We got back on track with a nice winner in the San Francisco Giants who snapped their slide with a 6-4 win over Brandon McCarthy (1-10) and the Diamondbacks. Also getting back on track last night was Justin Verlander. I imagine more than a few Tigers fans were relieved to see their ace once again look like an ace, going seven innings allowing only four hits and a single run. Time will tell if he simply hit an early summer swoon and is still a Cy Young caliber guy or if the first few months were the harbinger of troubles to come.
Most of the games are 1pm starts today, so in our usual Sunday fashion we will look to ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball for today’s featured selection.
Oh, and GO TEAM USA! (I know our site picked Portugal, but like many Americans, I’m a big-time bandwagon fan today! I … I Believe … I Believe that we will win!) How’s that for some hardcore analysis??
Back to the diamond now for me…
Today’s Free Pick:
Texas Rangers -119 at Los Angeles Angels +113 (Total: 7.5)
Yu Darvish (7-3, 2.39 ERA) vs. Matt Shoemaker (4-1, 3.83 ERA)
Yu Darvish will be looking to rebound from his worst outing of the season tonight in Los Angeles. The good news for Yu is that, unlike the Oakland A’s whom he faced last time, the Angeles have never seemed to fare too well against Darvish. He is 7-1 with a 3.88 ERA in his career against the Halos compared to a shockingly bad 1-8 with a near-five ERA against the A’s. My point is, he is back facing a comfortable and familiar foe tonight and I expect him to rebound accordingly.
Opposing Darvish will be the rookie Matt Shoemaker who has done a nice job so far for the Angels. He has just a single defeat and is coming off his best performance as a pro, going eight innings and fanning ten batters against Cleveland. He will need another strong performance if his squad is going to topple a familiar nemesis this evening.
A big part of that will start at the top – trying to keep Shin-Soo Choo off the basepaths. The new Ranger has enjoyed his brief introduction to Angels pitching, batting .478 with three homeruns and six RBI in six games.
There is a good chance Pujols will be out of the lineup tonight, which will further hinder the daunting task of roughing up Darvish and his 2.39 ERA. Albert has hit Darvish fairly well lately, going 2 for 6 with a homerun.
I’ll take the better pitcher and the more intact lineup tonight. Give me the Rangers to avoid a crippling series sweep tonight.