Last week I couldn’t miss a pick; this week has been a work in progress. Following a nearly perfect week, I have struggled on the bases the last couple of days. Regardless of how this week has gone, July was an extremely profitable month for me, and provided me with some more units heading into football season with. The entire baseball season has been a success thus far, and I don’t want to cough up what I have rightfully earned to this point. I am looking at an early afternoon matchup to get back to my usual winning ways.
Free MLB Pick:
Chicago White Sox +125 at Cleveland Indians -145 (Total: 7)
Chris Sale (6-10, 2.69 ERA) vs. Justin Masterson (12-7, 3.42 ERA)
I think it is inevitable that the Detroit Tigers will win the AL Central, but the Cleveland Indians are only 3 games back, so they are very much in reach. The Indians would need to stay hot, and need a disastrous final stretch by the Tigers to make capture the division crown. While it’s only 3 games, it feels like it is by a much larger margin. With the White Sox there isn’t too much to say about them, as they are on the outside looking in at the entire picture.
The problem the White Sox have had this season is accredited to their failure to score any runs. The 5 runs they put up last night could be considered a major victory for the team. Nevertheless, the White Sox ended up winning the ballgame anyway, so it didn’t really mean much anyway. The White Sox may not need to score many runs this afternoon, though, as they will send their ace to the mound, Chris Sale. Sale has been fantastic all season long, including an impressive outing in the All-Star game. Sale holds an ERA of 2.69, and hasn’t gotten beat up in virtually any of his starts this season. He has been magnificent in his last three starts, where his ERA has been steady at 2.28 with a 1.27 WHIP. In which two of those games were against the offensive powerhouse Detroit Tigers, so he didn’t get those numbers by taking advantage of the Marlins or Astros.
Sale will find a worthy opponent pitching on the opposite end. Justin Masterson has been flat out masterful in 2013. I had him as a pitcher to watch a couple years ago and my prediction has finally come to fruition. Masterson brings a terrific ERA to Thursday afternoon as well with a 3.42. In particular, Masterson has been very solid lately, posting a stellar 1.27 ERA with no homeruns allowed. He also hasn’t been putting many runners on the base pads, as his 0.75 WHIP indicates. Another plus for Masterson is his ability to shut teams down at home. He actually has given up only 2 dingers in 82 innings pitched in Cleveland, which is quite the impressive feat.
After going deep into extra innings last night, I can see the bats being a little slow for an early Thursday afternoon tilt. It doesn’t help either offense that they need to face Sale and Masterson, two of the best that the AL has to offer. Runs could be tough to come by, so my official play for today is the UNDER 7.
Free Pick: UNDER 7