MLB Picks July 29-31, MLB & NFL News

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Jeffrey “Coach” Belanger is joined by Joel “I’m on Tilt Joker” in podcast 70 the Leonard Marshall episode. The guys discuss latest NFL news (Cowboy suspensions, Tom Coughlins new job, Le’Von Bell and Nick Foles) MLB News (Ardolis Chapman Cubs adventure, Prince Fielder’s neck injury and trades) and then Coach gives his MLB Picks for the last weekend in July. You can contact Coach with any sports or gambling related comments and questions at or on twitter @coachbelanger.

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MLB Picks 
Friday July 29th
A’s over Indians (Graveman replaces Hill stay with the A’s, looks like Hill is out for the entire weekend) Rich Hill on the road has been a great play all season. The blister issue is hopefully behind him now that he has been counseled by Moises Alou and been urinating on his hands. Watch out during the post game hand shake maybe just the old Bash Brothers forearm pound. The Indians have lost 3 straight Trevor Bauer starts and it’s time to wonder if midnight has struck for Bauer and he is about to turn back into a pumpkin. Take the A’s and Hill if he is still on the team.
Brewers over Pirates Junior Guerra and the Brew Crew have come through for me in the month of July. I am going to try and keep riding them to victory all the way until the end of this month. Junior pitched well against the Pirates a couple weeks ago allowing 2 runs and then the bullpen blew the game. He faces Jeff Locke who has stunk this year but has stunk even worse on the road. (7.47 ERA with .312 batting average against. The Brewers have killed him this year scoring 8 runs on 12 hits in 7 innings.  Those 2 games were at home for Locke who knows the damage the Brew Crew will do now getting away from PNC where he usually pitches well.
White Sox over Twins Jose Quintana gave up 4 runs against the Twinkies last time. He has been pretty good against them prior to that though. Ricky Nolasco also didn’t fare well against the White Sox in his last appearance but unlike Quintana he hasn’t fared well in any games against the White Sox this year allowing 14 runs on18 hits in 10 innings of work. The Twinkies will lose again.
Red Sox/Angels over Runs Rick Porcello the killer P for the Sox that actually comes through has to pitch on the road. He is 10-0 at home but the home/road splits are not appreciably better at home for ERA or batting average against. He goes against Tim Lincecum and if it weren’t for all the injuries to the Angels pitching staff wouldn’t even be in baseball. His ERA is approaching 9 and faces one of the best offensive teams in baseball not a good combo. I am not going to test fate with Porcello on the road though and I am going to wus out and take the over in runs. The over line might be 12.5 and i feel safe taking the over.
Saturday July 30th
A’s over Indians(STAY AWAY! Graveman pitched Friday and Rich Hill is out) Kendall Graveman might actually make that Josh Donaldson trade not look that bad. The A’s are 8-1 in his 9 June/July starts and he earned a win in every July start bring his record to 7-6. The part you worry about is the A’s offense generating anything against the Indians Josh Tomlin. He has slipped some in the month of June but he is still pretty darn good. The money line will make the A’s dogs in this one and you might have a close one until the end and then just wait for Cody Allen and the Indians bullpen to screw it up and let the A’s win.
Tiger over Astros Justin Verlander is engaged to Kate Upton so even when thing are going bad he has something to smile about when he goes home. He actually has a lot to smile about as he has pitched pretty darn well this year for the Tigers. He has a 3.64 ERA and his career ERA is 3.52, teams are batting .219 against him this season and .238 for his career. The Astros are hot but Verlander should have enough to win especially with that Tigers offense batting against Mike Fiers. In his last 3 starts Fiers has given up 13 runs but it has gone unnoticed because the Astros covered him winning 2 of those games. Take a happy Justin Verlander in this one.
Mets over Rockies Bartolo Colon of the Mets is the ageless one. In 10 starts the past 2 months the Mets have gone 8-2. The money Line in those starts are usually a pretty good bargain. Bartolo needs a bit more information about steroid use though, it does help your body recover after a work out or pitching but if you don’t actually work out it just makes you fat. Jorge de la Rosa gives up a lot of hits and also walks to many batters. A bad combination even if you are facing the anemic Mets offense. Bartolo might go deep in this one and then do the truffle shuffle like Chunk form the Goonies when he goes in the dugout.
Rangers/Royals over runs Martin Perez of the Rangers is not fooling people anymore and is giving up hits at an alarming rate. He does pitch better at home but he will still give up a decent amount of runs to a strong Royals line up. Ian Kennedy was pitching real well at home for Kansas City but those numbers have regressed as he has given up 11 runs in his last 2 home starts. This game is in Texas where in 4 innings of work the past 3 years he has given up 4 runs and 2 homers. The over in runs should be a safe play even if it is at 10 runs.
Sunday July 31st
Orioles over Blue Jays Chris Tillman was whacked for 6 runs against the Rockies in his last start. His splits versus the Blue Jays look bad this year but you need to look behind the numbers a little more closely. He has a 4.91 ERA giving up 6 runs in 11 innings of work. The Jays are only batting .220 in those 2 games so it is more of a case some timely hitting with 2 long balls against the Oriole Ace. Aaron Sanchez has reached 132 innings already. The Jays are afraid his arm is going to fall off and want to move him to the bullpen. When do they make this move. He will help their crappy bullpen but they need to make a move for a starter before they make that transition. He is undefeated on the road so a way to save his arm and reduce innings might be to just pitch him on the road. He has faced the Orioles twice this year and is 2-0. You need to look behind those numbers though, in 11 innings he has allowed 16 hits, 8 runs and the O’s are batting .333 against the Sanchez. Take the O’s Ace in this one.
Cardinals over Marlins (Andrew Cashner starts instead of Tom Koehler, take the Cards) Carlos Martinez had to really work in his last start versus the Mets throwing 106 pitches in just 5 innings of work. The Cards won 3-2 but he walked 4 in that win. I am still going to ride Carlos Martinez and finally looks like he is getting some breaks after some tough luck losses. Tom Koehler gave up 4 runs in 4 innings to the Cards earlier this month. The Marlins do not have what it takes to top Martinez and the Cards.  Newcomer Andrew Cashner takes the mound for the Marlins. Hope he last longer than Colin Rea who was acquired with Cashner went down with an injury in his first start.
Rays over Yankees Blake Snell made his Major League debut against the Yankees on April 23rd and gave up 1 run in 5 innings. He has a bit more experience under his belt now and gets the Yankees at home at the end of a long road trip for the pinstripes. The Yanks are technically away Monday and Tuesday but the game is in New York against the Mets. Michael Pineda has actually thrown 2 consecutive quality games in a row. He held the Astros to 1 run in 7 innings and shut out a flu-infected Orioles team for 6 innings in the start prior. He has actually been pretty decent since June and dropped his ERA from 6.92 at the start of June to an even 5.00. This year against the Rays he has given up 13 runs in 8 innings of work. Take Snell with the Yank getting Shelled in this one.
Pirates/Brewers over runs Francisco Liriano has been a disappointment for the Pirates and my Fantasy Baseball Team the Major Wagers all season. I thought he was going to turn it around in July with 4 decent starts in a row but then he got shelled by the Mariners for 7 runs in 3 and 1/3 innings. He saved one of his decent games this year for the Brewers but in the previous 3 seasons the Brewers have had his number. (2 wins, 4 losses, 47 hits, 26 runs in 42 innings of work. The best thing you can say about Matt Garza is at least he eats up innings for the Brewers. Someone has to be the #5 starter for every team. In 5 July starts he has a 7.52 ERA but has at least gone 5 or more innings in all but one of those 5 starts. The Brewers have some hope with Jimmy Nelson, Junior Guerra and Zach Davies as their top 3 pitchers. They could be a decent team to contend in the Central in a couple years. They might actually pass the Pirates by the end of this season.
White Sox/Twins under runs (STAY AWAY Carlos Rondon is pitching instead of James Shields) James Shields has given up 3 or less runs in his last 7 starts. A big difference from his start with the White Sox when he gave up 24 runs in his first 3 starts. A little perspective in his last 7 starts he has given up 11 runs and dropped his ERA from 21.81 to 5.17. The Twins were one of the victims of his hot streak when he gave up 1 run in 6 2/3 innings on 8 hits. Ervin Santana has had a similar hot streak as Shields with 7 consecutive starts of 3 runs or less. His last start he lost a 2-0 complete game against the Braves and he needed only 97 pitches. I am a bit concerned that the White Sox have chewed Santana up this year and spit him out for 6 runs on 14 hits in only 10 innings of work but that was much earlier in the season. The previous 3 years he has actually pitched decent against the White Sox holding them to a .214 batting average against. Keep an eye on this one because Santana might be traded before he gets a chance to make this start.

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