NFL Preview AFC East & North

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Jeffrey “Coach” Belanger and the “Joker” give their NFL preview for the AFC East and AFC North in Podcast number 75 the Barry Zito episode. Due to Coach traveling the MLB picks will be posted on his website for Monday August 15th-18th. You can contact Coach with any sports or gambling related comments and questions at or on twitter @coachbelanger.

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One game short of back to back Shawn Dunston’s (.700 winning percentage).

MLB Picks W L Win Pct.
4/4-4/10 4 4 0.500
4/11-4/17 14 3 0.824
4/18-4/24 14 11 0.560
4/25-5/1 13 8 0.619
5/2-5/8 14 9 0.609
5/9-5/15 19 16 0.543
5/16-5/21 7 3 0.700
5/22-5/29 10 6 0.625
5/30-6/5 7 8 0.467
6/6-6/12 8 3 0.727
6/13-6/19 19 11 0.633
6/20-6/26 7 8 0.467
6/27-7/3 11 12 0.478
7/4-7/10 18 8 0.692
7/14-7/17 3 4 0.429
7/18-7/24 13 5 0.722
7/25-7/31 9 15 0.375
8/1-8/7 7 3 0.700
8/8-8/14 7 4 0.636
204 141 0.591

The Major League Baseball picks to start the week of August 16th.

MLB Picks
Monday August 15th
Mets over @D-Backs Bartolo Colon threw 7 innings of one run ball against the D-Backs last week. The Mets bullpen would eventually lose the game 3-2. Robbie Ray was Bartolo’s opponent last week and pitched a stellar 7 innings of shut out ball and only allowed 3 hits. The D-Backs Bullpen blew his 1-0 lead but the Mets bullpen just happened to be worse so the D-Backs stole the win. The issue in this game is that Rays bullpen has been used and abused the past 3 days by the Boston Red Sox meaning this is Robbie Ray’s game for better or for worse. That Met game last week was only the 4th start in his past 13 that he allowed less than 3 runs. You have to go back to May 16th and 21st to find the last time he posted back to back starts of 3 runs or less. Take the Mets.
Mariners over @Angels The King was roughed up in his first two starts coming back from the DL allowing 19 hits and 9 runs. Felix Hernandez rebounded in his last three starts allowing 2 hits, 3 hits and 3 hits. The Angels were one of those teams that got him in the past 3 games for only 3 hits but they somehow scored 4 runs. The King needs to avoid the long ball and walks against this time around or it will cost him. Then again maybe it won’t as the Angels send Ricky Nolasco to the hill. Nolasco is did beat the Mariners this year with 6 innings of 3 hit, 2 run ball. The 3 previous season Nolasco has had only 1 other start against the M’s and gave up 3 runs in a loss. Small sample size but Nolasco has not been great this year during any stretch of the season it will be hard to see him out pitching the King. If you need more convincing in the previous 3 seasons the King is 8-2 versus the Angels in 16 starts with a 1.80 era with a .186 batting average against. Be ton the King.
Tuesday August 16th
Twins over @Braves The last time Ervin Santana faced the Braves he threw a complete game but lost. The Ervin Santana has been stellar since June 19th allowing 3 runs or less in every start. The Braves Jose De La Cruz has not lasted very long in his three starts since joining the rotation on July 31st. The Twins have the upper hand in the battle of the bad.
@Astros over Cards The Astros Dallas Keuchel appeared to be back to his old self since the end of June allowing three runs or less in every start but one. That one start was against the red hot Tigers who touched him up for 7 runs in an 11-0 win on July 31st.  Jamie Garcia has been solid for the Cardinals but does have some struggles on the road. He has a road era of 5.04 and teams are batting .308 against him away from St. Louis. The Astros have also beaten him once already this year also. Take the ‘Stros.
Mariners over @Angels James Paxton has throw for at least 8 innings in his past 2 starts against the Red Sox and the Angels. He was a winner in that Angels game, 3-1 and was just 2 outs away from a complete game. Jouhyls Chacin was sent to the bullpen back in early July. He returned to the rotation on August 11th and last 1 and 1/3 innings against the Indians allowing 7 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks. Keep an eye on this game as Paxton has had a touchy elbow as of late. The Mariner starter really shouldn’t matter this is a pick against Chacin.
Pirates over @Giants Jameson Tallion keeps getting better and better as he gets more starts. The latest gem was 8 innings of 3 hit shut out ball against the Padres.  Jeff Samardzija has pitched like garbage in June and July with an era of about 6. He actually threw a decent game last week against the Marlins with 5 and 2/3 innings of 3 hit shut out ball. I am not counting on him to turn it around, take the rookie for the Pirates.
Wednesday August 17th
Blue Jays over @Yankees A battle of Pitchers with just letters for the first name. CC would come before JA in the alphabet but that is the alphbetically is the only way CC ends up ahead of JA in anything this year. JA Happ is 2-0 in 3 starts against the Yanks this year. In 19 innings he has allowed 3 runs on 14 hits. CC Sabathia has actually been just as good against the Blue Jays this year but is 0-2. In those 2 starts he has thrown 13 innings allowing only 7 hits, 2 earned runs (4 earned) and a .159 batting average against.
@Orioles over Red Sox (stay away Dylan Bundy has replaced Chris Tillman) Chris Tillman is an ACE and has dominated the Red Sox the past 4 seasons going 9-2 in 14 starts with a sub 3 era and a batting average against of .250.  David Price is the ummmm, ACE of the Red Sox. He is 0-1  with a 5.54 era against the O’s this year. Ironically the O’s are only hitting .204 against Price, seems like the only team not to hit Price who has been getting hit at an alarming rate this year. The hits will come though because in the previous 3 years they hit Price at a .311 clip. No way the Sox beat the O’s. Take the O’s and I hope I reverse jinx the shit out of this pick! As much as I want to reverse jinx the O’s and back Bundy. I have to say No MAAM (for all you Al Bundy, Married with Children fans). Shoulder issues for Tillman. Could this be the moment when the Orioles turn into Pumpkins?
Thursday August 18th
@Tigers/Red Sox over runs I am taking the over in runs in this game as the Sox and Tigers both have top offenses in the AL. Matt Boyd has been very good since the calendar turned to July posting a era just over 2. Clay Buchholz is the main reason I am taking the over. I don’t know where the Sox pitching staff would be without Buchholz this year. His last start against the D-Backs that solid 4 and 1/3 innings were just what the team needed. He is the backbone of this Sox staff. The sarcasm stuff works better on the podcast than in writing.
Nationals over @Braves Reynaldo Lopez got his first major league victory over the Braves. He threw hard and with good control in that game. That will need to happen again to make it back to back victories. Robbie Wahlen was on the wrong end of that first victory for Lopez as he was rocked for 2 homers and 3 triples. There were a number of balls hit hard in that game that found the mitt of a Braves fielder or it would have been worse than 6 runs in 5 innings. Reynaldo with back to back victories.
@Royals over Twins (pitching change Tyler Duffey for Berrios. The Royals are still a solid pick) Dillon Gee has been in and out of the starting rotation this year for the Royals. He has been average if you look at his WAR of 0.0 compared to others at his position. The good news is average will do against the Twins Jose Berrios. He has not gotten the job done in his first stint with the Twins this season or the second go around. Take the Royals in a slug fest. The Twins have decided to go with Tyler Duffey he is an improvement over Berrios but not by much. Stay with the Royals in this one.

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