Return to league play is return to normalcy

Jun 19, 2001 10:34 AM

Major League baseball gets back to playing teams in their own league, and it’s only a matter of games before division races heat up more than they have. Barry Bonds has ignited the public’s imagination of someone hitting more than 70 home runs. Books have put up a price of 11-10 that he does or doesn’t hit 70. My guess is 71 is out of line at this time. Heat of July and August and division races will stop that effort.

Week ending June 24

Milwaukee Brewers at Chicago Cubs: Cubs still sticking around, much to my surprise; however, their pitching is doing the job. Don’t think they have enough punch to stay there. Cubs have a chance of making hay, Brewers slumping. Going with Jon Lieber and Kerry Wood to win.

Montreal Expos at Pittsburgh Pirates: Two teams going nowhere in a hurry continue their slide to respective places, Expos towards oblivion, and Pirates to last place in the NL Central. Overs in the totals on Saturday and Sunday.

Philadelphia Phillies at Florida Marlins: Phillies thankful inter-league play is over for the time being.

Phils went 3-6 playing the AL teams. Phils not getting any bargains playing the Marlins in their ballpark. Marlins at .500 looking to make inroads in their chase of Philadelphia, trailing by six games at this stage of the season. Going with Brad Penny and A.J. Burnett to bring the Marlins closer to the Phils.

Atlanta Braves at NY Mets: Both teams struggling and in danger of missing the playoffs, moreso the Mets, who can’t seem to beat first division foes. Mets don’t fare any better here. Going with Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Rick Reed picks up a game for New York.

Cincinnati Reds at Houston Astros: Teams have disappointed thus far with little hope of improving. Injuries have beset both clubs especially Cincinnati. Taking Reds to win a couple behind Elmer Dessens and Brett Reitsma.

SF Giants at St. Louis Cardinals: Fans more interested in how Bonds will fare in St. Louis against Mark McGwire.

McGwire more interested in Cards catching Cubs than Bonds threatening his home run crown.

Bonds should fare better against Cards pitching than McGwire will facing Giant pitching. Forget the homers, Cards get back into the swing of things by winning two from the Giants against Livan Hernandez and Kirk Reuter.

Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies: D’backs making serious threat to win NL West title. Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson powering the drive. Schilling and Tony Batista do the job in Colorado.

San Diego Padres at LA Dodgers: Padres haven’t been able to right themselves since they escaped the no-hit attempt of Curt Schilling. Dodgers make them pay further when Luke Prokepec and ex-reliever Terry Adams take the mound.

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox: Sox minus Pedro Martinez might find the going a little troubling.

David Cone has picked up the slack somewhat. However, can you really count on him? Going against Frank Castillo and Hideo Nomo in this series.

Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers: Twins lucky to escape Wrigley Field with their lives. Won’t be much better here.

Going against Brad Radke and a double play on Dave Mlicki of Detroit.

Chicago White Sox at Baltimore Orioles: Look for Sox to showcase David Wells in hopes of trading him with Mets and Yankees in the hunt for Round David. Wells pitches a strong game to increase his worth. Kip Wells doesn’t fare as well versus Baltimore.

NY Yankees at Tampa Bay Devil Rays: Yanks look like they have righted their ship. Yankee bats should come alive at Tampa Bay. Roger Clemens has been strong and going with Todd Lilly for another fine outing.

Cleveland Indians at KC Royals: Royals on a winning streak getting timely hitting and strong pitching.

Royals looking to keep it going versus Indians who are fighting Twins for first place in the A.L. Central.

Anaheim Angels at Seattle Mariners: Can any team stop the Red Hot Mariners? Maybe some team from another planet like Jupiter or Mars. Can’t see Seattle slowing down in the near future, however Angels could be the fly in the ointment especially when Ramon Ortiz goes out to the mound and going against John Halama.