It was a pretty awesome Saturday of Major League Baseball, especially for FOX baseball execs. All three FOX games went extra innings yesterday, even the seemingly dismal Cubs v. Mariners game that I was personally subjected to in lieu of the more compelling Rays versus Tigers (and Verlander) matchup or the equally-compelling Reds vs. Rangers matchup that pitted two of the best teams in baseball in an Interleague showcase.
You know you are a baseball junkie when you are mad that two games are blacked out because of the national broadcast considering nearly 99% of all MLB games will be televised this season… I suppose I’m a spoiled baseball fan!
I split my picks last night, with the Cubbies going over and the Rays v Tigers falling a half-run under the 7.5 mark. Let’s wrap up the week with a nice Sunday Night Baseball (on ESPN) winner.
New York Yankees +112 at Baltimore Orioles -120
Hiroki Kuroda (7-5, 2.77 ERA) vs. Chris Tillman (9-2, 3.72 ERA)
It’s been a rough weekend so far for the Yankees in Baltimore. The Orioles have outscored them 15-6 through three games and will be looking for their fifth straight win over the Yankees in Camden Yards and to finish off a very damaging three-game sweep to the Yankees suddenly-sagging playoff hopes.
The only bit of good news for the Yanks is that A-Rod has, apparently, shut the (bleep) up… You stay classy Brian Cashman!
Tonight the Yankees will send their most reliable starter, Hiroki Kuroda, to the mound. His record is a pretty pedestrian 7-5, but his 2.77 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and opponent’s batting average of just .227 all deserve a better fate than 7-5. Meanwhile, his opponent Chris Tillman has been getting the exact opposite support. His ERA is a full run higher, his WHIP 0.25 higher (which is significant) and his batting average against 22 point higher. Yet he is 9-2 and perfect 3-0 in his last three starts.
A big factor in the Orioles favor is the fact they are hitting nearly 40 points higher as a team against right handed pitching (.276 to .238). I think Kuroda will help stop the bleeding and keep the potent Orioles lineup of Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Chris Davis a little quieter tonight, but I’m not sure he is going to be able to count on his teammates to give him any more run support than usual.
It all adds up to a game that should stay under the 8.5 run total tonight.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 8.5