MLB Picks July 4th-July 7th, NBA Free Agency

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Jeffrey “the Coach” Belanger gives his MLB 4th of July picks through Thursday July 7th in podcast episode #63 the Tom Dempsey episode. He then recaps the first 3 days of the NBA free agency period. You can contact Coach with any sports or gambling related questions at or @coachbelanger on twitter.

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
147 102 0.590
MLB Picks
Monday July 4th
Cardinals over Pirates Carlos Martinez had more tough luck with a no decision versus the Royals while pitching 6 shutout innings. He has now given up a total of 1 run in his past three starts and neither Martinez or the Cardinals have a victory to show for that effort. Things always even out and it’s time for Martinez to get some offense to support his efforts. In 5 June starts he was 2-0 with a 1.31 ERA. Jonathan Niese after some strong efforts at the end of May and early June managed to get his ERA under 4.00. His last 4 starts however he has allowed 8, 4,5, and 5 runs. He gave up that 8 spot to the Cardinals. He does have a win versus the Cards this year but that was way back on April 5th and he allowed 5 runs in that game.
Cubs over Reds The Cubs have been slumping and I am thankful for that because their money lines have been outrageous. The Cubs will start winning again thanks to the shitty teams at the bottom of the Central division they get to play 19 times. Now you can actually get something more close to market value on their games. Kyle Hendricks takes the hill on the 4th of July versus the Reds he just beat 9-2 last week. He gave up 2 runs in 6 2/3 innings work. Cody Reed the young Cincy starter has been shelled in his first 3 big league starts including that 9-2 lost to Hendricks last week.
Indians over Tigers The long winning streak for the Indians is over. This means I can start picking their games again. Danny Salazar was undefeated in June despite some control issues. He appears to have solved that issue in his last start walking none in 7 shut out innings versus the Braves. Daniel Norris another young pitcher I am going against on the 4th of July has been effective for the Tigers as they have won 2 of his 3 starts. He does give up a lot of hits and many of those are of the flyball variety. Their might be a good chance he gets burned by the long ball in this game. The good news is he doesn’t walk many but he and the Tigers will not have enough to beat the Indians.
Blue Jays over Royals Aaron Sanchez might be the number 2 starter for the Blue Jays after Marco Estrada. Where have you gone Marcus Stroman. Sanchez has been a consistent and reliable pitcher all season for the Blue Jays but he does seem to have one start each month where he implodes and gives up 6 runs lets just not hope it’s against the defending champs. Edison Volquez matched Carlos Martinez with 6 shut out innings in his last start versus the Cardinals. He has been an enigma all season for the Royals and really for any team he has ever pitched for in his career. He has moments when he pitches great and then he is capable of the 5 run, 11 run blow ups that he gave the Royals in June.
Tuesday July 5th
Indians over Tigers (pitching change bust still go with Indians) Carlos Carrasco threw a complete game shutout last time he faced the Tigers. I wouldn’t expect those same reults this time out but he should pitch well enough to get the Indians yet another win and create more separation in the Central division.  Jordan Zimmerman is happy that June is over where he was shelled and saw his ERA rise from 2.52 to 3.95. Even though he pitched poorly the Tigers did go 3-3 in his 6 June starts. Anibal Sanchez is now pitching for the Tigers. This makes the match up more favorable for the Indians.
Giants over Rockies Madison Bumgarner the “Mad Bum” has given up 7 runs in his past 2 starts lifting his ERA above 2. He did have an extended run of 12 starts from mid-April through June where he allowed 2 runs or less. He had to show some weakness eventually. He will not be weak versus Tyler Chatwood and the Colorado Rockies. Chatwood makes the start coming of the DL. He has beaten the Giants once this season on May 27th when he went against Matt Cain. The Mad Bum is not Matt Cain.
Rays over Angels Jake Odorizzi has sputtered in his last 3 starts in June and had No decisions but they were all Rays losses. This year versus the Angels he had a no decision in a Rays win pitching an efficient 6 innings with 88 pitches  which was surprising because in the last 3 years he had given up 6 runs in 8 innings over two starts versus the Angels. Tim Lincecum goes for the Angels. He basically has a pitching gig in MLB because the Angels are so damn beat up with injuries. His first start for the Angels he looked like the old Tim Lincecum that was electric for the Giants. His last 2 starts however he has pitched 3 innings allowing 4 runs and 4 1/3 innings allowing 5 runs. A bad combination of to many hits and walks. Take the Rays in this one.
Wednesday July 6th
Nationals over Brewers The Nationals Tanner Roark has seen his ERA go up with each month of play this season. A awesome 2.03 in April, a pretty good 3.23 in May and then a okay 3.56 in June. He might be trending in the wrong direction but has been a solid and steady starter for the Nat’s all year. He faced the Brewers on June 26th and threw 7 shut out innings in the Nationals 3-2 win.  Matt Garza first two starts appeared to look respectable and good but as I said earlier if you looked a little deeper he allowed way too many baserunners and got away with spotty performances. His latest two starts were like the first but he was unable to avoid trouble and allowed 11 runs. Ride the Nationals in this one.
Angels/Rays over Runs (stay away – Jared Weaver is in for Jouhlys Chacin, the crafty veteran scares me.) Jouhlys Chacin after getting traded to the Angels from the Braves pitched fairly well but has regressed back to what he is a poor pitcher gives up way to many hits and walks a few to many as well. In June he had 17 walks and only 7 strike outs even the non-analytic crowd knows that is a shitty ratio. He opposes Drew Smyly who has started July like he pitched in May and June, not good with 6 runs allowed in a 10-2 loss to Detroit. Smyly and Chacin should be able to provide the over in runs comfortable cover.
Astros over Mariners Houston is a hot team and so is Mike Fiers. The ‘Stros have won his last 4 starts and his June ERA was a 2.86 and won his first start in July with 6 shutout innings versus the White Sox. Wade LeBlanc has made 2 starts this year for the Mariners. One was 6 shut out innings versus the Cardinals in a 3-2 win. The other was an even more impressive 6 innings 3 hit 2 run performance versus the hot hitting Orioles. Those two games were at home in the pitchers park of the M’s, this game is on the road in a much tougher ball park for pitchers. Go with the hot team in this one, the Astros.
Tigers over Indians This one is a gut pick. The Indians finally lost some games so I can start picking them again but this game is drawing me towards the Tigers. Michael Fulmer faced Cleveland back on May 5th in his 2nd start of the season and gave up 5 runs. He is a different pitcher since those early starts and will keep the Tigers in this game versus the hot Indians. Josh Tomlin has been outstanding for the Tribe going 9-1 (The Indians are 13-3 in games he starts.) He is 3-0 versus the Tigers this year allowing only 6 runs in those 3 starts. The starting pitchers in this match up are both good but the Indians bullpen is shaky and Fulmer will keep this a game until the Detroit bats take care of business and win the games versus the that shaky bullpen.
Thursday July 7th
Indians over Yankees (Stay with tribe, Yanks bump Eovaldi for Nova) The Tribe only lost one Trevor Bauer in June. The last time Bauer gave up more than 3 runs in a game was on June 1st versus Texas. The Tribe won that game 5-4 even though he had a no decision. The Yankees are a light hitting team that Bauer should have command over.  Nate Eovaldi is the Yankees version of Red Sox enigma Joe Kelly. They both have a plus fastball yet can’t seem to get people out especially in key moments. Eovaldi has been a frustrating pitcher for the Yankees after a good start to the season. Unlike Bauer he hasn’t allowed 3 or fewer runs in a start since May 28th. Go Tribe.  Ivan Nova replaces Nate Eovaldi in this start. Nova has given up 4 or more runs in his last 6 starts that weren’t the woeful Padres or Angels. Stay with the Tribe in this one even with the pitching change.
A’s over Astros Rich Hill back from the DL and on the road, I like this set up. His first start off the DL he was on a limited pitch count and still pitched 6 innings allowing 2 runs. Hill is the road warrior going 6-0 in his 6 road starts with a 1.40 ERA. Boy I wish the Red Sox had a pitcher like this for their rotation. Doug Fister hot streak of 12 starts of 3 or less runs is over. His last two starts he gave up 4 runs versus the Royals and 5 runs versus the White Sox. Hopefully Hill is not traded before this start so we can win some money. Unless he is traded back to the Sox then it’s all good.
Royals over Mariners I really like Danny Duffy of the Royals. He started the season in the bullpen but since joining the rotation in Late May he has had 10 starts and has allowed 3 or less run in 9.  James Paxton joined the M’s rotation on June 1st and they are 2-5 in those starts. He gives up a lot of hits and with the superb baserunning and ability of the Royals to manufacture runs this could be a tough sport for the kid.
Phillies/Rockies over runs (Adam Morgan has replaced Aaron Nola) Aaron Nola of the Phillies has given up 27 runs in his last 5 starts and now has to pitch at Coors. This has to be tough on the psyche of the young pitcher. Chad Bettis has given up 31 runs in his 7 home starts for the Rockies. Nola might cover the over in runs by himself but add Bettis to the mix and you have a good chance to see 18+ runs in this game.  Adam Morgan goes instead of Nola for the Phillies. Morgan has given up as many runs as Nola so the over in runs at 12 is a safe play.


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