MLB Best Bets of the Day: July 28, 2012

Aaron Harang Dodgers

The Houston Astros tried their darnedest to get us a perfect day yesterday but fell just one run short. That’s right, if you can believe it, they blew another save opportunity and lost the game. Xavier Cedeno was credited with the blown save (1), but Rhiner Cruz did most of the legwork giving up two earned while failing to record an out. Cruz did allow us to hit the over (8 ½) but didn’t quite get us to where we needed to be for the Pirates to cover the 1 ½ runs we were giving.

The St Louis Cardinals won easily thus giving us my gimme pick, and Chris Sale and the White Sox were able to hold off the Rangers to get us a W with our value pick of the day (+120). With a full schedule of games being played today I’ll try to weed out the losers and pick some winners.

Pittsburgh at Houston 7:05 PM Rodriguez vs Galarraga

We’re going to keep the momentum going after a 3-1 day by sticking to our guns – betting Houston Astros’ games. Armando Galarraga is making his 2012 debut and he’ll be facing ex-Astros pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez. Galarraga will be bringing his 4.69 career ERA to the table and while that doesn’t seem as high as one might think, he’s finished the last three seasons with a 5.64, 4.49, and 5.91 ERA, respectively.  Read More…

MLB best bets of the day: July 25, 2012

Texas rangers holland

My mother always told me “if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all”. So, for this reason I won’t get into yesterday’s Best Bets, and hopefully you won’t either. Before we get into things I’d like to first mention that the MLB trade deadline is coming up quickly and you should checkout Jason Zemcik’s two-piece coverage on the happenings surrounding the deadline.

There has been one big trade, and no it has nothing to do with Ichiro but rather the Dodgers acquisition of Hanley Ramirez. Ramirez should give the Dodgers, and Matt Kemp, some extra ammunition while trying to regain the division lead from the Giants. L.A. sent Nate Eovaldi and minor leaguer Scott McGough in the deal. Now then, let’s get to it.

Cincinnati at Houston 8:05 PM Bailey vs Norris

Homer Bailey is on the mound today for the Reds and that is a very good thing for Cincinnati fans. In his last four starts Bailey has allowed just six earned runs in 30.2 IP and the Reds have won all four games. Bailey will likely continue his hot July against the abysmal Astros as he will look to go for his third straight game of eight innings pitched.

While Bailey has been hot, and owns a .231 BAA when facing the Astros, Houston’s starter has been quite the opposite. Bud Norris has had a terrible month of July, allowing nearly an earned run for every inning pitched. With owing a 7.27 ERA in July and allowing a nearly .800 OPS to the Reds’ hitters, this one could get ugly.

Picks: Reds -1 ½ (+110) and Over 7 (EVEN)

Read more here…

MLB best bets of the day: July 22, 2012

Lance Lynn Cardinals

After a less than stellar day yesterday we hope to put that pain behind us and move on.  We have some decent pitchers going today, and some, well, terrible ones… Jeremy Guthrie will be making his Kansas City Royals debut; Jordan Lyles will be looking to improve upon his 6.81 road ERA; Lance Lynn is going for his 12th win; Philip Humber and the White Sox will be looking to regain the division lead.

Houston at Arizona 4:10 PM Lyles vs Collmenter

As mentioned, Jordan Lyles doesn’t perform well on the road and luckily for the Diamondbacks, they’ll be facing the righty and the putrid Astros offense at home today. Arizona hitters haven’t faced Lyles much, but when they have they’re hitting .524 with an OPS of 1.190 – Not a great sample size, but a little is better than nothing.

Look for Justin Upton, Gerardo Parra and Miguel Montero to have some run-producing at bats today.

Picks: Diamondbacks -1 ½ (Even) and Over 9 (-120)

Chicago Cubs at St. Louis 2:15 PM Wood vs Lynn

Since giving up five earned runs or more in three consecutive starts in June Lance Lynn has been dominant. Lynn is sporting a 0.69 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in July and has recorded 17 strikeouts in just 13 IP. Furthermore, current Cubs are hitting just .227 against the 25-year-old red bird. Read more here…

Evaluating potential Houston Astros trade assets

 Evaluating Potential The Houston Astros Trade Assets

It’s a pretty rough time to be a Houston Astros fan now. The Astros are coming off a 106 loss season, which was 7 more losses than any other team in baseball. The 2012 team has looked a little better, but they are still way below .500 and a high 2013 draft pick is a near guarantee. In fact, if it weren’t for some unexpected starts by several of the team’s players, then this team may have been challenging the Cubs, Twins, and Padres for the worst record in baseball.
Despite all this, there is some hope for the fledgling franchise that has yet to win a world series in its 50 years of existence. For starters, a management upheaval has brought some brilliant new minds to a franchise that was practically plunged for its assets by the Phillies thanks to former GM, Ed Wade. New GM, Jeff Luhnow, brings a philosophy that strongly relies on building from within, and the Astros are determined to do that. They had one of the worst farm systems in baseball a couple of years ago, but an influx of talent from trades and the draft has pushed the system to more middle of the pack. The Astros actually have 3 prospects that made my top 100 prospect list earlier this spring in Jonathan Singleton, George Springer, and Jarred Cosart, as well as one who just missed the cut in Jonathan Villar. The Astros also held the top pick in last week’s draft, and they added several marquee prospects, such as Carlos Correa and Lance McCullers jr, that could one day start on the next Astros playoff team, assuming the franchise doesn’t fall into Pittsburgh Pirates like stretch.
The franchise also has hope in a young group of big leaguers, that have showed signs of potential thus far in 2012. Former Braves top prospect, Jordan Schafer, has emerged as a valuable big league asset at the age of 25. He is on pace to steal over 40 bases, and a decent walk rate along with average defense in centerfield, could allow the Astros to trade him for something of value. 24-year-old left fielder, JD Martinez, has shown that he may be worth keeping for the Astros. He will likely never hit for a solid average, but he should be a 20 home run type hitter that draws a ton of walks. He’s on pace for 72 walks on the season. Infielder Jose Altuve is also showing he could belong in the Astros long-term plan.
Standing at just 5-5, Altuve is an offensive threat in the middle of the diamond. Altuve is strong on the base paths, and he has doubles power and speed which allows him to rack up the doubles and triples. Aside from that, he can just flat-out hit. He is likely a perennial 200 hit second basemen, that should compete for the batting title year in and year out. He is probably the lone all-star caliber talent the Astros have at the big league level. On the pitching side, Bud Norris and Jordan Lyles could be in the fold for Houston long-term. Lyles was rushed to the big leagues, but is still just 21 and could be a number 2 starter. Norris has been a pleasant surprise for the Astros over the past couple seasons. He has been striking out over 9 batters per 9 innings the past 2 years, and the Astros could be forced to make a decision on him soon. He is just 27, so they could choose to keep him to add a veteran presence when some of their younger pitchers start coming up, or they could deal him while his value is high. Read more here…