THE SHOW (4-1 yesterday and 16-14 so far for the week)
Of course, all the wonks and "experts" are abuzz over the big trade executed by the A's last night. It sure looks good on paper for Oakland, but we should always remind ourselves that pennants and championships aren't won on paper. The performance has to be there on the field. I will say, though, that the A's have certainly positioned themselves to make a real run at it this season, and the impact may not have a whole lot to do with the actual production of the players they obtained in the deal. Just the fact that the front office pulled the trigger on this deal so early in the trading season should do wonders for the rest of the players on that Oakland roster. They now know that Billy Beane and his minions will do whatever it takes for them to try and reach their highest potential as a team.
This trade has many side effects, and I'll talk about one of them in just a bit, but the big deal here is the fact that now, pretty much all the drama is gone from the trading season. The biggest deal has already been made with just under 4 weeks to go till the deadline. I guess if David Price is dealt by the Rays, that will cause a stir, but the standard has been set. Anything else that happens between now and the 31st, at least in the American League, is just teams trying to catch up with the A's.
BUTTA (2-0 yesterday and 7-6 so far for the week)
NATIONALS (GONZALEZ -150) over Cubs (Villanueva) - The biggest part of yesterday's trade is not how it will affect the rest of the season moving forward. It's all about how it affects me in the here and now. This was supposed to be Samardzija's day to pitch for the Cubbies, and that would have had me sitting on my hands for this game. Not anymore. Villanueva threw 2 innings in that wild slugfest in Boston on Wednesday, so I doubt he'll give his team much length today. I also don't worry about the Nats breathing a sigh of relief and thinking they can just throw their gloves out on the field expecting the Cubs to just roll over. Washington is in a pitched battle for division supremacy, and no, it's not too early to be talking about that. The bottom line here is that the Nats will go as hard as they would have had to if The Shark were taking the bump for the Cubs. What I will also say about this game is that I don't want to miss the opportunity this game now provides. I'm not convinced that Villanueva will be the Chicago starter, so I'll be playing this game as "Action", meaning that I'm on the Nats regardless of who gets the ball for either side.
ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
1. Dodgers (Haren -115) over ROCKIES (DeLa ROSA) - One thing we can seemingly count on from Haren this season is that he's going to battle. The Dodgers are in a good groove right now, and the fact that DLR is only 3-10 lifetime with a 6.17 ERA against them trumps all the good numbers that he has when he pitches at home.
2. D-Backs (Bolsinger +135) over BRAVES (HARANG) - I give the Snakes a puncher's chance in this one. There's really nothing to back up Bolsinger, but Harang is only 3-9 lifetime against Arizona and 14-23 in the 2nd half of the season against sub-.500 teams.
3. RED SOX (LACKEY -140) over Orioles (Jimenez) - This is the listed matchup for the 2nd game of today's twin bill in Boston, and I just might be inclined to do something stupid. It would be insanity to actually get on the Sox, but Lackey is 14-6 lifetime against the O's while Jimenez is only 1-4 in his previous starts against Boston. I'm going to think on this one most of the day and probably give it more time than it deserves, but I could see myself jumping in with the Sox if they lose the 1st game today.
4. METS (COLON -135) over Rangers (Lewis) - It wouldn't necessarily be a stupid thing to consider Colon here. He's 20-8 lifetime against the Rangers, and the Rangers are hapless right now. That being said, that great record of Colon's was amassed when he was on much better teams than the Mets. So, while it's true that he makes the Mets better, I just don't see the point of pushing the envelope with them.
RUN LINES (8-6 ATS/9-4 SU/7-7 TOTALS yesterday and 38-40/45-30/39-39 so far for the week)
|AMERICAN LEAGUE||NATIONAL LEAGUE|
|Orioles (+1 1/2, U8 1/2)||Cubs (+1 1/2, U7)|
|TIGERS (-1 1/2, U8)||PIRATES (-1 1/2, U8)|
|TWINS (+1 1/2, O8 1/2)||PADRES (+1 1/2, U6 1/2)|
|Royals (+1 1/2, U8)||Brewers|
|INDIANS||REDS (-1 1/2, O8)|
|Mariners||Marlins (+1 1/2, U7 1/2)|
|WHITE SOX (+1 1/2, O7)||CARDINALS|
|A'S (-1 1/2, U7 1/2)||BRAVES (-1 1/2, U7 1/2)|
|Astros||Dodgers (-1 1/2, U11)|
|ANGELS (-1 1/2, U8 1/2)||ROCKIES|
|METS (-1 1/2, O7 1/2)|
---As you can see, we have 2 games coming out as ties on today's board. There's one in Washington (totally not buying it) and one in St. Louis.
---There will be an extra game added to the tally at the end of the day because of the aforementioned double header in Boston.
---Tim Hudson goes for the Giants tonight in San Diego. Huddy is 7-3 lifetime against the Friars and 13-2 over the last 2 seasons against division opponents, but we all know by now that the Gigantes are poison at this point in time.
Hope everyone had a great 4th and that everyone came out of it with all the appendages they started the day with. Have a super Saturday, continue to be careful out there and I'll be seeing you tomorrow.