Starts Monday, Sept. 15
Dodgers at Pirates (M-Thu): LA is 2-1 against the Bucs this season and makes it first trip to the Steel City for this four-game series. The Blue Bleeders were 9-1 in its last 10 heading into Sunday, had a four-game win streak going and created a little distance (4½ games) between themselves and the fading Diamondbacks. Historically, the Dodgers have had Pittsburgh’s number and with team way out of the race and the other now seeing the finish line in the form of the playoffs, it’s easy to handicap the side here. The big question: Can LA win all four of these at PNC park? Hideki Kuroda (8-10, 3.93 ERA) gets the call tonight against rookie Ross Ohlendorf. Let’s bleed some blue… DODGERS.
Mets at Nationals (M-Thu): Lucky for the Metropolitans, they get the woeful Nationals in this four-gamer they desperately need as memories of last year’s fold can’t help but be in the forefront of the collective minds. GamingToday subscribers who get the paid monthly content know our Play of the Day feature has been on fire, going 10-6 to start September after a 19-11-1 August. Why the mention? Because tonight’s POD is the METS who start Pedro Martinez against John Lannan (7.62 ERA L5 starts). And I wouldn’t be surprised if NY – 3-1 at Washington this season (15-10 runs) – end up sweeping the Nats here. Washington has MLB’s worst record (56-93) and a five-game losing streak headed into tonight’s game. Embrace logic. METS.
Padres at Rockies (M-Thu): San Diego has held its own (3-3) against Colorado in Denver this season and the Rockies are mired in major slump, losing seven in a row heading into Sunday’s matchup against LA. SD’s probables? LeBlanc, Estes, Geer ... Not exactly Lackey, Santana, Saunders material folks. And with Colorado out of it, there won’t be much motivation in the Rockies dugout but to try and back the Pads – an MLB-worst 23-49 away from home – is like trying to back Independent Bob Barr for president. Why even try? ROCKIES.
BONUS: WHITE CASTLE over Big Boy, PARLAYS OFF BOARD over Parlay Cards, AUSTRALIA over Antarctica, AQUAMARINE over Blue Bell (Crayola colors), JIMMY KIMMEL over Craig Ferguson, DRAIN-O over Liquid Plumber.
Starts Friday, Sept. 19
Astros at Pirates (Fri-Sun): Can you believe the Astros are in the hunt? The mainstream sports media had it all figured out who had a shot at a Wild Card spot but did you ever hear a mention of Houston? Winners of seven straight and nine of 10 at this writing, the Astros have been the hottest team in baseball lately. Houston swept the Pirates in their last four-game series, outscoring the visitors 25-9 last week at Minute Maid. And when or if Roy Oswalt – he has a 32 1/3 inning scoreless streak and two straight complete game shutouts – gets the ball, break your friggin piggybank (and think about the UNDER). Even though this is in the Steel City, Houston is the easy pick. ASTROS. (BEST BET).
Giants at Dodgers (Fri-Sun): One of baseball’s biggest rivalries, this series will be fun to watch as SF would love nothing more than to throw a monkey wrench into LA’s plan to win the NL West. With Manny leading the offense an Billingsley, Lowe,
Kuroda, Maddux and Kershaw getting it done on the mound, and the Dodgers winning seemingly everyday, picking them to take at least two of three here is the call. DODGERS, UNDERS.
White Sox at Royals (Fri-Sun): The Pale Hose are slumping and in jeopardy of not getting a piece of postseason pie after having a phenomenal regular season – until September. In need of wins, Chicago finds a game Royals team with nothing to lose playing in their own stadium. The White Sox are 10-5 against KC but just 3-3 in BBQ City. Desperation fuels their fire here and Konerko is back in the lineup so Chicago should find ways to win two of three here or their hopes will take another blow. WHITE SOX.
BONUS: JAYS POTATO CHIPS over Lays Potato Chips, SUNGLASSES over Regular Glasses, BLUEBERRY SYRUP over Maple Syrup, YAKS over Buffaloes, CATS-DOGS, Push, PAPER CLIPS-STAPLES, Push, BOXER BRIEFS over Bikini Briefs, ADIDAS-PUMA Push, PINK PANTHER over Inspector Closeau, PERIODS over Exclamation Marks.