NFL Preview NFC East and North, MLB picks

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Jeffrey “Coach” Belanger and the “Joker” give their NFL preview for the NFC East and NFC North in Podcast number 77 the Curly Culp episode. The MLB picks will be posted on the jeffreybelanger website for Monday August 22nd-25th. You can contact Coach with any sports or gambling related comments and questions at or on twitter @coachbelanger.

In anticipation of the release of Book 3 in the Ali Armeni Series, Coach has a special on his first two books Code Blood Red and Fourth and Dead, 20% off directly from the publisher (the Word Verve) when you type in coupon code CAT. The ebook version is also discounted and will only cost $1.99 on kindle.

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MLB Picks 8/22-8/25

Monday 8/22

Red Sox over Rays – David Price certainly is not the ace of the staff that Clay Buchholz is but he is a pretty good 2nd banana. He won his last start versus the Rays. He has had 8 starts of his 26, against teams with a sub .500 record and is 4-1 in those starts with an ERA under 3. His overall ERA this season is a full run higher than his fielding independent ERA which is a sign that he has had some bad luck. He might of found his new personal catcher in surprise slugger Sandy Leon. Of the 4 catchers that have been his battery mate this year Leon is the only one with a sub 3 ERA. If it seems like I am searching and grasping for any signs of a David Price turnaround in 2016….I am. Blake Snell goes for the Rays and he beat the Sox in his only start this year. He did however give up 4 runs on 8 hits in 5 and 1/3 innings. Snell has been great against bad teams this year with a 1.86 ERA against sub .500 teams. That number balloons up to 4.13 against tens with a record above .500. Take the Sox and Price in this one.

D-Back over Braves – Zach Godley was inserted back into the rotation  after 5+ strong innings of relief against the Red Sox. In his last start against the Mets he had 7 great innings. He now gets the Braves that are even lighter hitting the the Mets. Mile Foltynewiecz has had up and down performances all year for the Braves. He will have trouble on the road in a hitters park Chase Field. Take the D-Backs in this one.

Pirates over the Astros – the Astros have struggled after making a run at the Rangers in June and July. Doug Fisher has given up 5+ runs in 4 of his last 9 starts. The Pirates are as big an enigma this year as the Astros. Jameson Taillon  has been a reliable pitcher since his call up with the Pirates going 8-3 in his 11 starts. You just need to hope that Pirates bullpen can finish the game because Taillon will probably only give the Bucs 6 innings.

Tuesday August 23rd
@Reds over Rangers Dan Straily needs to come through for the Reds after the shelling the pen took against the Dodgers yesterday. The good news is the last time Strailey gave up 3 or more runs was back on July 8th. The Reds have won his last 8 starts and despite a poor ERA against the Rangers in 37 plus innings the past 3 years he has held them to a .224 batting average. Derek Holland returns from the DL and a shoulder injury. Holland can  give up hits and the long ball with the best of them and that is not a good when pitching in the Great American Ball Park.
@Mariners over Yankees (Taijuan Walker is now pitching and I still like the Mariners) Hishashi Iwakuma after a slow start only has 2 losses in his last 10 starts. He does have a loss against the Yanks this year but in the past 3 years he is 2-1 with a 3.15 ERA. The real reason to pick this game is CC Sabathia . The M’s roughed up CC earlier this year and in the past 3 years are batting a robust .337 against the lefty. Take the Mariners.
Wednesday August 24th
@A’s over Indians Billy Beane and the A’s might actually get something positive out of that Josh Donaldson trade with Kendall Graveman. He 7-2 since June with an ERA about 3.50. The A’s are 10-4 in his starts the past 3 months, their one bright spot lately. One of those losses was at Cleveland though on July 29th a 5-3 defeat. Trevor Bauer has and ERA north of 5 in July and August. The hits and runs have been up the past couple months but the big warning sign are his walks are up. He is not locating the ball well like he did earlier in the season. Take Kendall Graveman who has been much better at home in this one.
Tigers over @Twins Matt Boyd  has given the Tigers some quality starts when called up on to join the rotation. The last two starts were gems at the Rangers and against the Red Sox two impressove feats. He faces the TwinsTyler Duffey who has struggled this year. Take the Tigers even though the away splits for Boyd are scary and Duffey pitcfhed well in his one start against Detroit.
Thursday August 25th
Tigers over @Twins (Daniel Norris is in for Fulmer. I still like the Tigers) This is a pad the stat pick with the Tigers over the Twins. Michael Fulmer was beat up by the Red Sox in his last start. This will maybe get the money line  lower because that was just a hiccup for the AL Rookie of the Year candidate. Jose Berrios is the reason you take this game. He has an ERA approaching 10 and a 94.50 ERA against Detroit. A skewed number only 2/3 on an inning pitched giving up 7 runs but still pretty damn ugly.
Red Sox over @Rays Drew Pomeranz one of the Killer P’s. (They have all pitched really well lately too) takes the mound in  the last game of the Sox road trip. In his last 4 starts he has given up 2 runs or less. Jake Odorizzi has had a great August going 3-0 record and a 2.31 ERA but he has struggled in 2 games against the Sox this year. In 2 games he has thrown 9 innnings giving up 14 hits and 9 runs. Take the Sox, just hold your breathe when the bullpen comes in for the 6th inning.
@Blue Jays over Angels This one is just unfair and the money line will probably represent that in this matchup. The Blue Jays have won the last 12 JA Happ starts and he is in line to contend for the Cy Young award. Jered Weaver is eating up innings for the struggling Angels that might be putting the last nails in the coffin for Mike Scioscia’s managerial career for the Halo’s.The only ray of hope is Weaver in the past 3 years has owned the Blue Jays going 3-0 in 4 starts while holding the Jays to a .183 batting average. Weaver hasn’t face Toronto this year and despite his past success it is hard to imagine it can be replicated for two teams going in opposite directions.
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
8/15-8/21 11 5 0.688
215 146 0.596



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