For this post, I am going to preview the baseball games being featured on national televison. Depending on how I feel about this, this may either be a one-shot deal or become a recurring feature [if this feature lives long enough, the preview will eventually cover football and basketball). Also, this is not meant to be comprehensive as I will only be highlighting the sports that I follow: (For this weekend, that would be just baseball. This means no coverage of Golf, Boxing, Soccer, etc.) Also, I will be ranking the games on a 1-5 basis as follows:
3=i'll watch a little if I have nothing better to do
4=likely a good but not great game
MLB FOX Regional Coverage:
Red Sox (Wakefield) vs. Braves (Vasquez) =3
I like the pitching match-up for this game. You get two veteran pitchers both playing better than expected. Also, you get two contradictory pitching styles. On one side, you have the knuckleballer Wakefield who already has 9 wins going for the Sox. On the other hand, Vasquez who is second in the NL in K's who has pitched better than his 5-6 record indicates. While the Red Sox are the stronger team, the Braves still have a lot to play for as they are only 4 games back in a weak NL East. I think Vasquez will keep this game close but I see the Sox prevailing in this one.
Cubs (Dempster) vs. White Sox (Buerhle) =2
Not looking good for those Cubs. They are self destructing about 4 months earlier than usual. Lots of distractions in the last couple days between Soto testing positive for weed and Milton being Milton.....being on the short-end of the pitching match up does not help either....White Sox in a blowout
Angels (Lackey) vs. D-Backs ( Davis)= 2
If nothing else, at least the D-Backs can't play any worse tomorrow than they are playing tonight. The Angels have a disappointing John Lackey going for them. The D-Backs have Doug Davis, who has pitched better than his 3-8 record indicates. With Davis pitching well and Arizona likely to fall out of contention......this could be one of his last starts as a D-Back. Even though the Angels have a much better team, I see Arizona winning this one.
Yankees (Burnett) v. Mets (Redding) =1
Yes, I went there, I gave the Yankees-Mets the lowest ranking possible. As a baseball fan who is not from New York, has never even been to New York and never been a fan of either team, I do feel that the New York teams get shoved down baseball fan's throats on a yearly basis......So pretty much you have a ridicuously over-paid mediocre pitcher (Burnett) vs. a journeyman pitcer (Tim Redding)....i'm not high on either team but since Redding pitched well against St. Louis on monday i'll pick the mets to win
Red Sox (Penny) v. Braves (Hanson) =4
Why does Sunday's Sox-Braves game get a higher ranking than Saturday's: Two Words: Tommy Hanson. This kid received lots of hype before even being called up and so for he's lived up to it. I haven't seen him pitch personally myself, but in his last 3 starts this kid has been lights out. (3-0 2 ER in 17 innings). Hanson definitely has the potential to be an ace pitcher in the big leagues. The Braves haven't lost any Hanson started games yet and I see that trend continuing on Sunday.
Yankees (Wang) v. Mets (Hernandez)= 1
As much as this game is a snoozer, I would like to use this space to thank Chien-Ming Wang for doing everything in his power to make sure my pre-season prediction of the Yankees finishing 3rd and missing the playoffs comes true......granted he hasn't pitched as bad since coming off the disabled list but he has an era that's higher than geovany soto (yes I went there)- Mets win this one by default.
In other words, not the best sports TV weekend. Other than sunday's Braves-Sox games, this slate is pretty uninspiring...........well at least I got mlb.tv to keep me occupied
Saturday Pick of the Day: Brew Crew over Giants
P.S. I grabbed/double-checked statistics, starting pitchers, miscallenous info from the following sites while writing this post:
mlb.com, baseball-reference.com, usatoday.com