It’s been feast of famine this lately for the Boston Red Sox. The defending World Series champs endured the longest losing streak by a defending champ in nearly two decades with their recent ten game slide. They immediately followed it up with a seven game winning streak to get somewhat back in the mix in the AL East. Their winning streak was snapped yesterday with a 3-2 loss to the Indians, and it remains to be seen if things will stabilize a bit or if yesterday was the start to another lengthy slide.
I can relate to the Red Sox. I took yesterday off to regroup from a brutal weekend and frankly, a brutal month of MLB picks. It was far and away my worst month in four years of covering games for the sportsgeek.com. On the flipside, April was my second best month in the same time covering baseball. It’s been feast or famine for me as well, and obviously, it is pretty frustrating. NO one likes losing games, and I’m optimistic June will be much greener pastures. SO, let’s get to it – shed the losing streak and start a streak anew tonight…
Today’s Free Picks:
Pittsburgh Pirates +108 at San Diego Padres -117 (Total: 7)
Gerrit Cole (5-3, 3.80 ERA) vs. Jesse Hahn (0-0, 0.00 ERA – first appearance of season)
The Pittsburgh Pirates put on an impressive offensive display last night in Petco Park, pounding out 16 hits and going 9 for 20 with runners in scoring position. They are 35 for 11 (.315) with runners in scoring position over their last 13 games (9-4 during that stretch). That makes things a little daunting for Jesse Hahn who will be making his debut tonight. Conventional wisdom says that making your debut at home in pitcher-friendly Petco Park against a team hitting under .235 on the road is a good thing, but the Pirates seem to be finally settling into an offensive groove.
Meanwhile, the Padres have thrown up consecutive offensive duds, and are averaging just 3.3 runs per game at home this season. That bodes well for Gerrit Cole tonight, who has amazing stuff but has had a disappointing start to his sophomore season. He enters tonight with an ERA of 3.80 and has an ERA of 3.93 in his last three starts despite his 2-0 and his team’s 3-0 record.
In his last meeting with the Pads he struck out a career-high 12 batters over 6 1/3 innings back on September 19th. I like him to have a similarly strong outing tonight and for the Pirates to knock a few runs across against Hahn, who is coming up from AA ball to make tonight’s start.