World Series Game 7 Recap

George Springer powered the Houston Astros to the franchise’s first World Series championship, crushing a two-run home run in the second inning Wednesday that gave his club a commanding lead on the way to a 5-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 7.

In a World Series that saw back-and-forth battles nearly every game, only the Astros got off and running in Game 7, and the Dodgers never recovered from Houston’s five-run outburst in the opening two innings.

The Astros won their first title in just their second World Series appearance, after falling short in 2005. The Dodgers have six titles but remain without a championship since 1988.

Springer, who was named the World Series MVP, tied a record for most home runs in one World Series with five, joining the New York Yankees’ Reggie Jackson (1977) and the Philadelphia Phillies’ Chase Utley (2009). He also became the first player to hit home runs in four consecutive games of the same World Series.

The blast also gave Springer a record eight extra-base hits in a single World Series. The Pittsburgh Pirates’ Willie Stargell (1979) previously held the record with seven.

Springer’s home run Wednesday chased Dodgers starter Yu Darvish after just 1 2/3 innings, as the Astros were productive inside of those five outs by the right-hander. Darvish gave up five runs (four earned) on three hits and a walk.

Darvish (0-2) recorded just 10 outs during his two World Series starts in Games 3 and 7.

The Astros got things going early when Springer doubled to lead off the game. He scored when first baseman Cody Bellinger could not hit Darvish on a throw to first base after a ground ball from Alex Bregman. The Astros made it 2-0 when Bregman stole third and scored on a groundout by Jose Altuve.

Just before Springer delivered his two-run blast, the Astros made it 3-0 when starting pitcher Lance McCullers grounded out to bring home a run. Springer then lifted a 3-2 fastball into the seats in center field.

Bellinger’s rough day was only starting with the errant throw. He also struck out in his first two at-bats to extend his consecutive strikeout streak to six plate appearances. He added a third strikeout to give him a record 29 whiffs in this postseason alone, breaking the record that the Yankees’ Aaron Judge held for all of 11 days.

McCullers delivered a scoreless 2 1/3 innings to open the game, but he was far from sharp, hitting four Dodgers batters, including Justin Turner twice. He was supported by four relievers out of the beleaguered Astros bullpen, although one of those relievers pressed into service was starter Charlie Morton.

The Astros’ bullpen entered with a 7.29 ERA after the first six games but had its day in Game 7, giving up just one run on three hits over the final 6 2/3 innings. Morton (1-0) earned the victory, giving up just one run on two hits with a walk and four strikeouts over the final four innings.

Pinch hitter Andre Ethier drove in the Dodgers’ only run on a sixth-inning single off Morton. It was Ethier’s Dodgers’ record 51st appearance in a postseason game.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in MLB

MLB World Series Preview

The Los Angeles Dodgers took game number one over the Houston Astroes. Twenty-four hours later and we are back at it again for game two of the World Series. Select your fantasy draft picks from the MLB World Series Cross Sports Game. Finish off your remaining selections with some NBA action. A total of four games to choose from. Check out the Astros versus Dodgers preview along with with the NBA games below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Hoston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Justin Verlander is 4-0 during his stellar postseason run and looks to continue the success when the Houston Astros visit the Los Angeles Dodgers for Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday (8:09 p.m. ET on FOX). Verlander will aim to help Houston knot the series after Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner guided the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory in Game 1. Kershaw allowed one run and three hits with 11 strikeouts over seven innings while Turner belted a tiebreaking two-run homer (his fourth of the postseason) in Tuesday’s victory.

Verlander was acquired from Detroit by the Astros to fortify their rotation, and now he’s a symbol of a franchise looking for its first World Series title in the wake of a damaging hurricane that ravaged Houston in August.

PITCHING MATCHUP

Astros RH Justin Verlander (4-0, 1.46 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Rich Hill (0-0, 3.00)

Verlander has a stellar 11-5 postseason record, but none of those victories occurred in the World Series, where he went 0-3 with a 7.20 ERA in three career starts for the Tigers. The 34-year-old’s arrival in Houston changed the complexion of the rotation, providing the team with a second ace alongside Dallas Keuchel as well as raising the stature of the organization.

Hill is 1-2 with a 3.96 ERA in six career postseason starts and is making his World Series debut. The 37-year-old is trying to keep the moment in perspective after his major-league career appeared to be finished in the summer of 2015, when he signed with the independent Long Island Ducks, but 26 of his 50 career regular-season victories have come since that stint.

San Antonio Spurs vs Miami Heat

The San Antonio Spurs have not yet needed MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who remains out while dealing with right quadriceps tendinopathy. The Spurs will try to stay undefeated when they kick off a four-game road trip by visiting the Miami Heat, who will be missing one of their stars as well, on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on ESPN).

San Antonio is relying more on LaMarcus Aldridge with Leonard out, and the veteran power forward is responding by averaging 24.3 points and 9.3 rebounds. Aldridge is also helping out on the defensive end and provided the highlight of Monday’s 101-97 win over the Raptors with a chase-down block of Toronto point guard Kyle Lowry as the Spurs held their third consecutive opponent under 100 points to start the season. Aldridge could have some extra room to work with down low on Wednesday with Heat center Hassan Whiteside expected to miss his third straight game with a bone bruise on his left knee.

Indiana Pacers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Paul George faces his former organization for the first time since his acrimonious departure when the Oklahoma City Thunder host the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET on FSN Indiana & FSN Oklahoma). George was a four-time All-Star in his seven seasons with the Pacers but requested a trade during the summer and now is teammates with Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony in Oklahoma City. Indiana acquired guard Victor Oladipo and post player Domantas Sabonis in the deal, and the former is thriving with back-to-back 28-point efforts – including 11-of-16 shooting in Tuesday’s 130-107 rout of Minnesota. The Pacers will be without center Myles Turner (concussion/neck) for the fourth straight game.

Memphis Grizzlies vs Dallas Mavericks

The Dallas Mavericks are the lone remaining winless team in the Western Conference and have the misfortune of going up against one of the few teams that remains undefeated when they host the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday in the first of a back-to-back, home-and-home set (8:30 p.m. ET on FS Southeast (Memphis) & FS Southwest (Dallas)). The Mavericks are being outscored by an average of 14.3 points and were crushed 133-103 at home by the defending champion Golden State Warriors on Monday.

Dallas, which travels to Memphis on Thursday for the start of a stretch with six of nine on the road, allowed 40 points in the first quarter and 68 in the second half on Monday. The Grizzlies showed off their defensive might by holding the explosive Houston Rockets to 14 fourth-quarter points in a 98-90 win on Monday and entered play Tuesday second in the NBA in opponent’s field-goal percentage at 39.6.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App for free. Click on the links below.

Posted in MLB, NBA

MLB World Series Preview

The Houston Astros and the Los Angeles Dodgers will duke it out for baseball most valuable prize. It’s time for the World Series and it all starts tonight. Select your fantasy draft picks from the MLB World Series Cross Sports Game. Finish off your remaining selections with some NBA action. A total of three games to choose from. Check out the Astros versus Dodgers preview along with with the NBA games below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Houston Astros vs Los Angeles Dodgers

The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t won a World Series since 1988, while the Houston Astros have never been crowned champions in their 56-season history. The teams begin their attempts to end their respective droughts when Los Angeles ace Clayton Kershaw pitches against Houston’s Dallas Keuchel in Game 1 of the World Series at Dodger Stadium (8:09 p.m. ET on FOX).

The Dodgers are in the World Series for the first time since their memorable 1988 slaying of the Oakland Athletics, a series best known for limping Kirk Gibson’s decisive Game 1 homer. The Astros lost to the Chicago White Sox in the 2005 World Series and this season’s 101-win squad knocked out the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees to reach the Series. The Dodgers, who won 104 regular-season games, rolled through the Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago Cubs with standout third baseman Justin Turner excelling by going 12-for-31 with three home runs and 12 RBIs in the eight games.

PITCHING MATCHUP:

Astros LH Dallas Keuchel (2-1, 2.60 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.63 ERA)

Keuchel has struck out 25 in 17 1/3 innings over three starts this October and is a solid 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in six career postseason appearances (five starts). The 29-year-old former Cy Young Award winner scanned the Dodgers’ lineup and had no trouble anointing it as the best he’ll face all season.

Kershaw has served up six homers in three starts this postseason but his career ledger has improved to 6-7 with a 4.40 ERA in 21 appearances (17 starts). The 29-year-old three-time Cy Young winner is 3-2 with a 2.38 ERA in eight career starts against the Astros and has experienced struggles with Astros star second baseman Jose Altuve (6-for-15, four doubles).

New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics

The Boston Celtics finally earned their first win and then got three days off to figure out how to keep their emotions in check and move forward without Gordon Hayward. Kyrie Irving will be a little lighter in the wallet by the time the Celtics try to even their record against the visiting New York Knicks on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET on MSG (New York) & NBCSN Boston).  Irving had an altercation with a fan in the tunnel at halftime in Philadelphia and used a profanity, earning himself a $25,000 fine from the league. The Knicks have a young team and are still looking for their first win after squandering a 21-point lead in a 111-107 loss to the Detroit Pistons in the home opener on Saturday.

Indiana Pacers vs Minnesota Timberwolves

Andrew Wiggins is fresh off a dramatic game-winning shot and the 22-year-old shooting guard seeks to post his fourth consecutive 20-point outing to open the campaign when the Minnesota Timberwolves host the Indiana Pacers on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET on FSN Indiana & FSN Minnesota-Plus). Wiggins banked in a last-second shot from more than 30 feet out to give the Timberwolves a 115-113 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Sunday. Wiggins, who is averaging 24.7 points, recently signed a five-year, $148 million extension and was prepared to take the decisive shot. Indiana is rebuilding after trading star forward Paul George to Oklahoma City. They are receiving strong play from guard Victor Oladipo (22.3 average), who was acquired in the trade. The Pacers will be without starting center Myles Turner (concussion, neck) for the third straight game.

Download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in MLB, NBA

MLB Post-Season Team-by-Team Outlook

After six months and a calendar of 162 games, we are ready for the major baseball series. FanPicks will cover all the daily fantasy baseball post-season games. What are you waiting for? Reserve your spot for the upcoming wild cards matchups between the Twins and the Yankees, and the Rockies versus the D-Backs on the National side. It’s starting Tuesday Night. Here’s an outlook of every team who made it in.

Minnesota Twins

The surprise team of the year. They are young, dynamic, dashing and barely have enough output from their starting pitchers to qualify in the playoffs. They are the potential cinderella’s of the post-season story.

New York Yankees

A dangerous formation. Undoubtedly the most formidable big bats staff in the playoffs. The catch is that they have to take the lead in the first five innings. Aaron Judge will need the support of his teammates. Jacoby Ellsbury had a good end of the season, which is reassuring.

Boston Red Sox

For the first time in their history, the Red Sox have won the title of their section two years in a row. They did it without much power, which is far removed from their usual identity. The pitchers held the fort throughout the season, but the relief proved less effective after Joe Kelly’s injury.

Cleveland Indians

They are even more formidable than last year as they pushed the world series in seven games in the absence of starters Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. This year, they are healthy and Trevor Bauer is among the elite. The Indians have a depth that few teams can boast, both on the mound and on the attack.

Houston Astros

The Astros have a devastating attack made up of young people who are hungry for a championship ring. Carlos Correa is finally back a 100 percent healthy. Getting Justin Verlander in the rotation was the missing piece they needed.

Colorado Rockies

The Colorado pitching staff is largely underestimated, led by a gang of young starters (German Marquez, Kyle Freeland and Antonio Senzatela).

Arizona Diamondbacks

Among the teams drafted, the D-Backs are maybe the one that has the best chance of going all the way. JD Martinez came in to support Paul Goldschmidt after his acquisition of the Detroit Tigers. And Zach Greinke is no longer alone. Robby Ray and Patrick Corbin, the latter with a good second half of the season, give depth to the mound.

Washington Nationals

A strong team on paper, but with a lot of question marks. Is Bryce Harper ready? What about Max Scherzer? The lack of control of Gio Gonzalez on the big occasion is not very reassuring, especially against the Chicago Cubs, whose attack has been the best of the National League since the break.

Chicago Cubs

The World Series champions are back in series. Quietly entering in the playoff picture, they have been consistent since early July with an attack that produced as expected. They have several challenges on the mound though. Another trip to the world series is not out of the question.

Los Angeles Dodgers

How can a team that plays for, 800 for more than a month can have a sequence of 1-15 thereafter? The Dodgers are an enigma and even with a season-end of 8-2, doubts remain. Who will support Kershaw? Seager, Bellinger and Turner can not do it alone.

Don’t forget to download the FanPicks Fantasy App. Click on the links below.

Posted in MLB

MLB 2017 Season Preview

National League West

FanPicks examines the National League West division for the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Get ready for fantasy baseball.

Arizona DiamondBacks

The D-backs have the core of a strong offense with do-it-all Paul Goldschmidt, power bats in Jake Lamb and Yasmany Tomas and speed/power guy A.J. Pollock, whose absence had a lot to do with the team’s unexpected struggles a year ago. For the D-backs to have any kind of chance in the stacked NL West, however, their young starters behind Zack Greinke will need to take another step forward, and signed free-agent Fernando Rodney must thrive as the closer.

Colorado Rockies

Being in contention is realistic if the young rotation continues to improve and the bullpen, unlike last year, becomes an asset. And the bullpen should be better with the addition of Mike Dunn and the return of Jairo Diaz as well as young pitching prospects like Jeff Hoffman, German Marquez and Kyle Freeland, who could be moved temporarily to the bullpen to fortify that area.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Going into the offseason, the Dodgers’ goal was simple — keep as much of the roster intact as possible. They went 3-for-3 in the most important parts of that process, re-signing Kenley Jansen, Justin Turner and Rich Hill. Given the likelihood of better health this year, another year of maturity for the young players like Corey Seager and the fruits of a loaded farm system, the Dodgers appear to be the most obvious threat to the Chicago Cubs’ reign over the National League.

San Francisco Giants

The Giants remain one of the league’s most stable and successful franchises. They should receive plenty of quality innings from their rotation along with clean defensive games from a dynamic infield — a great recipe for getting leads, winning series and marching back to October.

San Diego Padres

Petco Park is a great place for fans to enjoy craft beer and good food. Sadly, good baseball doesn’t appear to be on the menu anytime soon as the Padres trot out a young team. Yes, it’ll be great for fans who like to see top prospects. Manager Andy Green suggested late last year that everyone “embrace the process.” That’s not exactly what most fans want to hear after watching too much losing ball over the decades. There will be far more growing pains than big moments.

Posted in MLB

NLCS Game 6

Dodgers vs Cubs (Cubs lead series 3-2)

The Los Angeles Dodgers made the decision to save ace Clayton Kershaw forthe NLCS Game 6 instead of asking him to throw again on short rest in Game 5, and now they need him to save their season. Kershaw will take the mound on Saturday at Wrigley Field and try to prevent the host Chicago Cubs from clinching their first trip to the World Series since 1945 (Enter Contests).

The Cubs were shut out in Games 2 and 3 to fall behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven National League Championship Series but exploded for 18 runs in the next two contests. And just like that, they took the series lead. Addison Russell hit a two-run homer in each of the last two games. The Cubs also received four RBIs apiece from Anthony Rizzo and Javier Baez. .

Los Angeles now faces the task of winning two straight games on the road but is set up with its best two pitchers in Kershaw and Rich Hill in a potential Game 7.

Dodgers pitcher & team analysis – Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 3.72)

Kershaw allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings to earn the win in Game 2 at Wrigley Field after earning the save in the finale of the NLDS at Washington three days earlier. The former MVP is just 4-6 with a 4.39 ERA in his postseason career. He has never won two games in the same series.

Third baseman Justin Turner has reached base safely in 15 straight postseason games. Los Angeles committed five errors, leading to five unearned runs, in the last two games.

Cubs pitcher & team analysis – Kyle Hendricks (0-1, 3.00)

Hendricks allowed one run on three hits and four walks in 5 1/3 innings while going up against Kershaw in Game 2. He ended up with the loss in a 1-0 final. The regular-season ERA champion at 2.13, Hendricks took a liner off the forearm in his NLDS start but was not bothered by any lingering pain in Game 2.

Right fielder Jason Heyward is batting .071 in the postseason, which includes a 1-for-16 in the NLCS.

Posted in MLB

Monday’s Late Night Games

Giants (79-70) vs Dodgers (84-65)

Los Angeles are sending ace Clayton Kershaw to the mound on Monday night. They open a three-game series against the visiting San Francisco Giants (Enter Contests), who are fighting for a spot in the postseason with 13 games to play. The Dodgers are leading their division rival Giants by five games in the National League West, while the Giants pursue the Mets in the National League  wild card race. They are one game back of New York and just a game ahead of St. Louis.

Diamondbacks (63-86) vs Padres (62-87)

The Arizona Diamondbacks are visiting  the San Diego Padres. This will be the first of six games between the last two teams in the National League West. They are both looking to avoid a last-place finish before the regular-season comes to an end. The Diamondbacks have won five of their previous seven contests. Thanks in part of their surging offense. They have a one-game lead for fourth place over the Padres, who were swept in three games by the Colorado Rockies.

Blue Jays (81-68) vs Mariners (79-70)

The Seattle Mariners are focusing in making up ground in the American League wild-card race when they take on the Toronto Blue Jays at home.  They open a three-game series against their northern opponents. The Mariners avoided the series-sweep against Houston thanks to a 7-3 victory on Sunday. They have won nine of 11 to close within two games of the slumping Blue Jays for the second wild-card spot.

Astros (78-71) vs Athletics (66-83)

After coming up short of a three-game sweep in Seattle, the Houston Astros look to recharge and continue their quest toward a wild-card spot in the American League. They start the second half of their six-game road trip Monday with the series-opener against the Oakland Athletics. Houston lost 7-3 to the Mariners on Sunday, but remain three games back of Toronto for the second wild card. A chance for them to close down the gap is a likely scenario, as they play their next seven contests against AL West bottom-feeders Oakland and the Los Angeles Angels before another confrontation with Seattle at home.

Posted in MLB

August 18 MLB Rundown

Thursday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your August 18 MLB rundown to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Astros vs Orioles

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve, who reached 1,000 hits against the Cardinals on Tuesday, has had a lot of success against Baltimore, just not recently. In Houston’s three-game sweep of the O’s earlier this season, Altuve went 1-for-13.

Dodgers vs Phillies

Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager has hit safely in eight straight games, going 15-for-36. Teammate Adrian Gonzalez is 18-for-40 with 11 RBIs and 12 runs scored during a 10-game hitting streak.

White Sox vs Indians

Cleveland’s first baseman Carlos Santana has a career batting average of .364 (4-for-11) off Rodon. Santana is the only Cleveland batter with double-digit career at-bats vs. the southpaw hitting over .200.

Marlins vs Reds

Veteran second baseman Brandon Phillips returned to the Reds lineup on Wednesday after missing the previous two contests due to injury and delivered the key hit with a go-ahead, two-run double in the seventh.

Nationals vs Braves

Nats outfielder Jayson Werth has reached base in 45 consecutive games. He has a chance to tie the franchise record if he reaches base on Thursday.

Twins vs Royals

Twins rookie right-hander Tyler Duffey goes for his second win over the Royals in six days.

Mariners vs Angels

Fourteen game winning pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has dominated the Angels’ two biggest threats in large sample sizes. Mike Trout is hitting just .214 (9-for-42) and Albert Pujols only .133 (3-for-45) vs. Iwakuma.

Padres vs Diamondbacks

Arizona right fielder Yasmany Tomas isn’t having any issues at the plate as he went 3-for-4 with two homers and a career-best six RBIs in Wednesday’s 13-5 victory over the New York Mets. Tomas has slugged 12 homers in his past 19 games and has seven multi-homer games while belting 25 this season.

Mets vs Giants

Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has been superb against the Mets in his career by going 4-0 with a 1.03 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in five career outings. Mets counter-attacks with their ace Jacob deGrom, who is 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA in three career starts against the Giants. Pitching duel to be expected.

Posted in MLB

August 17 MLB Preview

Wednesday Evening Matchups

FanPicks has your August 17 MLB preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Red Sox vs Orioles

Red Sox ace David Price face off against heralded O’s rookie Dylan Bundy. Outfielder Mookie Betts has been a real thorn for Baltimore’s pitching, as he has hit seven homers in five games at Camden Yards this season.

Dodgers vs Phillies

Jake Thompson’s progression from Phillies prospect to Major League starter continues. He will have to watch out for Los Angeles Howie Kendrick though. The veteran outfielder  is 14-for-25 with two homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored during his six-game hitting streak.

White Sox vs Indians

Indians first baseman Mike Napoli extended his hitting streak to 16 games Tuesday, the longest active streak in the Majors. 

Marlins vs Reds

In his third start back from Tommy John surgery, Reds pitcher Homer Bailey looked like his pre-surgery self with 11 strikeouts over six scoreless innings. He needed 31 pitches to get out of a jam in the fifth but had enough in the tank to fan the side in the sixth. On Wednesday, Reds fans will get reacquainted with Homer Bailey, and he with the mound at Great American Ball Park. It will be the Cincinnati right-hander’s first time pitching at home since August 7th 2014.

Twins vs Braves

The wait is over for Braves fans, as top prospect Dansby Swanson is set to make his Major League debut at shortstop Wednesday against the Twins. The move is in line with Erick Aybar Tuesday trade to the Tigers.

Brewers vs Cubs

For all the deserved hype surrounding their star-studded lineup, the Chicago Cubs have leaned on their starting pitching during a red-hot start to the second half. After two more strong pitching performances powered the Cubs to a doubleheader sweep of the visiting Milwaukee Brewers, left-hander Jon Lester looks to help Chicago make it three straight.

Athletics vs Rangers

Yu Darvish and rookie left-hander Sean Manaea will go at it again for the series finale between the Rangers and A’s. The two matched up in Arlington on July 27, a game in which Manaea had a career-high nine strikeouts.

Mets vs Diamondbacks

Jonathon Niese has been waiting for the opportunity to prove he deserves a spot in the Mets’ starting rotation. Niese, who was acquired from the Pirates for right-handed reliever Antonio Bastardo at the non-waiver Trade Deadline on Aug. 1, will make his first start since the trade in the spot previously occupied by recently optioned Logan Verrett. The D-backs counter with Zack Godley.

Mariners vs Angels

Seattle’s Cody Martin steps up into the rotation as fill-in for the injured James Paxton. It will be Martin’s first satrt with the Mariners. He’ll face the Angels and Tyler Skaggs, who allowed seven runs in his last start.

Posted in MLB

August 9 MLB Preview

Tuesday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your august 9 MLB preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Angels vs Cubs

The Cubs’ John Lackey and Angels’ Jered Weaver (Tuesday’s starters) were Los Angeles teammates during Weaver’s first four major league seasons (2006-09), with Lackey serving as his mentor. Lackey received a no-decision in his third straight quality start after yielding three runs and seven hits while striking out eight in seven innings of the Cubs’ 5-4 victory over Miami last Wednesday.

Braves vs Brewers

Center fielder Matt Kemp is endearing himself to his new team with some spirited play of late. Kemp had an RBI single in the fourth inning and scored the go-ahead run in the 12th of Monday’s 4-3 victory over the Brewers. The veteran is 5-for-13 with a homer, four RBIs and three runs scored in his last three games and 7-for-14 with a homer and five RBIs in his career versus Tuesday starter Wily Peralta. He isn’t the only one swinging a hot bat, as teammates Ender Inciarte and Erick Aybar are carrying respective 19- and 13-game hitting streaks into Tuesday’s tilt. Veteran Ryan Braun is doing fine in his own right with hits in 15 of 18 games since the All-Star break for the Brewers, who have dropped four of their last five contests.

Astros vs Twins

Houston’s Jose Altuve received his first day off this season in the series opener against Minnesota. The second baseman leads the major leagues with a .356 batting average. He’s played in 202 consecutive games before Monday’s rest. It was the the longest current playing streak in baseball. Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario collected three hits in the opener to improve to 14-for-28 during his seven-game hitting streak.

Reds vs Cardinals

Cardinals third baseman Matt Carpenter was 2-for-5 with two RBIs in the opener after being removed from Saturday’s contest and sitting out on Sunday due to an injured oblique. Cincinnati center fielder Billy Hamilton stole two bases on Monday and is tied for most in the majors with 45.  He’s 17-for-19 against St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina, which is the most steals by anyone against the respected receiver.

White Sox vs Royals

White Sox left-hander Chris Sale will make his fifth attempt for his 15th win. He’ll oppose right-hander Edinson Volquez, who’s been rocked for the second straight outing at Tampa Bay last Wednesday.

Orioles vs Athletics

All-Star third baseman Manny Machado has four homers and nine RBIs over the past two games. The recent display has increased Machado’s round-tripper count to 26, nine shy of his career high set last season. Oakland left fielder Khris Davis has matched his career best of 27 homers but has just one blast and one RBI over the last nine games.

Tigers vs Mariners

Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera notched one of the five singles Monday, giving him at least one hit in seven of his last eight contests. Teammate Ian Kinsler improved to 12-for-27 during a hitting streak that reached seven games. Trailing Cleveland by 2 1/2 games for first place in the AL Central, Detroit are sending Daniel Norris to the mound against Seattle’s Wade LeBlanc in a battle of left-handers.

Phillies vs Dodgers

In a season when the Los Angeles Dodgers have placed a total of 26 players on the disabled list, rookie shortstop Corey Seager has emerged as their most reliable and dangerous offensive threat. The 22-year-old belted two homers in Monday’s series-opening 9-4 win and is batting .326 with nine doubles, four home runs, and 13 RBI over his last 20 games. Seager has taken a commanding lead in the National League rookie of the year race with 21 home runs while serving an invaluable role atop the batting order for Los Angeles.

Philadelphia has struggled over the last two months, but may have found their right fielder of the future in Aaron Altherr. The German born player missed the season’s first 103 games with a wrist injury, but has provided surprising pop from the second spot in the order. Altherr is expected to receive regular playing time even after Peter Bourjos returns from the 15-day disabled list to join a crowded outfield later this week.

Posted in MLB

August 8 MLB Preview

Monday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your august 8 MLB preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contests. Get the info you need and play right here!

Rangers vs Rockies

Rangers scheduled starter Cole Hamels fell to 3-1 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts since the All-Star break following Wednesday’s loss at Baltimore in which he permitted three runs on four hits and four walks over seven innings. The rough road outing was a rare one for the 2008 World Series MVP, who still holds a sparkling 8-2 record and 1.90 ERA in 12 turns away from Rangers Ballpark. Hamels split his two starts versus the Rockies last season as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies and is 4-4 lifetime with a 3.21 ERA against them.

Orioles vs Athletics

O’s third baseman Manny Machado became the second player in history to homer in each of the first three innings when Baltimore dominated the rubber match with a 10-2 win at the Chicago White Sox on Sunday. Machado drove in a career-high seven runs in the win and finished up the weekend 7-for-15 with nine RBIs and five runs scored to lead the Orioles offense.

Tigers vs Mariners

Seattle’s second baseman Robinson Cano sat out the Sunday’s contest to rest and gear up for stellar Detroit rookie Michael Fulmer, who opposes Hisashi Iwakuma in the series opener.

Phillies vs Dodgers

The Philadelphia Phillies face an old friend for the first time when they begin a three-game road series against Chase Utley and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The 37-year-old Utley was the heart and soul of the Phillies for more than 12 seasons after making his major league debut in 2003, helping the franchise capture its second World Series title — and first in 28 years — in 2008 before being traded to Los Angeles on Aug. 19, 2015. The six-time All-Star and second baseman on Sports Illustrated’s All-Decade Team for the 2000s has batted .250 with seven home runs and 32 RBIs in 93 games this season for the Dodgers.

Posted in MLB

Fantasy Baseball MLB August 5 Preview

Friday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your MLB august 5 preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contest. Get the info you need and play right here!

Blue Jays vs Royals

The Toronto Blue Jays have won three games in a row and eight of 11 to pull within a single percentage point of the number one spot in the American League East. The surging Blue Jays look to continue their torrid stretch, opening a three-game series versus the reeling Kansas City Royals.

Braves vs Cardinals

The St. Louis Cardinals are getting healthy but are looking for a push in their battle for a National League wild-card spot against the Atlanta Braves. Leadoff hitter Matt Carpenter is expected to participate in the opener after missing 29 games with a strained right oblique. They’ve already had backup earlier this week, when infielders Jhonny Peralta and Brandon Moss came off the disabled list.

Marlins vs Rockies

The Miami Marlins have had a day off to recover from a catastrophic defeat and will try to turn things around against Colorado Rockies. The Marlins kicked off their six-game road trip with three straight losses to the Chicago Cubs, none as bad as Wednesday’s 5-4 defeat.

Brewers vs Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks want to end a disappointing run of pitching performances. They’ll host the Milwaukee Brewers for the next few day’s in three-game series set. The bottom-place Diamondbacks have given up 46 runs during a four-game losing streak. Their opponents, on the other hand, recorded nine tallies per contest over the last seven.

Cubs vs Athletics

Chicago Cubs shortstop Addison Russell once dreamed of playing at Oakland Coliseum. Dream will become a reality for him when his squad begin a three-game interleague series against the Oakland Athletics. A former A’s prospect, Russell has blossomed into a key player for the major league-best Cubs. Chicago has now four straight victory and won seven of their last eight.

Red Sox vs Dodgers

The Boston Red Sox are set on closing out a 11-game West Coast trek with a winning record. They will be begin a three-game series against the host Los Angeles Dodgers. Boston is 4-4 on the trip. Versatile Brock Holt delivered the tiebreaking RBI single in the 11th inning of Thursday for a 3-2 victory over Seattle, which split even the four-game series.

Angels vs Mariners

The Seattle Mariners are seeking to make up ground in the American League wild-card race. They are entering a stretch in which seven of their following 13 games are against the soaring Los Angeles Angels. Seattle is just 2-4 versus the Angels this season and Los Angeles is a 12-7 since the All-Star break.

Phillies vs Padres

Philadelphia’s Jeremy Hellickson was a prime candidate to be moved prior to Monday’s trade deadline, but the veteran right-hander will be staying around after-all. He’ll take the ball in Friday’s three-game series opener against the Padres in San Diego. Hellickson stretched his unbeaten streak to three starts (2-0) despite giving up three runs and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 9-5 victory in Atlanta on Saturday.

 

Posted in MLB

MLB August 4 Preview

Thursday Late Matchups

FanPicks has your MLB august 4 preview to get ready for today’s fantasy baseball contest. Get the information you need and enter right here!

Blue Jays vs Astros

J.A. Happ looks to win his ninth consecutive decision when the Toronto Blue Jays conclude their four-game set against the host Houston Astros on Thursday. Happ has allowed a total of two runs in his last four victories and has set a career high with an American League-leading 14 victories. Toronto won two of the first three games of the series, including a 3-1 victory on Wednesday in which Josh Donaldson homered twice and Jose Bautista went deep once. Troy Tulowitzki has yet to appear in the series due to a chip fracture in his right thumb and is questionable to play in the finale.

Dodgers vs Rockies

The Dodgers will turn to right-hander Kenta Maeda on an extra day’s rest in hopes of reinvigorating their ailing rotation as they face off against Tyler Chatwood and the Rockies on Thursday. The Rockies (54-53) have won 11 of their past 13 games and are a major-league-best 14-5 since the All-Star break. Starting pitching is at the root of the Rockies’ surge. Colorado starters are 10-0 with a 2.00 ERA in the past 13 games. Tyler Chatwood, who is 10-6 with a 3.50 ERA in 19 starts, seeks to win his third consecutive start while reducing his walks in the process.

Red Sox vs Mariners

Seattle will get its first look at Wade Miley’s return investment when left-handed rookie Ariel Miranda makes his Mariners debut in the series finale against the Boston Red Sox. Coincidentally, Miranda’s only other big-league action also came at Safeco Field, where he threw two innings of relief for the Baltimore Orioles in a July 3 game against the Mariners. Boston is likely to play Thursday’s game without first baseman Hanley Ramirez, who hurt his wrist in a dugout fall late Tuesday night and was wearing a brace Tuesday.

Posted in MLB