After another 2-0 sweep yesterday, that leaves my record at 10* 4-0 and 5* 1-0. Can't complain about that one bit. At any rate, I have two more selections today to hopefully keep the streak alive
Boston -$115 (Weiland, 0-0, 13. 50 ERA) at Baltimore (Guthrie 3-13, 4.50 ERA)
A moneyline play on Boston should be a winner tonight. Boston has been absolutely mashing the ball, as showcased last night when they hung 15 on Baltimore. Big Papi is out for the BoSox but Carl Crawford returned to the lineup after a stint on the DL. Baltimore has been hitting the ball decently, but it has only been after their opponents have jumped out to big leads and let off the gas a little bit, as exhibited last night.
The pitching matchup is where the key to this game lies. Kyle Weiland is making only his second career start in place of the injured Jon Lester. His first start, against Baltimore, he was shelled for 6 runs early in the game. He settled down nicely, but then plunked Vlad Guerrero and was ejected. Terry Francona really likes Weiland, however, and speaks very highly of him, saying he was a bit nervous to open the game but should be fine the 2nd time around. Not much of a track record to look at with Weiland which makes him a wild card. Jeremy Guthrie, however, brings his gas can to the bump to burn the place down every 5th day. He appeared in relief against Boston right before the ASB and pitched OK but the Sox still won the game. Otherwise he consistently gives up 4 + runs in 6 or less innings (4 of last 5 starts). Also, with Kevin Gregg out (suspension), the O's bullpen gets even weaker, which boasts a 4.39 ERA at home. Bostons bullpen is almost a full run better at 3.59 ERA for the pen.
Basically, Baltimore can't keep anyone in the yard, and Boston has no problem putting runs on the board. Weiland is definitely going to be the difference maker in this game. If Tito (Terry Francona) has faith in, why the hell shouldn't I? With that in mind and the hot streak going, I'm going to bump up the action and make this a 20* play.
Cleveland +$115 ( Masterson, 8-6, 2.40 ERA) at Minnesota (Liriano, 6-7, 4.76 ERA).
A moneyline play on Cleveland seems to be the right move here. The Tribe took both games of a double header yesterday from the Twins on an extremely warm day in the Twin Cities. Both teams had last minute pitching changes for their starters but Minnesota could not get their sticks going, even against Fausto Carmona who has been atrocious this year. The Indians did lose Grady Sizemore to the DL, but he was not he contributor he used to be, batting well below .250 this year. Neither Cleveland or Minnesota has been tearing up the basepaths as of late, although Cleveland has had better numbers over the last week. The Tribe has also been on the road since the ASB while the Twins have been at Target Field.
I believe it will boil down to who is pitching better tonight. I believe Masterson, who has pitched very well as of late and against better competition, will be victorious. Liriano has been pitching better his last few starts, although against a poor KC team and a terrible road team in the Brewers. Masterson has taken down the Yankees, Baltimore and Cincy in his last 3 starts. Masterson has also given up over 3 ER once since early June, but it was last game in an 8-4 win over the Orioles 5 days ago. The Cleveland bullpen has been very solid this year while the Twins have struggle to find a rhythm from the pen. Quick note about the Twins hitting woes, Mauer and Cuddyer are both over .290 while the rest of the team is .265 and lower. Not exactly an offensive threat.
All of these factors contribute to the Tribe stealing another game at Target Field. However, with the high heat possibly being a factor, I give this play a 10* rating.
On a side note, teams like Baltimore and Cleveland whom I just broke down a few days ago, reference back to an older blog if you are curious about them. I will try to put more info on the current blog when possible, but it gets redundant breaking down the same teams day after day. Especially in baseball with 3 or 4 game series and not much turnover, other than starting pitching, from day to day. Hope you enjoyed the blog and good luck. Thanks for reading.