For just a fleeting moment it looked like the White Sox might make a move. They had won a season-high seven in a row.
Since then, though, the White Sox have lost three of their past four. They've been hammered in those defeats losing by a margin of 33-11. Any excitement on the south side of Chicago has quelled. I'm not buying into the White Sox being a favorite against the Rays in a pitching matchup of Nate Karns versus Jose Quintana.
Both of these pitchers are somewhat underrated. But the White Sox don't win for the southpaw Quintana and the Rays are very good against lefties.
Chicago has lost nine of the past 12 times Quintana has been favored.
The Rays ranked sixth in Weighted On-Base Average (WOBA) against southpaws. Tampa Bay is 13-3 in its last 16 games versus a southpaw starter and has won seven of the past nine times when facing a lefty on the road.
The White Sox are bad defensively ranking 24th in errors. They also rate 24th in runs scored and 25th in homers.
Karns has given up two runs or fewer in seven of his last eight starts. The Rays enter the matchup having just beaten the Red Sox on the road Sunday.
Free play is on Ajax Asterdam to defeat Rapid Vienna on Tuesday.
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1* Free Play Minnesota Vikings.
What you see is what you get each year from Pittsburgh, which builds through the draft, doesn’t sign a lot of free agents and basically comes at you. How much Ben Roethlisberger has left is a question asked every September given the number of hits he takes. The biggest change will be at defensive coordinator, where legend Dick Lebeau is gone – which may mean the LBs will be freer to attack the pocket.
The Vikes have Adrian Peterson back and things seem to have calmed down a bit in Minnesota. But then again, Mike Wallace has been on board for only a few months. Vikes are looking for a huge Year 2 improvement from Teddy Bridgewater and if they get it they can make things sticky in the North.
In 2014/15 the Steelers were 1-3 SU/ATS in the preseason and in 2013/14 they were 0-4 SU/ATS. After missing the playoffs in 2013/14, Pittsburgh returned last year only to lose 30-17 to the Ravens in the Wildcard round. Mike Tomlin has clearly not been very worried about winning in the preseason the last few years.
Last year the Vikes went 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS in the preseason, after going 1-3 SU/ATS in 2013/14 and 1-3 SU/ATS in 2012/13. For a team which is desperately trying to get back to the playoffs, the preseason suddenly becomes a lot more important.
There are many players on Minnesota which have something to prove, while Pittsburgh will surely be happy to just go through the motions and leave Canton without any significant injuries.
Minnesota would seem to be the more motivated team in this one, consider laying the short points.
8/03 07:05 PM EST MLB (953) ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS VS (954) WASHINGTON NATIONALS
Take: (953) ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS
Reason: Your free play Monday, August 3, 2015 is in the MLB contest between the Diamonbacks and Nats in Washington. Arizonahas a top 7 offense in baseball and the Diamondbacks are 6-2 in their last 8 games as a road underdog. Arizona's Zack Godley (2-0, 2.25 ERA) has been terrific and the Diamondbacks are 6-11 in their last seven interleague road games. Washington is home from a road trip and goes with struggling Doug Fister (4.39 ERA) with opponents hitting .299 off him. The team is 2-6 his last eight starts. The Nationals are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. a team with a losing record. Play Arizona.
Play - San Francisco Giants w/Cain.
Edges - Giants: Matt Cain 5-0 with 1.71 ERA last five away team starts during the month of August, and 2-1 with 1.80 ERA career team starts in this series. Braves: 5-11 last sixteen games in this series. With Cain in crafty KW form with 14 strikeouts and only 1 walk his last three starts, we recommend a 1* play on San Francisco. Thank you and good luck as always.
• Marc’s ultra-hot run on the MLB base paths (17-5 last twenty-two 4* releases) continues Monday Night on ESPN with a 10* play in a triple perfect winning situation. You know what to do!