We snapped our slide last night with the White Sox 3-2 ten-inning win over the reeling Giants. San Fran gave a game effort staying even with Chris Sale, but they still dropped their fifth straight game to fall six full games behind the Dodgers. What was once a 9 ½ game division lead now looks like an insurmountable deficit? The bigger question now is whether they can hang on to a wildcard spot of if this season dissolves into complete disaster.
Meanwhile, the Royals monumental winning streak was stopped yesterday, but the Tigers lost their fourth straight to give the unlikely Royals another day in first place. With injury issues plaguing Justin Verlander and Anabal Sanchez, perhaps the unthinkable could actually happen…
Let’s build a little momentum and see if we can notch another winner today.
Today’s Free Picks:
New York Yankees +120 at Baltimore Orioles -130 (Total: 8)
Michael Pineda (2-2, 1.83 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (9-5, 3.73 ERA)
The Yankees entered this series hoping to narrow the gap in the AL East. Instead, they could find themselves leaving town with a season-high eight game hole unless they can notch a big win tonight. The Orioles managed the absence of JJ Hardy and Manny Machado, and have to be feeling pretty good about their playoff chances, especially if they return in September as expected.
The Yankees will turn to Michael Pineda who will be making his first start since late April, having spent time on the DL as well as serving a ten-game suspension for a well-publicized pine tar incident. But he WAS pitching really well before that. So… was the pine tar a major factor? Will he still be able to be an ace in the rotation after the injury and no longer (assumedly) cheating?
I think he will come out and pitch well. And he may very well need to against Chris Tillman who has a 1.98 ERA in two starts against the Yanks this season. Historically he has had some trouble with Jeter and Texieria though, Jeter is 8 for 20 and Tex is 5 for 15 against Tillman in their careers. I like one of them to knock in a few runs tonight and to give Pineda a good look at a win in his return.
This game is about as must-win as any August baseball game gets for the Yankees. I like the emotional lift of getting a potential ace back in the rotation and the Yankees faring better after getting a third look at Tillman. He is a good pitcher, but not the dominant pitcher the Yankees have made him out to be in his first two starts. I like a little regression to the norm tonight, and really like that I can get the Yankees at plus-money.