Well, the all-star break is over (thankfully) and the second part of this exciting baseball season is upon us. Also, the weekend is upon us which means another preview of all of the exciting (and not so exciting) action....as always the games are rated from 1 to 5 as follows
1=take a nap
2=if you got nothing better to do
3=worth at least a look
4=pretty compelling match up
Mets (Santana) vs. Braves (Kawakami) =3
First match up between these two teams since they consummated the epic Church for Francoeur trade. The Mets have their ace Johan Santana pitching for them against Kawakami who sometimes pitches like an ace....Both teams have underachieved this year (especially the Mets) and both teams need to get hot.....like now if they're going to have any legitimate post-season hopes....the Mets might be the more dysfunctional team but Santana will get them a win in this one
Orioles (Guthrie) vs. White Sox (Danks) =2
Decent pitching match-up, two pretty uninspiring teams. The O's have the pieces together to contend.....in a couple of years.....the White Sox still have a chance despite a mediocre first half as they are 3 1/2 back in a weak AL central. The Sox have the better team and better starter going Saturday...which means they'll win this one easily
Angels (Weaver) vs. Athletics (Mazzaro) =1
Hmm...first place team with their best pitcher going or some no-name pitcher on a last place team that will get even less attention and be worse once they inevitably trade Matt Holliday.....Angels in a blow out
Twins (Baker) vs. Rangers (Feldman)=2
A game with two teams who are quietly in contention. Both teams are solid, not too inspiring and are likely to fade from the pennant race at some point during the summer. Rangers win this one and hold off their fade for another day.
Tigers (Verlander) vs. Yankees (TBD) =3.5
Possible play-off preview. Would have been rated higher but the Yankees are on more often than Every Loves Raymond reruns...which makes this a not as compelling match-up. This Tigers are surprisingly in first-place this year and having Justin Verlander as a staff ace helps this along. I usually rank Yankees games lower by default but Verlander alone is worth watching at least part of this game. The Tigers get one step closer to winning the title in this one and the Yankees loosen their grip on the wild card lead.
Mets (Nieve) vs. Braves (Vasquez) =2.5
Uninspiring match-up between two uninspiring teams. Javier Vasquez has been quietly dominant this year (he's been way better than his 6-7 record indicates) .....I see him having no trouble with the Mets depleted lineup....wouldn't be surprised if he completely dominates this game.