They say all good things must come to an end. In the case of my performance on MLB's Beat the Streak, all mildly pathetic things must come to an end as well. I talked up my two picks yesterday more than any of my previous ones and that hubris made the two 0-fers I saw in the box scores that much more painful. Jose Altuve was the only one of the first five hitters in the Astros' lineup to go hitless as Brandon McCarthy, and his grotesque WHIP, spun a four hit shutout. Freddie Freeman's opposing hurler, David Holmberg, once again couldn't get out of the third inning and the game ended 8-0 in favor of the Braves. Freeman however was hit twice by pitches and walked once before striking out twice. So it is back to the drawing board with Indians outfielder Michael Brantley and Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy. Brantley has never faced Houston starter Brad Peacock but let's be honest its Brad Peacock. Picking the best hitter on a team against Brad Peacock should be a slam dunk. Murphy's adversary is Mr. Danny Haren. Murph has three hits in eleven at-bats lifetime against Haren. I expect that number to at least get to four as Haren doesn't particularly give up a shortage of hits. ADDED BONUS: MLB.com is running a contest today (and have been for the past two Thursdays which I have idiotically missed) in which if you pick 57 correct hitters in one day you win the $5.6 million grand prize. Hopefully I just get this knocked out in one shot and trim this article for future editions. Here is my chart for today, wish me luck!
My quest for the Red Star and beyond takes me all over the globe today on Streak for the Cash. It starts off in Russia with a Premier League matchup between Terek Grozny and Arsenal Tula. Terek has done right by me in the past and taking on a team at the bottom of the RPL table who are in their first year in the top division EVER bodes well for me. What I have learned with the Russian sporting leagues (KHL hockey and RBSL basketball included) is that the unexpected is rather commonplace. I wouldn't be surprised if my hopes were dashed by early this afternoon after the Russian Gunners drop a 4-0 result on my head. My next pick win or loss will be heading West to Europe with a double prop bet featuring the champions of the German Bundesliga (Bayern Munich) and the French Ligue 1 (Paris Saint-Germain). I am going against my gut on this one and picking that both teams can't produce 2+ goal wins against Wolfsburg and Evian respectively. If it were later in the season and the rosters were fully meshed and running on all cylinders it would be a no-brainer for me to go the other way but in the first couple weeks of any new soccer season I feel it is always better to lean towards a lower scoring result.
When I finally get back to the good old US of A (I'm skipping the Spanish Super Cup) for tonight's action I have quite the pu pu platter of choices. WNBA Playoffs, meh. Preseason NFL, nope. Divisional baseball, too risky. That is why I hope to have a 6-streak going at 10:10 this evening so I can flush it down the toilet with Dan Haren against Jon Niese and the Mets. If he fails me (barring the three European teams proceeding him on my pick sheet succeed) Haren will earn a spot in the vaunted I Hate You Only Because Of Streak For The Cash Hall Of Fame. No bronze busts, just middle fingers. Happy streaking everyone! Watch out for campus security on the quad!
Image Credits: Brantley/Murphy, 57 pick chart (mlb.com); Streak picks (espn.com)