Toronto Blue Jays vs. Baltimore Orioles, 8/31/16-Prediction

MLB: Wednesday, August 31, 2016, at 7:05 p.m. ET

Line: Toronto -150

Over/Under: 9.5

 

The Toronto Blue Jays travel to Oriole Park at Camden Yards to take on the Baltimore Orioles for the finale of a three-game set on Wednesday night. On the hill for the Blue Jays will be Aaron Sanchez (12-2, 2.99 ERA) and the Orioles will start Yovani Gallardo (4-6, 5.69 ERA). Sanchez has been dominant for Toronto for most of the year. The 24-year-old is coming off a start in which he gave up four runs in four innings in a no decision against Cleveland. Gallardo on the other hand has been a mess for Baltimore. The 30-year-old gave up seven runs in 1.1 innings against the New York Yankees last Friday in what was the worst start of his career.

Marco Estrada pitches well in win against Baltimore

The Toronto Blue Jays topped the Baltimore Orioles 5-1 on Monday night. Starter Marco Estrada pitched well as he gave up one run on four hits in seven hits. The 33-year-old right-hander had allowed 11 runs over his last nine innings (two starts). Third baseman Josh Donaldson hit his 34th homer of the season in the win while Jose Bautista hit his 16th. The Blue Jays have won four of their last five games.

 

Wade Miley pitches solidly in loss to Toronto

Despite losing to Toronto on Monday, starter Wade Miley actually pitched well coming off a horrible start. The Orioles struggled at the plate as they couldn’t figure out Estrada who was dynamic for Toronto.  Miley pitched well in his own right giving up three runs in seven innings. Miley has pitched solidly over his last two starts giving up five runs over 12 innings, but has been up-and-down since arriving from Seattle. Shortstop J.J. Hardy hit his eighth homer of the season in the loss. Baltimore has lost four of their last six games.

 

Both teams can really swing the bat real well. The difference in this game will be starting pitching where Sanchez has a big edge over Gallardo, who has been really bad as of late. Take Toronto in an easy win.

 

The pick: Toronto

Indians vs. Athletics, 8/22/16 – Free Prediction

Cleveland Indians vs Oakland Athletics

When: 10:05 PM ET, Monday, August 22, 2016

Where: O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, California

Lines: Cleveland -152/ Oakland +142

Total: 8

Tonight some MLB action on the West Coast and the Cleveland Indians will battle the Oakland Athletics in game one of their three game series from the Oakland Coliseum. The Under is 40-17-3 the last 60 games played in this series. Pitching Probables: Carlos Carrasco vs Andrew Triggs.

Tribe edge Blue Jays in two of three games

The Indians are off a hard fought series vs the Blue Jays, in which they won two of the three games. They have struggled some outside their division this year, so it was a confidence building series for them. The Tribe have now won eight of their last 11 games and have a seven game lead in their division and an eight game lead of the Royals. They are feeling very comfortable in the division right now and could very well be heading to the world series. They have the offense and the starting staff to do so, while their bullpen has been solid as well. The problem facing them is that the Rangers really improved their team, the Blue Jays are very strong as well and the Red Sox have been charging of late and certainly have the talent to get to the World Series. The Indians have work to to do, but make no mistake, they will be a factor in the battle to represent the AL in the World Series.

The Indians come in ranked 4th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.07 rpg, while also ranking 4th in hitting at .266 and 11th in homers with 157. The Indians have hit .236 overall on the road, including .231 vs righties. Cleveland averages 4.30 rpg and allows 3.97 rpg on the road. On the mound the Tribe come in ranked 7th in the league in ERA at 3.85 and 5th in WHIP at 1.24. On the road Cleveland starters have an ERA of 3.52, while their pen has an ERA of 4.04. Getting the call for the Indians will be Carlos Carrasco, who has gone 8-6 with a 3.34 ERA in 19 starts this year, including 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA in his last three starts and 5-3 with a 1.97 in nine starts on the road. Carrasco is 14-7 with a 2.29 ERA in his last 24 starts on the road and 6-3 with a 3.05 ERA in 20 games (14 starts) in August, while vs the A’s he is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in three games (two starts).

Oakland is playing out the string

Oakland comes into this game at 17 games under .500 and 19.5 games out of first in the American League West, Needless to say, it has been a rough year from Oakland. Their offense is weak, outside of Khris Davis, Marcus Semien and Danny Valencia, while their very young staff has really struggled as well. They have a lot of work to do in the offseason and will have to do a lot of it through free agency or trades as they just don’t have a great farm system.The A’s have lost seven of their last eight games as of this writing and really the only thing they have to do the rest of the way is to evaluate their young player as they look to get ready for next year. It will not be easy as they just don’t have a ton of young talent to make this a quick turnaround for them.

On offense this year, Oakland comes in ranked 27th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.01 rpg, while also ranking 21st in hitting at .249 and 19th in homers with 136. The A’s have hit .238 overall at home, including .232 vs righties. Oakland averages 3.70 rpg and allows 4.27 rpg at home for the year. On the mound Oakland has not been good at all as they come in ranked 26th in the league in ERA at 4.64 while also ranking 21st in WHIP at 1.38. At home Oakland starters have an ERA of 4.50 while their pen has an ERA of 3.39. The A’s will send out Andrew Triggs, who has gone 0-1 with a 4.98 ERA in 21 games this year, including 0-1 with a 3.55 ERA in three games as a starter. Triggs was 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA in 16 games for Triple A Nashville this year. All 16 games were out of the pen.

Trends

Cleveland is:

  • 10-1 in their last 11 vs. the American League West
  • 27-9 in their last 36 vs. a team with a losing record

Oakland is:

  • 16-36 in their last 52 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
  • 0-7 in their last seven games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15

The Indians are off a tough series vs the Blue Jays, but they can’t relax now as the hard charging Royals are  making a run. The Tribe have the clear edge on the mound and they also get a strong edge at the plate. They could also have very well lost two of the three games vs the Jays and will need to bounce back here. They could have also won two of the three and will look to keep that momentum going. Either way they should take this one vs an A’s team that has thrown in the towel.

Pick: Cleveland

Cubs vs. Rockies, 8/21/16 – Free Prediction

Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies

Blue Jays vs. Indians, 8/20/16 – Free Prediction

Toronto Blue Jays vs Cleveland Indians

When: 7:10 PM ET, Saturday, August 20, 2016

Where: Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio

Lines: Toronto -122/ Cleveland +112

Total: 8.5

Tonight in Major League Baseball the Toronto Blue Jays will invade Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio to do battle with the Cleveland Indians in game two of their three games series. The Over is 4-1 the last five games in this series. Pitching Probables: Aaron Sanchez vs Josh Tomlin.

Toronto hopes to stay in first place in the AL East

The Jays have taken over first place in the AL East, just as I expected them to and I feel they will stay there the rest of the way. The Red Sox have issues in their pen, while the Orioles don’t have the starting pitching to stay in the race much longer. Toronto has a strong starting staff and their offense can easily rival that of the other two team, plus they have played some solid defense as well. Their pen is a bit of a concern, but their starting staff is 3rd in the league in quality starts and that limits the exposure of their pen. Toronto has a 1.5 game lead over both the Red Sox and the Orioles and even though they are resting some starters on Friday night, they are still looking forward to this series vs the Tribe, which could very well be a preview of the ALCS.

On offense this year the Blue Jays come in ranked 6th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.84 rpg, while also ranking 22nd in hitting at .248 and 2nd in homers with 174. The Blue Jays have hit .232 overall on the road, including .230 vs righties. Toronto averages 4.69 rpg and allows 3.80 rpg on the road. On the mound the Blue Jays have been very solid as they come in ranked 6th in the league in ERA at 3.74, while also ranking 4th in WHIP at 1.22. On the road Toronto starters have an ERA of 3.43, while their pen has an ERA of 3.92. Getting the nod for the Blue Jays will be Aaron Sanchez, who has gone 12-2 with a 2.84 ERA in 23 starts this year, including 1-1 with a 3.60 ERA in his last three starts and 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 12 starts on the road. He is 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in two games (one start) vs the Tribe.

Cleveland is running away with the AL Central

The Cleveland Indians made all the right moves this year and they have increased their lead in the Central to six games over the Tigers. They have a strong offense that is led by Jason Kipnis and and Francisco Lindor, while their pitching is healthier and should be rather strong down the stretch. The pen looks solid and they play decent defense. Could they be on their way to the World Series?. With Terry Francona as coach they really have a good shot at doing so, but the Rangers are still a strong team and the Blue Jays are even stronger. The Indians have won six of their last eight games and they are a solid 37-22 at home, but they are also just 36-33 vs teams outside the division, compared to 33-17 vs the Central. That will have to change in the postseason.

The Indians come in ranked 4th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.08 rpg, while also ranking 4th in hitting at .267 and 10th in homers with 154. The Indians have hit .290 overall at home, including .288 vs lefties. Cleveland averages 5.90 rpg and allows 4.47 rpg at home. On the mound the Tribe come in ranked 7th in the league in ERA at 3.84 and 6th in WHIP at 1.24. At home Cleveland starters have an ERA of 4.41, while their pen has an ERA of 3.34. Josh Tomlin will toe the rubber for the Indians and he has gone 11-6 with a 4.14 ERA in 22 starts this year, including 0-3 with a 9.37 ERA in his last three starts and 5-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 12 starts here at home. Tomlin is now 26-18 with a 4.35 ERA in 56 games (51 starts) on the road and he is 6-10 with a 5.,74 ERA in 26 games (18 starts) in August, while vs the Blue Jays he is 1-0 with a 4.74 ERA in four starts.

Trends

Toronto is:

  • 39-19 in their last 58 games vs. a right-handed starter
  • 9-3 in their last 12 vs. the American League Central

Cleveland is:

  • 1-8 in their last 9 vs. the American League East
  • 4-10 in Tomlin’s last 14 home starts vs. a team with a winning record

I like the Blue Jays here. They have the better starter on the mound and their lineup should be a bit fresher as they are resting some of their starters in game one of this series. The Blue Jays are the more complete team here and the Tribe are just 12-17 vs the East this year. They may win game one vs a depleted Toronto squad, but game two should go the way of the Blue Jays.

Pick: Toronto

Cubs vs. Rockies, 8/19/16 – Free Prediction

Chicago Cubs vs Colorado Rockies

When: 8:40 PM ET, Friday, August 19, 2016

Where: Coors Field in Denver, Colorado

Lines: Chicago -155/ Colorado +145

Total: 11.5

Tonight the Chicago Cubs of the National League Central will do battle with the Colorado Rockies of the National League West in game one of their three games series from Coors field in Denver, Colorado. The Over is 15-6 the last 21 games played here at coors between these teams. Pitching Probables: Kyle Hendricks vs Tyler Anderson.

Cubs Getting Dominant Starting Pitching

The Chicago Cubs have been on a roll again and their pitching has been dominant of late over that stretch. Remember in the middle of the year when they were struggling, it was the pitching that did them in as every one, even Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester were struggling. Well that is over as they come in with a solid 2.25 ERA in their last 10 games, including a 1.09 ERA from their starters over that stretch. Lester is now 3-0 with a 1.75 ERA in his last three starts, while Arrieta is 2-0 with a 0.65 ERA in his last two starts. Needless to say, those two are rolling right now. Also we note that John Lackey has a 0.61 ERA in his last two starts and Jason Hammel has a 0.33 ERA in his last four starts. The Cubs have needed that starting pitching as their pen has an ERA of 5.25 ERA in their last 10 games. The pen is their Achilles heel, but with their starting pitching being so dominant and their offense being one of the best in the league, they should be able to overcome the shortcomings of their pen,

The Cubs enter this game ranked 5th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.07 rpg, while also ranking 15th in hitting at .256 and 13th in homers with 147. Chicago hits .261 overall on the road including .280 vs lefties. The Cubs have averaged 5.30 rpg and have allowed 3.88 rpg on the road this year. On the mound the Cubs have been excellent as they come in ranked 1st in the league in ERA at 3.07, while also ranking 1st in WHIP at 1.11. On the road Cub starters have an ERA of  3.81, while their pen has an ERA of 3.27. Getting the nod for the Cubs will be Kyle Hendricks, who has gone 11-7 with a 2.19 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) this year, including 2-0 with a 1.16 ERA in his last three starts and 3-6 with a 3.43 ERA in 10 starts on the road. Hendricks is now 12-11 with a 3.84 ERA in 33 career starts on the road and 8-1 with a 2.83 ERA in 15 starts in August, while vs the Rockies he is 1-1 with a 5.01 ERA in four starts, including 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA in two starts here at Coors.

The Pitching Has Left The Building Again

The Rockies have had one of the worst staff ERA in the league for much of the year, but they pitching did go through a recent stretch where they looked rather good. Well that is now over as the Rockies are back to struggling on the mound. Colorado has now allowed 6.50 rpg and have posted a 6.07 ERA in their last 10 games. They have the worst home ERA in the league at 5.90 and it just doesn’t seem like there is much help on the way. The Rockies will never make it back to the playoffs until they get some quality pitching that can last the whole year, and especially get some pitching that can stand up to the conditions at Coors field. Colorado now has to take on the best team in the league, which could make this an ugly series for them.

The Rockies enter this game ranked 2nd in the league in scoring, putting up 5.29 rpg, while also ranking 2nd in hitting at .274 and 12th in homers with 153. The Rockies have hit .297 overall at home, including .296 vs righties. Colorado has averaged 6.27 rpg and have allowed 6.30 rpg at home for the year. On the mound they enter this game ranked 28th in the league in ERA at 4.89 while also ranking 28th in WHIP at 1.44. At home Colorado starters have an ERA of 5.77, while their pen has an ERA of 6.09. The Rockies will send out Tyler Anderson, who has gone 4-4 with a 3.42 ERA in 12 starts in this his rookie year. Anderson is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA in his last three starts and 4-1 with a 3.04 ERA in eight starts here at home.

Trends

Chicago is:

  • 16-5 in their last 21 road games vs. a left-handed starter
  • 45-17 in their last 62 during game one of a series

Colorado is:

  • 9-23 in their last 32 vs. the National League Central
  • 3-7 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record

The Cubs are clearly the better team here and their pitching has been very dominant of late and that should continue here, even though the game is at Coors Field. Chicago has a huge lead in their division and may shut it down soon so that they are fresh for the playoffs, but it is still too early for that and they should have a successful series here in Colorado. Look for another solid win by the best team in the league.

Pick: Chicago Cubs

Red Sox vs. Tigers, 8/18/16 – Free Prediction

Boston Red Sox vs Detroit Tigers
When: 1:10 PM ET, Thursday August 18, 2016
Where: Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan
Lines: Detroit -105/ Boston -105
Total: 9

Tonight the American League East meets the American League Central as the Boston Red Sox battle the Detroit Tigers in game one of their four game series from Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Over is 8-1-3 the last 11 games between these teams here in Detroit. Pitching Probables: Clay Buchholz vs Matt Boyd.

The Red Sox Back On Track

Boston has really been inconsistent at times this year, especially after the All-Star break, but they are playing very well right now as they have won their last five games as of this writing and on Wednesday night they will look to keep it going vs a struggling Baltimore squad. Now the move on to another slumping squad with a chance to pick up even more ground on the Toronto Blue Jays, who now lead the division by 1.5 games over both Boston and the Orioles. This is the 2nd long road trip that the Sox are on and they still have one more long one a bit later in the year. Boston needs all the wins they can get and taking on the Tigers may be just what they need to keep it rolling. David Ortiz continues to have a strong farewell season as he is hitting .313 with 27 homers and 92 RBIs, which is 3rd in the league. Mookie Betts is 5th in the league in RBIs with 89 and leads the team in homers with 28.

On offense the Red Sox check in at 1st in the league in scoring, putting up 5.49 rpg, while also ranking 1st in hitting at .284 and 10th in homers with 152. Boston has hit .260 overall on the road, including .243 vs lefties. The Red Sox have averaged 4.81 rpg and have allowed 4.36 rpg on the road this year. On the mound Boston has been a bit below average as they come in ranked 18th in the league in ERA at 4.22, while also ranking 14th in WHIP at 1.32. On the road Red Sox starters have an ERA of 4.34, while their pen has an ERA of 3.60. Taking the hill for the Red Sox will be Clay Buchholz, who has gone 4-9 with a 5.66 ERA in 27 games overall, including 2-8 with a 6.31 ERA in 14 games as a starter and 0-2 with a 6.43 ERA in his last three starts. Buchholz is 43-28 with a 3.87 ERA in 97 games (90 starts) on the road in his career and 10-7 with a 3.95 ERA in 32 games (28 starts) in August, while vs the Orioles he is 10-7 with a 3.90 ERA in 22 games (19 starts), including 5-3 with a 5.10 ERA in 10 games (eight starts) here at Camden Yards. He is also 19-17 with a  4.16 ERA in 60 games (52 starts) in daytime.

Can The Tigers Turn It Around?

Detroit is right in the middle of the wildcard race, but they have struggled of late as they are just 2-7 in their last nine games and as a result of that they are now six games out of first in the American League Central and 3.5 games out of a wildcard berth. The Tigers have really struggled on offense of late as they have averaged just 2.56 rpg in their last nine games and that coincides with the loss of Nick Castellanos, who has missed all nine games. He hit 18 homers and had 58 RBIs before going down and has been missed. The Tigers also had a score when Miguel Cabrera left Monday’s game with an injury and missed Tuesday night’s game. He is listed as probable for Wednesday’s game and it is very imperative that he remains in the lineup if the Tigers expect to make a push for a playoff spot. It will be hard for them to turn this ship around as their offense is struggling and they don’t have the pitching to hold up, plus the teams ahead of them are playing very well right now. No playoffs for the Tigers.

The Tigers enter this game ranked 11th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.64 rpg, while also ranking 4th in hitting at .266 and 6th in homers with 156. The Tigers have hit .272 at home overall, including .285 vs righties. Detroit has averaged 4.91 rpg and have allowed 4.34 rpg at home this year. On the mound Detroit comes in ranked 17th in the league in ERA at 4.21, while also ranking 15th in WHIP at 1.33. At home Detroit starters have an ERA of 4.35, while their pen has an ERA of 3.19. Detroit will send out Matt Boyd, who has gone 4-2 with a 4.16 ERA in 13 games (11 starts) this year, including 3-0 with a 3.18 ERA in his last three starts and 3-1 with a 3.06 ERA in six games (five starts) here at home. Boyd is now 3-3 with a 4.40 ERA in nine games (seven starts) in August. He has one career start vs the Red Sox, which was last year, and he didn’t record an out in a 12-6 Boston win. He allowed seven ERs on six hits in that game.

Trends

Boston is:

  • The Over is 3-0-1 in Buchholz’s last four starts vs. Tigers

Detroit is:

  • The Over is 4-1 in Boyd’s last five home starts vs. a team with a winning record
  • The Over is Over is 9-4-1 in their last 14 Thursday games

Let’s look for a high scoring game in this one. The Red Sox hit him hard in their lone meeting with him last year and their offense is better than that edition. Clay Buchholz has struggled this year and should have another bad outing vs a Detroit offense that is missing some key pieces, but is more than capable of rocking Buchholz in this one. Both offenses should have a field day in this one.

Pick: Over 9

Athletics vs. Rangers, 8/17/16 – Expert Prediction

Oakland Athletics vs Texas Rangers

When: 8:05 PM ET, Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Where: Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas

Lines: Texas -207/ Oakland +192

Total: 9

Major League Baseball in the AL West tonight and the Oakland Athletics will do battle with the Texas Rangers in game three of their three game series from Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Pitching Probables: Sean Manaea vs Yu Darvish.

Oakland Needs To Fix Their Offense

The Oakland A’s continue to struggle and it really has been their offense that has been a problem of late as they have averaged just 2.80 rpg in their last 10 games. They just have no consistency in their offense and it has been one of their biggest reason for their downfalls this year. Their pitching has been stronger of late as they have allowed just 3.90 rpg in their last 10 games. Just getting no hitting right now, but at least for them they are getting some pitching and that gives them hope for the future. Sean Manaea has been pitching well of late, Ross Detwiler is a solid arm and so is Kendall Graveman. The A’s will clearly need to work on their hitting in the offseason. Khris Davis and Marcus Semien have combined for 53 homers, but they rest of the team have combined for just 76 homers. Those two are solid, but need more help. The A’s have some things to work on in the offseason.      

On offense this year, Oakland comes in ranked 25th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.02 rpg, while also ranking 20th in hitting at .250 and 20th in homers with 129. The A’s have hit .258 overall on the road, including .264 vs lefties. Oakland averages 4.38 rpg and allows 5.47 rpg on the road for the year. On the mound Oakland has not been good at all as they come in ranked 26th in the league in ERA at 4.64, while also ranking 23rd in WHIP at 1.38. On the road Oakland starters have an ERA of 5.89 while their pen has an ERA of 4.51. Taking the hill for the A’s will be Sean Manaea, who has gone 4-7 with a 4.57 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) this year, including 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA in his last three starts and 0-4 with a 6.88 ERA in six starts on the road. He is 1-0 with a 3.06.ERA in 3 starts vs the Rangers this year.

 

The Rangers Are Hearing Footsteps

The Texas Rangers have been atop the American League West for much of the year and they currently have a 5.5 lead over the Mariners in the division, but that lead has been closing as the Mariners are on a roll right now and it has to be making the Rangers a bit nervous. Texas has a strong team that has been upgraded on offense with the addition of Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Beltran and they also have Cole Hamels and Yu Darvish leading their pitching staff, but still it is that pitching that one has to wonder if it will hold up. As of this writing the Rangers have gone just 2-3 in their last five games and they were shutout in two of those games. This is not the time for them to be going into a slump, especially with the the way the Mariners are playing right now.

 

The Rangers check in at 11th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.66 rpg, while also ranking 8th in hitting at .263 and 8th in homers with 152. Texas has hit .275 overall at home, including .312 vs lefties. The Rangers have scored 5.11 rpg and have allowed 4.98 rpg at home this year. On the mound the Rangers have not been good at all as they come in ranked 21st in the league in ERA at 4.36, while also ranking 22nd in WHIP at 1.38. At home Ranger starters have an ERA of 4.17, while their pen has an ERA of 5.44. Taking the hill for the Rangers will be Yu Darvish, who has gone 3-3 with a 2.77 ERA in nine starts this year, including 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts and 3-0 with a 2.86 ERA in five starts here at home. Darvish is 25-11 with a 3.01 ERA in 48 career starts here at Rangers Ballpark and 6-5 with a 3.55 ERA in 16 starts in August, while vs the A’s he is 1-8 with a 4.78 ERA in 11 starts.

Trends

Oakland is:

  • The Under is 7-3 in their last 10 vs. a team with a winning record
  • The Under is 5-2 in Manaea’s last seven starts with 4 days of rest

Texas is:

  • The Under is 5-1-1 in their last seven vs. a team with a losing record
  • The Under is 20-7-2 in Darvish’s last 29 home starts

The Under is the play here. Yu Darvish is in good form and always pitches well at home. Yes he has had his issues with the A’s in his career, but Oakland is really struggling to score as they have averaged just 2.80 rpg in their last 10 games. The Texas offense has not set the world on fire of late and the Oakland staff has allowed just 3.80 rpg in their last 10 games. The Rangers do hit lefties hard at home, but Sean Manaea has a 3.06 ERA in three starts vs them, plus he has a 2.74 ERA in his last six starts. Nine runs is just too high in this game as we see no more than seven runs being scored.

Pick: Under 9

Mets vs. Diamondbacks, 8/16/16 – Free Predictions

New York Mets vs Arizona Diamondbacks

When: 9:40 PM ET, Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Where: Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona

Lines: New York -143/ Arizona +133

Total: 8.5

Major League Baseball in the desert this evening as the New York Mets will do battle with the Arizona Diamondbacks in game two of their three game series from Chase Field in Phoenix. The Mets have won seven of their last nine games played here in Arizona. Pitching Probables: Noah Syndergaard vs Braden Shipley.

Can The Mets Squeak Into The Playoffs?

They are just 2.5 games out of a wildcard slot, but the Cardinals are usually a strong team down the stretch and the Pirates are surging right now, so it will be hard for the Mets to overtake those teams. It will be even harder for them to do so without an offense, which is one of the worst in the league. That offense has averaged just jst 3.40 rpg and have hit just .196 over their last 10 games. That won’t get it done. The Mets have really been hit hard by injuries and it not has allowed them to reap the benefits of trading for Jay Bruce yet. Bruce has struggled so far for the Mets as he is hitting just .152 with two homers and five RBIs in 12 games thus far. Not what they were expecting when they signed him. They clearly need better numbers from him and maybe he can get back on track here in Arizona, where you can score five runs just for showing up to the game. They also need their walking wounded back, including Yoenis Cespedes, who has been their best offensive player so far.

The Mets enter this game ranked 29th in the league in scoring, putting up 3.69 rpg, while also ranking 30th in hitting at .235 and 10th in homers with 151. The Mets have hit .238 on the road overall, including .238 vs lefties. The Mets score 3.66 rpg and allow 3.55 rpg on the road for the year. On the mound New York has been solid as they come in ranked 3rd in the league in ERA at 3.47, while also ranking 6th in WHIP at 1.23. On the road Met starters have an ERA of 3.79, while their pen has an ERA of 2.89. Toeing the rubber for the Mets will be Noah Syndergaard, who has gone 9-7 with a 2.75 ERA in 23 games (22 starts) this year, including 0-2 with a 4.76 ERA in his last three starts and 4-3 with a 2.96 ERA in nine starts on the road. Syndergaard is now 5-8 with a 3.65 ERA in 21 career starts on the road and 3-3 with a 5.01 ERA in eight career August starts, while vs the Diamondbacks he is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts.

Diamondbacks playing out the string

The Arizona Diamondbacks are having a very bad year and two things are the cause of this. One is their pitching and the other is their play here at home, where they have a 19-39 record, which is the 2nd worst home mark in the league. Just horrible and that pitching has been far worse at home than on the road. So far this year they have a 4.49 ERA on the road, but a 5.66 ERA here at home and pitching like that should really help this Mets offense that is really struggling to score right now. It’s a bit shocking that the Diamondbacks have struggled on the mound this year, especially with the addition of Zack Greinke, but even he has struggled this year and is off a bad outing vs the Red Sox as he allowed nine ERs on 10 hits in just 1.2 innings of work in a 16-2 loss. Not good at all and here at home he has gone 5-3 at home, but with a 5.04 ERA. Just horrible pitching overall home for the Diamondbacks.

On offense the Diamondbacks check in at 17th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.43 rpg, while also ranking 10th in hitting at .261 and 17th in homers with 133. The Diamondbacks have hit .257 overall at home, including .250 vs righties. Arizona averages 4.48 rpg and allows 6.16 rpg at home. On the mound Arizona comes in ranked 30th in the league in ERA at 5.09, while also ranking 30th in WHIP at 1.49. At home Arizona starters have an ERA of 5.94, while their pen has an ERA of 5.24. The Diamondbacks will send out Braden Shipley in this one and he has gone 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his first four career starts, including 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in one starts here at home. Shipley faced the Mets in New York last week and won the game 9-0, allowing just three hits in seven innings of work in the process. He was 8-5 with a 3.70 ERA in 19 starts at Triple A Reno this year.

Trends

New York is:

  • 4-1 in Syndergaard’s last five road starts vs. a team with a losing record
  • 9-4 in Syndergaard’s last 13 road starts

Arizona is:

  • 12-29 in their last 41 games on grass
  • 7-19 in their last 26 home games vs. a right-handed starter

The Mets are struggling, but their offense should break out here where Arizona has struggled to pitch and has allowed the 2nd most rpg at home for the year. Arizona is well out of the race for a playoff spot and they have the 2nd worst home record in the league, which gives the Mets some edges. New York also has the edge on the mound and getting away from the pressures of home will really help them as well. Take the Mets in this one.

Pick: New York Mets

Royals vs. Tigers, 8/15/16 – Free Prediction

Kansas City Royals vs Detroit Tigers

When: 7:10 PM ET, Monday, August 15, 2016

Where: Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan

Lines: Detroit -138/ Kansas City +128

Total: 9

Monday night bases within the American League Central and the Kansas City Royals will do battle with the Detroit Tigers in game one of their three game series. The Over is 12-5 the last 17 games played in this series. Pitching Probables: Ian Kennedy vs Daniel Norris.

The Royals Are Making A Run

The Kansas City Royals are 11 games out of first in the AL Central and eight games out a wildcard slot, but they are not going down without a fight. They come into this series having won six of their last eight games and just took two of three in Minnesota, who had been playing well, especially at home. Can the Royals make a run that will get them back into contention? It is possible, but not likely. They still have many things to fix on their team, like an offense that can score on the road, a pitching staff that is very inconsistent and a bullpen that has struggled of late and is without their closer Wade Davis. Just too many issues to think that the Royals can really get back in this race, but this is a proud team that will continue to play hard and will make life tough for teams like Detroit, who are still in the race.

The offense for the Royals comes in ranked 27th in the league in scoring, putting up just 3.84 rpg, while also ranking 8th in hitting at .262 and 27th in homers with 97. Kansas City has hit .244 overall on the road, including .247 vs lefties. The Royals have averaged 3.14 rpg and have allowed 4.34 rpg on the road for the year. On the mound they check in ranked 17th in the league in ERA at 4.24, while also ranking 15th in WHIP at 1.33. On the road Royal starters come in with an ERA of 5.09 while their pen has an ERA of 4.12. Toeing the rubber for the Royals will be Ian Kennedy, who has gone 6-9 with a 3.91 ERA in 23 starts this year, including 0-0 with a 0.93 ERA in his last three starts and 3-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 14 starts on the road. Kennedy is now 13-29 with a 4.32 ERA in his last 61 starts on the road and 17-12 with a 3.54 ERA in 37 starts in August, while vs the Tigers he is 0-3 with a 4.34 ERA in five starts, including 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in two starts here at Comerica.

Pitching Has Improved For The Tigers

The Detroit Tigers are still with a very good shot at making the playoffs as they are currently just a game and a half out of a wildcard slot in the American League. They did explode for seven runs in their win over Texas on Sunday, but that offense had been sputtering as they averaged just 2.40 rpg in their previous five games. The pitching has been their issues for most of the year, but it has turned around of late as the Tigers have allowed just 3.45 rpg in their last 11 games. They have a solid offense that is missing Nick Castellanos, but that offense is still very good and will get back on track. If it does and they continue to get strong pitching then the Tigers could very well grab that last wildcard slot or maybe even their division. Do not sleep on the Tigers the rest of the way.

The Tigers enter this game ranked 9th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.68 rpg, while also ranking 4th in hitting at .267 and 8th in homers with 150. The Tigers have hit .276 at home overall, including .288 vs righties. Detroit has averaged 5.06 rpg and have allowed 4.33 rpg at home this year. On the mound Detroit comes in ranked 19th in the league in ERA at 4.27, while also ranking 16th in WHIP at 1.34. At home Detroit starters have an ERA of 4.40, while their pen has an ERA of 3.19. Taking the hill for the Tigers will be Daniel Norris, who has gone 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in five games (four starts) this year, including 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in his last three starts and 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts here at home. Norris is 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA in five starts in August and 4-2 with a 3.92 ERA in 18 starts in his career overall, while vs the Royals he is 0-0 with a 4.26 ERA in one start.

Trends

Kansas City is:

  • 5-2 in their last seven games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30
  • 5-2 in their last seven games on grass

Detroit is:

  • 1-5 in their last six games on grass
  • 0-4 in their last four games vs. a right-handed starter

The Tigers are back from a road trip in which their offense struggled and the Royals have been getting better pitching of late. Detroit is slumping and the Royals are learning to win on the road and would love to at least play spoiler here to their division rivals. Ian Kennedy has been pitching far better of late and he gets the nod here over Daniel Norris as the Royals grab a huge road win to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

Pick: Kansas City

Pirates vs. Dodgers, 8/14/16 -Expert Prediction

Pittsburgh Pirates vs Los Angeles Dodgers

When: 4:10 PM ET, Sunday, August 14, 2016

Where: Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California

Lines: Los Angeles -144/ Pittsburgh +134

Total: 8

Sunday afternoon bases and the Pittsburgh Pirates will invade Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California to battle the Los Angeles Dodgers in game three of their three game series. The Dodgers have won 37-15 the last 52 games in this series played here at Chavez Ravine. Pitching Probables: Chad Kuhl vs Brett Anderson

Pirates Are Staying In The Wildcard Race

The divisional race for the Pirates has been over for a long time, but they are very much in the race for a wildcard slot. As of this writing the Pirates are currently just one game behind the Marlins for a National League wildcard slot. Despite the mediocre play this team has shown all year, they are still very much in it. Pittsburgh has won five of their last seven games and slumps by both Miami and St Louis have allowed them to crawl back into the race and they have been doing it by getting a bad year from Andrew McCutchen, who has just 16 homers and 46 RBIs on the year, while hitting just .243. In his last four years combined he has hit .312, while averaging 25 homers and 89.8 RBIs per year. Truly a bad year for him, but others like Starling Marte, David Freese and Gregory polanco have stepped up to lead this team, along with their pitching, which has a 2.86 ERA in their last 10 games. Beware the Buccos.

The Pittsburgh offense comes in ranked 14th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.49 rpg, while also ranking 14th in hitting at .257 and 26th in homers with 103. The Pirates hit .239 overall on the road, including .238 vs righties. Pittsburgh scores 4.22 rpg and allows 4.65 rpg on the road. On the mound the Pirates check in at 15th in the league in ERA at 4.18, while also ranking 22nd in WHIP at 1.39. On the road Pirate starters come in with an ERA of 5.27, while their pen has an ERA of 2.99. Chad Kuhl gets the nod for the Pirates and he has gone 2-0 with a 3.91 ERA in five starts this year, which are the first five of his career. He has gone 1-0 with a 3.77 ERA in his last three starts and 0-0 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts on the road.

The Return Of Anderson Should Help Banged Up Rotation

Brett Anderson will be making his first MLB start of the year after missing most of the season with a bulging disc in his back. Last year for the Dodgers he was 10-9 with a 3.69 ERA in 31 starts, including 3-5 with a 4.29 ERA in 16 starts here at Dodger Stadium. Anderson has gone 7-7 with a 3.83 ERA in 21 games (20 starts) during August in his career and he is 1-0 with a 0.68 ERA in two starts vs the Pirates. His return for the Dodgers should help them in down the stretch as their staff is hurting with Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Hyun-jin Ryu all out right now, despite the injuries, the staff has still been solid as they come in ranked 4th in the league in ERA at 3.61, while also ranking 2nd in WHIP at 1.14. At home Dodger starters have an ERA of 3.38, while their pen has an ERA of 2.56.

They may be starting to wear down as the Dodgers have a 4.81 ERA in their last 10 games. The Injuries are starting to take their toll and Anderson’s return should help gobble up some much needed innings for the Dodgers. His return couldn’t come at a better time. On offense this year the Dodgers come in ranked 18th in the league in scoring putting up 4.42 rpg, while also ranking 22nd in hitting at .247 and 17th in homers with 131. LA hits .241 overall at home, including .250 vs righties. The Dodgers average 4.19 rpg, while allowing 3.29 rpg at home for the year. Justin Turner has had a solid year, but he is listed as doubtful for this game. The Dodgers are just not playing great ball right now and have squandered chances at taking over first place from the slumping Giants. Should be an interesting last month and a half in LA.

Trends

Pittsburgh is:

  • 2-7 in their last nine road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
  • 3-8 their last 11 road games overall

Los Angeles is:

  • 71-33 in their last 104 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
  • 46-22 in their last 68 during game three of a series

The Dodgers really need this game and getting Brett Anderson back should really give this team a lift. They have had their chances at taking over the top spot in the NL West, but haven’t capitalized on that. They should grab a big win here as both their offense and Brett Anderson combine to get them a much need and confidence building win. Take the Dodgers in this one.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers