Mar 29, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Los Angeles Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe (12) shoots during the first half against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT

Streak for the Cash, April 1 Picks and Analysis


Streak for the Cash is full of picks today from around the country as MLB  has its Opening Day and the NHL and NBA playoff races continue. Find my free sports picks for the day right here. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Hope springs eternal across the country today as the Major League Baseball season gets underway for most teams and a new month kicks off on ESPN’s Streak for the Cash game. Along with a full slate of MLB options, there’s a picks from the English FA Cup, an EPL game, and a few NHL and NBA matchups as well. As the new month gets underway, here’s the picks I like for today with a recap of March at the bottom of the post.

4/1 Streak Pick

7:30- Manchester United: In this 6th round replay, Chelsea is slightly favored at home, but I still the Man U gets the win. The Red Devils haven’t lost in their last 23 matches against English competition and Chelsea has a game coming up midweeks while ManU doesn’t. With cup games, it’s always hard to tell how invested teams will be, so make sure to check the lineups to see who’s in and who’s on the sidelines for this one. United has been so dominant in domestic play, I think they’ll get the win on the road in this one. Confidence Meter: (out of 10) If this wasn’t the first game of the month, I’d stay away but there’s literally nothing to lose, so go ahead make the pick.

Mar 6, 2013; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) throws during spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at JetBlue Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

1:05- Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox open in New York against their hated rivals the Yankees as they face CC Sabathia and the injury-depleted Bronx bombers. New York is favored in this one, but the Sox have hit Sabathia pretty well in his career. Jon Lester counters for the Sox coming off a red-hot Spring Training and looking to return to his ace-like form after a disastrous last season. One of his few highlights last year was how he did against the Yankees in New York with a pair of solid starts lasting 12 innings and allowing just one run. I admit that I’m a big-time Sox fan and hat the Yankees, but I really do think the Sox are the pick in this one. Confidence Meter: 6

1:10- New York Mets: The Mets host San Diego at Citi Field as both teams look to bounce back from rough seasons last year. The Padres won’t have Chase Headley who’s injured and will start Edinson Volquez who was great at home but struggled on the road last season.  Jonathon Niese will get the nod for the Mets as he takes over as their ace after Johan Santana’s injury and R.A. Dickey’s trade. Niese had a nice season last year and with David Wright anchoring the lineup I think the Mets get the win at home in their season opener. Confidence Meter: 4

2:10- Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers hope for a strong season from Yovani Gallardo while the Rockies are just looking for signs of hope after a rough season last year. The Brewcrew have the stronger lineup and the better starting pitcher, but it’s baseball so anything can happen in any given game. Confidence Meter: 5

3:00- Fulham win: Fulham has won two of their last three outright including an impressive win at Tottenham Hotspur. They’ve also won two of their last three at home with their loss coming against Manchester United. Today they’ll lost Queens Park who have gone 2-0-3 in their last five. QPR got a win at home earlier over Fulham in the EPL season, but Fulham’s recent form and 6-3-5 record at home at Craven Cottage make them my pick in this one. Confidence Meter: 3 1/2

4:05- Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers and Giants get their rivalry re-stoked early this year as well as they open with Matt Cain of the Giants taking on Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. Both are returning ace’s and both know their opponent well. Kershaw is 8-4 with a 1.39 ERA  against San Francisco over the last three years while Cain is 4-1 with a 2.58 ERA over the same time. This should be a tense, low-scoring game. If you like defense and pitching, this is the game you want to watch. It should be a great one to watch even though its a tough one to pick. Confidence Meter: 4

March 26, 2013; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Jered Weaver (36) throws in the first inning during a spring training game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

4:10- Los Angeles Angels: While this may or may not be a World Series preview, it would definitely be surprising if either the Angels and Reds miss the playoffs. Both teams will have their aces on the hill with Johnny Cueto facing Jered Weaver. The Angels unveil their new-look lineup with Josh Hamilton and Albert Pujols in the middle. The Angels and Reds are the first team to play an interleague game for their season opener, and I think the Angels will get the road win behind Weaver at Great American Ballpark. Confidence Meter: 5

4:10- Chicago White Sox: In an AL Central matchup Chris Sale takes the ball for Chicago as they host the Royals who will turn to James Shields making his first start in a Kansas City uniform. The White Sox enjoyed a breakout year from Sale last year who was especially dominant at home while the Royals and James Shields have both had a history of road troubles. Confidence Meter: 6

7:03- Atlanta Braves: The Braves revamped their roster this offseason while the Phillies remained mostly intact. Atlanta batters have been crushing the ball this spring and face Phillies ace Cole Hamels today. The Braves starting rotation has had some turnover, so they’ll go with Tim Hudson today. Hudson may not be able to match Hamels pitch-for-pitch, but the Braves lineup and home-field advantage still make them my pick in this one. Confidence Meter: 4

7:05- New York Islanders: The New Jersey Devils host the Islanders  in their fifth and final meeting of the season. The two have split the first four 2-2 with the Islanders winning their last meeting which was also in New Jersey. Neither team has played since Saturday when New Jersey lost its third straight game-all in overtime. On the same day, the Isles fell on the road at Pittsburgh but they had won their previous three. New York is 10-5-1 on the road and is playing well enough to get the win tonight and secure the season series win. Depending on other results around the NHL, the Isles could be all alone in the eighth with a win which I think they’ll get over the sturggling Devils. Confidence Meter: 3

8:05- Minnesota Wild: The Wild have been cruising having won 10 of their last 12 and their last four at home including a shootout win on Saturday over the defending champion LA Kings. The Wild took some time to get things rolling but their big offseason additions have fit in nicely and they’ve battled their way back to top of the Northwest Division where they’re tied with Vancouver with a game in hand. The Wild host the Blues who have just one win during their last four games although they did pull out an overtime win over Minnesota in their first meeting. The Wild are playing well and at home while the Blues are struggling and on the road. It’s no sure thing, but for regular season hockey its about as close as you’ll find. Confidence Meter: 6

8:05- Minnesota Timberwolves: The Wolves host Boston who will most likely be without Paul Pierce along with injured starters Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo. The last time Pierce missed a game the Celtics got rolled by Charlotte, so I have no confidence in them against the Wolves. Minnesota knocked off OKC and played close with the Lakers already on this homestand and could add to it tonight by beating Boston. Confidence Meter: 4

Mar 26, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Edmonton Oilers left wing Taylor Hall (4) controls the puck against the St. Louis Blues during the first period at the Scottrade Center. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

9:35- Edmonton Oilers: The Oilers have won three in a row as they welcome the Calgary Flames without Jarome Iginla to Rexall Place tonight. Edmonton has won three in a row including a convincing trouncing of Vancouver on Saturday. The Flames have dominated the recent matchups, but with their depleted roster and 3-10-2 road record I don’t see them as much of a threat to the Oilers tonight. Confidence Meter: 5

10:05- Seattle Mariners: The Mariners open their season with a trip to the O.co Coliseum to take on the A’s. It shapes up to be another great pitchers’ duel as Felix Hernandez of Seattle stares down Brett Anderson of the A’s. It’s always hard to pick Seattle since their offense is questionable, but it’s even harder to pick against King Felix. Confidence Meter: 4

10:05- Arizona Diamondbacks: The Snakes and Cards are the NL’s nightcap as Adam Wainwright and his big new contract take on the new-look Arizona Diamondbacks. The D-Backs will send Ian Kennedy to the mound who is typically good at hitter-friendly Chase Field. At home, I’ll take Arizona to star the season with a win, but I do think Seattle the better late baseball pick. Confidence Meter: 3

10:35- San Jose Sharks: The Sharks face the Canucks in a West Coast showdown in San Jose. The Sharks are really good at home (11-1-4) and have already defeated Vancouver twice this season. Vancouver was playing well before Edmonton buried them on Saturday. The Sharks are just too good at home to pass up even against a strong team like the Canucks. Confidence Meter: 5

10:35- LA Clippers: The Clippers host the Pacers at the Staples Center and come in as five-point favorites. LA has lost their last two games but their 28-8 record at home while the Pacers are 18-19 on the road makes me think they’ll bounce back and get the win at home. The Clippers have won their last three home games and their three losses in their last four have all come on the road. Look for Lob City to return tonight in a nice matchup with Indiana that ultimately I think Chris Paul wins for LA. Confidence Meter: 6

Streak Scoreboard: Last Look at March

Picks from yesterday: 8-2

Total Record for the month: 226-183-3

Confident Picks (6+): 74-45

Longest Personal Streak last month: W6 twice

Current Personal Streak: W5

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