB – Toronto Blue Jays @ Atlanta Braves

The Braves have three more games at home before heading out to the West coast, although playing at home recently hasn’t been that much of an advantage. In their past six games, the Braves lost the first two games of a three game series to the Mets at home and then had the same result against the Rangers. During interleague in May, the Braves visited the Angels and lost the first and last game of a three-game series.

Tim Hudson pitched in one of those losses, as well, only getting through 3.2 innings and allowing eight earned runs on seven hits, with three walks and two strikeouts. Since then, he’s recorded two losses against the Mets and a win against Houston, bringing his record to 5-6 with a 4.08 ERA. Atlanta’s pitching as a team is among the best in the league, ranking first in WHIP and batting average allowed and second in ERA. Unfortunately, Hudson’s figures aren’t helping those figures.

Hudson last faced Toronto three years ago and got the loss. The Blue Jays last came to Turner Field two years ago and were swept by the Braves.

Toronto has Ricky Romero on the mound to try to get the win. Romero is 6-6 with a 3.01 ERA and has seemed to settle in so far this month. In two games against Baltimore and one at Kansas City, he is 1-2, but has nine earned runs and 21 strikeouts. He had a career-high 12 strikeouts in his last outing and had a shutout going into the ninth inning. Romero has gone for at least seven innings in his last seven starts and is 4-2 over that span.

In his six interleague starts, Romero is 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA. Toronto has better run support than Atlanta, so if they can best Hudson, the edge for this game goes to Toronto.

Pick: Toronto Blue Jays

MLB – New York Yankees @ Cincinnati Reds

The Yankees have been playing good ball of late winning their fifth game in six contests, after beating the Cubs last night 10-4 at Wrigley.  The Yanks bats have been off the past few games, but the pitching has been very solid of late.  After being called up in 2010 for a limited number of appearances Ivan Nova has been a regular in the Yankees rotation. He has been a mix of good, bad and mediocre on the mound which is not completely unexpected given this is his rookie campaign to me.
Cincinnati finally solved Toronto in the series final’ by taking a 2-1 decision over the Blue Jays. The win gave the Reds a much needed boost as the team has won four of six overall to keep them in the mix with Milwaukee and St Louis in the National League Central race. One area of concern is that the Cincinnati offense which is one of the best in the game hasn’t been nearly as fearsome as advertised with only three games in the last ten where they’ve plated more than three runs which belies their reputation as a potent offensive squad. However, the less heralded pitching staff has actually risen to the occasion and kept the team competitive allowing four runs or less in ten consecutive contests. Just like their counterparts in tonight’s match up, the Reds are a handful when they get quality pitching with a high powered offense backing them. The Reds hand the ball to Johnny Cueto who despite just eight starts in 2011 has been the undisputed ace allowing no earned runs in four of his outings and comes in giving up an unearned run in 14 frames over two starts.
The Yankees are a scary offense that can hit the long ball and put runs on the board in bunches at any time. The Reds are almost a mirror reflection at the plate although New York has been the better hitting club coming in. Oddly both teams have been getting solid pitching which has almost been overshadowed by each team’s offense. Neither pitcher can relax in this one or they won’t be around long but I think Cincinnati has the edge on the mound and will need it. The Reds offense must get Cueto some support because as good as he’s been, stopping the Yanks bats is a tall order. I hate going against New York but I’m looking at Cueto to keep the score manageable and hoping Cincinnati scores some runs tonight.

Pick: Cincinnati Reds

Prop – Tennis – 26 Games or Fewers, 27 Games or More (Murray vs Gimeno-Traver)

Andy Murray has played in 5 Wimbledon tournaments and has only played 26 or fewer games in his first round match one time. Daniel Gimeno-Traver has only played in Wimbledon twice and gone 27+ games the first time he played and 26 games or fewer last year.

Murray is on an absolute roll so far this year, he just dispatched Andy Roddick with tremendous ease on grass at Queens. The question is will he totally dominate Gimeno-Traver or not. Winning handily (6-3, 6-3, 6-3) would not be enough, Murray must demolish his opponent. In their two previous outings once during the Challenger stage of their careers there was a tight match and once two years ago Murray demolished Traver. The odds however are against Murray. One tight set would swing this prop in favor of the over dramatically. One 7-5 set would more or less ensure an over on this prop. I don’t like picking against someone as hot as Murray and this is really a toss up but Murray’s past history would indicate this should go over. Even a comfortable straight set win would go over. I think something like 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 is likely and that would put this prop over so I would go with the over.

Pick: 27 Games or More

Soccer – Bohemians @ Bray Wanderers

The 2nd match of the day comes from….you guessed it the Irish Premier League.  This match is very similar to the match this morning from the Finland Premier League.  Bray Wanderers and Bohemians sit in 5th and 6th position on the table respectively with a 5 point differential between the two.  Let’s go behind the numbers for this one…..

Bohemians

Overall Record:  7-5-6

On the Road:  4-2-3

Last 5:  1-1-3

Bray Wanderers

Overall Record:  9-4-4

At Home:  5-1-2

Last 5:  4-1-0

Of the 2 club matches on the Streak today this would be the one I would risk a streak on because of the recent play of the two teams.  Bray is playing really well of late including a home win against Shamrock(1st on the table) while Bohemians are coming off a 3-0 loss at Derry City.  These two have met twice this year with Bray winning at home and a draw at Bohemians.  I normally like the draw in these kind of soccer matches but I am going with the home team in this one.

Pick:  Bray Wanderers  Win

Soccer – JJK Jyvaskyla @ FC Inter Turku

The streak master gives us a gem this morning from the Finland Premier League!!!!!!!! This should be a really tough match to pick because both teams are playing good soccer and only 1 point separates the two for 2nd and 3rd on the table. This will be a match that I personally would stay away from with a decent streak(W3 or more) on the line. Let’s take a look at the numbers for this early season battle in Finland…..

JJK Jyvaskyla

Overall Record:  7-2-1

On the Road:  2-2-1

Last 5:  3-1-1

FC Inter Turku

Overall Record:  7-1-2

At Home:  4-1-0

Last 5:  4-0-1

These two are playing really good soccer early this season and that makes this pick very difficult and risky if you have a good streak on the line.  JJK having the draw makes the pick slightly easier plus JJK defeated Turku in a League Cup Match on penalty kicks back in March.  Although I think Turku could win I will stick with the team with the draw option and only because I think a draw will be the outcome

Pick:  JJK Jyvaskyla Win or Draw