The Dodgers had their record-breaking road winning streak snapped last night, and I took a bad loss along with them. Tonight we will try to get it back on track with a Wednesday night winner.
Let’s shift our focus to a series in the American League that has gotten a lot of media coverage, albeit for mostly non-baseball reasons; the Yankees and A-Rod’s escapades in the Windy City against the ChiSox.
Today’s Free Pick:
New York Yankees -103 at Chicago White Sox -106 (Total: 7.5)
CC Sabathia (9-10, 4.78 ERA) vs. Hector Santiago (3-7, 3.28 ERA)
The Yankees might have a world of controversy swirling around them with the massive suspension swirling around Alex Rodriguez, but in the meantime, it’s hard to argue he isn’t an upgrade over what they have been trotting out at third base all season. He has reached base four times in his first two games (including being hit once last night by Chris Sale – the first times he has been cheered in two years). But the Yankees are still struggling mightily. They have dropped 13 of their last 19 games and have fallen double-digits back in the AL Central. Even their wildcard hopes are starting to fade among the log-jam atop the standings.
The biggest glaring weakness for the Yankees, aside from the large problem of NEVER hitting the ball out of the ballpark, has been the complete dissolving of their ace, CC Sabathia. He is mired in one of the worst slumps in one of the worst seasons of his career. He enters tonight with a losing record and an ERA approaching five. In his last three starts he is 0-2 with a 10.91 ERA and a WHIP of 2.47. It’s been painful to watch, and Yankee fans are hoping it is just a slump and not the sign of another long-term contract evolving into heavy albatross (it always links back to A-Rod, doesn’t it…).
Meanwhile, Chicago has been playing pretty lousy baseball themselves. They had lost eight straight before taking the first two games of the Yankee series, but some of that is also a function of running into the red-hot Tigers and Indians at a bad time. Their offense, though strikeout prone, is also capable of scoring some runs, especially if CC’s control continue to wander. Adam Dunn has been much maligned, and rightfully so, for wrapping up the month of June with an average of .156. However, in his last 30 games he has mashed 13 homeruns, is hitting over .300 and has driven home nearly a run and a quarter per game with 37 RBI’s total.
I don’t think CC is completely done, but with him struggling so mightily, 7.5 seems like a pretty low run total. I’m going to bank on the Yankees being able to scratch a few runs across, and for CC to yield the same. Give me the OVER tonight.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL OVER 7.5