Blue Jays vs. Angels Pick MLB – August 2nd

The Cardinals finally snapped their seven game losing streak, breaking out in a big way against the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning 13-0 to salvage the fifth game of the series and avoid a very rare five game sweep.  Perhaps this game is a good cautionary tale against the limited effectiveness of the runs for/against stat.  Like all statistical measures, there is some good validity and utility in the metric, but no number by itself can tell the entire story.  After yesterday’s game the run total for the series was 22-20 in favor of Pittsburgh.  I’d image the Cards did not limp out of Pittsburgh feeling good about that slight differential…

Tonight several huge series kick off, including those same Cardinals continuing their gauntlet with a weekend set at Cincinnati, and Texas heading to Oakland to try and chip away at the American West lead.

It should be a great weekend of baseball, so let’s start it off right with a nice winning pick.

Toronto Blue Jays at Los Angeles Angels -125 (Total: 8.5)

Todd Redmond (1-1, 3.81 ERA) vs. Tommy Hanson (4-2, 5.15 ERA)

Oh, if it weren’t for that pesky 27th out… the Angels season keeps getting worse and worse and worse.  The Rangers celebrated nightly after racking up walk-off win after walk-off win against the beleaguered Halos.  The result was a soul-crushing three game sweep that all but officially eliminated them from any distant postseason dreams.  Thanks for playing Artie Moreno – you lost your fantasy league this year…

The Angels rebounded with a series opening win against Toronto last night, and will try to make it two in  a row with struggling Tommy Hanson on the mound.  His ERA on the season is over 5, and is fresh off an outing where he lasted on 4 2/3 against lowly Houston, allowing five runs and as many walks.  He hasn’t lasted more than six innings but once in over a month, which doesn’t bode well considering how poor the bullpen has been lately.

Toronto will counter with Todd Redmond, who struck out 10 batters in his last outing, but doesn’t have too many starts under his belt with Toronto, but has been effective in his appearances this season.  However, going six or seven innings against the Angels, a potent offense despite some difficulties, is a lot different than four innings against the Orioles or 3.2 against the Padres.

I like this game to feature some runs scoring and to get over the 8.5 total.  It’s been the week of the spectacular UNDER with a slew of one and two run games, but weak pitching and a ton of power hitters is a pretty good recipe for some fireworks.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL OVER 8.5