WEDNESDAY PICKS: Tigers, Pirates
CHI CUBS at TIGERS: Scheduled starters: Rich Harden (Cubs), Rick Porcello (Tigers). The 20-year-old rookie phenom for Detroit is 7-1 since the end of May. With Harden you’re always concerned about his stamina with so many arm problems over the years. He comes off a rough outing against the Indians. Detroit swept Milwaukee over the weekend. DETROIT.
INDIANS at PIRATES: Scheduled starters: Carl Pavano (Indians), Zach Duke (Pirates). We’re back to laughing at the sound of Carl Pavano after giving up 15 runs in his last 9 2/3 innings. Meanwhile Duke has been solid most of the season for the Pirates, posting a 7-5 record and 3.18 ERA. Cleveland is the No. 1 over team in the majors and can certainly exceed the projected total with Pavano on the hill. The Pirates are 17-12 at PNC Park compared to 14-25 on the road. Cleveland is 13-23 on the road and losers of 6 straight starting the week. PITTSBURGH.
WEDNESDAY PICKS: Marlins, Cardinals
O’S at MARLINS: Scheduled starters: Jason Berken (Orioles), Ricky Nolasco (Marlins). Big edge to Florida if Nolasco can match his 1-hit effort over five innings at Fenway. After pulling off a unheard of sweep at Philadelphia, the Birds may come back to earth here. Berken is just 1-3 with a 6.84 ERA. The Fish can possibly reach .500 again. FLORIDA.
CARDINALS at METS: Scheduled starters: Brad Thompson (Cards), Fernando Nieve (Mets). The Mets have gotten some surprisingly strong pitching from Nieve, who is 2-0 with a 1.84 ERA. There is just something about Thompson that makes St. Louis play well. Even though Thompson is just 2-2 he seems to always pitch good enough to keep the Cards in the game. St. Louis will come in as an underdog, which makes us like this more. ST. LOUIS.
Mark Mayer’s Wednesday record: 17-17. Last week: 3-1.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Mark Mayer