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And So It Goes....

Overall: 7-1-0 (0.875)
Basis Function: Daubechies4

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

May 27th, 2009 Picks

Finally got off that badwagon [sic] with a 2-0-0 day.

Klara Zakopalova took Serena Williams to three sets losing in 29 games, but she was incredibly close to losing in 18. Serena won the first set 6-3 and found herself up 5-3 in the second set when Zakopalova won three straight points to go up 40-love. Serena came roaring back to deuce and they battled over that game point for a long while. Ace, deuce, ace, deuce, and so on. Eventually Zakopalova won three straight points to take the game, and eventually the set 7(7)-6. Serena took the third set, though to send herself to the second round of the Roland Garros.

They did it. The Pittsburgh Penguins swept the Hurricanes with a 4-1 win on the road. Gotta say the Penguins are going to be dangerous in the Stanley Cup. Assuming Detroit advances we'll be in for a true clash of the titans. And so on to the picks.

1) Nadia Petrova vs. Maria Sharapova – Petrova
2) Rafael Nadal vs. Teimuraz Gabashvili – 26 games or more
3) St. Louis Cardinals @ Milwaukee Brewers – Milwaukee
4) Detroit Tigers @ Kansas City Royals – Detroit
5) Manchester United vs. Barçelona – Manchester United
6) Los Angeles Dodgers @ Colorado Rockies – Los Angeles
7) Seattle Mariners @ Oakland Athletics – Oakland
8) Houston Astros @ Cincinnati Reds – Cincinnati
9) Chicago Blackhawks @ Detroit Red Wings – 6 goals or more
10) New York Yankees @ Texas Rangers – Texas
11) Boston Red Sox @ Minnesota Twins – Minnesota
12) Denver Nuggets @ Los Angeles Lakers – Kenyon Martin FG made
13) Jered Weaver’s Pitch Count: 99 or fewer vs. 100 or more – 100 or more
14) Atlanta Braves @ San Francisco Giants – Atlanta

1) You can check out each players' stats, results from this year and their head-to-head results at SonyEricssonWTAtour.com. There's also a nice interview with Sharapova where she admits she played poorly in the first round before turning things around. Their match will be played on the Suzanne Langlen court. I can only favor Petrova as she is currently the #11 ranked woman in the world, while Sharapova has dropped all the way below #100.

4) The Kansas City Royals hope they can avoid starting another losing streak when the Detroit Tigers finish up their three game series at Kauffman Stadium today. The Roayls were once division leaders, but have since dropped 13 of their last 18 and are now sitting at .500 (23-23), 3 games behind Detroit.

Ricky Porcello has been on fire, giving up 3 earned runs over his last 4 starts.
The Tigers will be starting 20 year old rookie Rick Porcello who, after tearing through the minors with AAA Lakeland, is having a terrific start to his Major league career. Porcello is coming off a 6 inning 6 hit against the Rockies in which he gave up only 1 run. That's just the latest in a run of solid play by Porcello, a run in which he has pitched 24 inninings over 4 games giving up just 3 earned runs.

He'll be facing a Kansas City team that has been batting .240 and slugging just .350 in their last three games. Royals' manager Trey Hillman is betting on the rough stretch coming to an end naturally, saying: "It's been a tough two-week stretch. Every team goes through two or three a season. But I'm hopeful we can pull out of this one, and then the next one that we go through can kind of apply what we learned through this one." Ideally it is just a rough patch and not an indication that their early season success was a extraordinary run of good play. Kansas City will need their offense behind starting pitcher Kyle Davies who was shellshocked in his last start against Detroit, lasting 51/3 innings while giving up 7 earned runs from 8 hits.

I don't expect that to repeat itself again today, but the Tigers have punished Davies in the past and so Kansas City will need to provide at least 3 runs of support for him. The big question mark is whether Porcello can keep up his all-star pitching at such a young age. Detroit's bullpen isn't the greatest (4.63 ERA, 1.43 WHIP) and they have been winning games by taking large leads or having their pitchers go deep into the game. If Porcello can go 6 or 7 quality innings the Tigers should take the game, but if he gets touched up it could be very close and Kansas City would have a slight advantage in that situation. Overall I think both pitchers will give up some runs with the Tigers finding some power in their bats that's been lacking lately. That extra power hitting will provide extra runs and should be enough for Detroit to take a lead into the 7th which the bullpen can hold on to.

5)This is easily the biggest European football match of the year with most of the world looking to see who will be crowned champions of Champions. As such there are an abundance of great previews to ponder in making a selection today. Listen to Wayne Rooney express his belief that the Red Devils can
win with defense and counter attacks. Barçelona will be dealing with the suspensions of Dani Alves and Rafael Marquez in the backfield, but I think they will still be a strong side. If Manchester United can apply the pressure Chelsea did on the Catalans, however, I think the strength of players like Ronaldo and Rooney will allow them to score.

10) Derek Holland will make his second start of the season, and probably his last for a long while.

Texas can only hope to take 2 out of 3 after the Yankees spanked them 11-1 on Monday.
With Vicente Padilla returning from injury, and likely to join the bullpen for today's game, Holland will have one last shot to make sure he's the first choice to fill in for any further blows to the rotation this season.

The Yankees will be making sure that does not happen. In their last 3 games the Yankees are batting an incredible .366, though their long hits have been curiously lacking. They're slugging .496 in those games which is terrific, but considering the sheer number of hits they are getting and that they've played their last three games in well-known hitters' parks their hitting has been dominated by singles. Though they are unlikely to match those batting numbers they should still see 3 or 4 runs posted on Holland.

A.J. Burnett, on the other hand, has a rock solid position in the Yankees' starting rotation, even after being knocked around a bit in his last four startsNYY 3 - 7 PHI (L)

NYY 3 - 2 MIN(W)

NYY 1 - 5 TOR(L)

NYY 3 - 4 TB(L). Burnett has not been credited with a win in 7 straight outings, a series of games in which the Yankees have gone 3-4 as a team. I think the Yankees will find Holland as talented as most pitchers they have faced this season and unless Burnett can shake out of his slump their bullpen will be working to keep a deficit from growing. It will be tough for their batters to make up ground as well because while the Rangers' bullpen is not stellar they do have a terrific closer in Francisco and Padilla's addition, should he play, will strengthen it further.


Jared Weaver is very economical with his pitch count at 14.8 per inning this season.
Jared Weaver will face off against the Chicago White Sox today, a team against whom he has had great success. In two games last season he pitched for 15 scoreless innings, giving up only 4 hits total. He also threw over 100 pitches in both games. This season Weaver is averaging exactly 100 pitches and 62/3 innings over 9 starts and has thrown over 100 in 5 of those starts. Of his 30 starts last season he threw 100 pitches or more 17 times while averaging nearly 102 pitches and 6 innings per start. He is on a 100 pitch count and it's been enforced strictly this season, with Weaver exiting the game after 7 innings and just under 100 pitches 3 times. He averages a very economical 14.8 pitches per inning pitched, which would be 103 or 104 pitches in a 7 inning start. I think Weaver will reach 7 innings in this game, so it will be a matter of if he throws 100 pitches to get there. Unless he's under 85 or 90 pitches after 7 innings it's likely he will be relieved. If he has a bad game and is dominated by the White Sox he is likely to be pulled early, but he will be given a chance to settle down before then. Chicago has been hitting well in their series against the Angels so I like their chances to make hits and force Weaver to see extra batters and hit foul balls forcing him to throw extra pitches.


  1. Colorado Rockies should be always competitive enough to keep pace with the others. I really like them; they’ve always been my favourite teams in MLB. Just read about them here:

  2. I agree, I just thought Ubaldo Jiminez would not have enough of the good stuff to overcome Clayton Kershaw. They were close though, Broxton nearly blew it! =D