April 1, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Jordin Tootoo (22) takes a shot in the first period against the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Streak for the Cash, April 4 Picks and Analysis


In one of the best Streak for the Cash picks of the day, the Detroit Tigers and third baseman Miguel Cabrera look to bounce back from a tough loss yesterday to the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. Find my free sports picks for that game and many others right here. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday ended up with 30 different options in Streak for the Cash which is a mammoth number for a midweek board. Today’s board is well-stocked with picks as well the the PGA Tour’s Texas Open joining the myriad of baseball, basketball, and hockey options. There’s a little soccer mixed in today as well with the Europa League Quarterfinals on the board this afternoon. So far, April has been pretty good for my picks as you can see in my results at the bottom of the page. Hopefully, today’s keep the momentum going. Here’s the picks I like today:

4/4 Picks

February 24, 2013; Marana, AZ, USA; Matt Kuchar poses with the trophy after defeating Hunter Mahan (not pictured) 2 and 1 and winning the Accenture Match Play Championships at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

8:50- Matt Kuchar or tie: For my full tournament preview, including why both these players are on my fantasy team, click here. Kuchar has been extremely consistent this season while Rory has been up-and-down. If Rory was getting the tie, I’d be extremely torn, but with the tie on Kuch’s side this is actually a pretty solid pick for a nine-hole golf prop. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

12:34- Pittsburgh Pirates: The Cubs and Pirates meet in the rubber game of their three-game, season-opening set. After both teams have gotten great starts in their wins, Travis Wood  goes for the Cubs against James McDonald of the Pirates. Both starters had good stretches last year but brutal finishes to the season. Wood has also been scary towards the end of spring training, but did have success against the Pirates last year. James McDonald got knocked around by the Cubs in the second half last year, but was very good at home all season long. Since the game is at PNC Park, I think McDonald will have the better start, and with the Cubs lineup struggling the Pirates are the picks to win here. Confidence Meter: 5

12:35- Cincinnati Reds: The Reds and Angels have also split the first two games of their series with both coming down to late-inning drama. Today it’s Bronson Arroyo going for the Reds against new Angel Joe Blanton. The Angels sluggers are struggling, and I’m not a Blanton fan although he does have a solid career record against the Reds (2-0 in five starts). On the other side, Arroyo hasn’t pitched against LA since 2007 and has struggled in interleague play. Still, since the game is at home and the Angles aren’t hitting, I’ll take the Reds to win the series at home.  Confidence Meter: 3

1:10- Detroit Tigers: Detroit let one slip away yesterday as their make-shift bullpen allowed the Twins to walk-off 3-2 winners. In doing so, they squandered a good start from Anibal Sanchez. The Tigers can still win the series if they can get a win this afternoon behind Rick Porcello. Porcello had a great spring and makes a nice streaming starter option (click here for more info). He’ll be matched up with Twins’ starter Mike Pelfrey who is coming back from Tommy John surgery and could be in for a rough day against the Tigers stacked lineup. The Tigers have won 16 of their last 21 road games against the Twins and dominate the series pretty much every year. I think they’ll get the win to claim the series even on the road. Confidence Meter: 7

2:10- Kansas City Royals: In another all-AL Central matchup, the Royals look to avoid the sweep in Chicago as they send Jeremy Guthrie to the mound against Gavin Floyd. Guthrie went 5-3 with a 3.16 ERA after coming to KC from Colorado last season and especially dominant toward the end of the year. He made four starts against Chicago in August and September going 1-0 with a 0.30 ERA. Floyd also finished well last year, so I don’t expect many runs scored in this one. It’s a bit of a gut feeling, but I don’t think the Royals come out and get swept to open the season, so I’ll pick them to win this one. Confidence Meter: 3

3:05- Rubin Kazan win, Draw, or Lose by 1: In both these Europa League quarterfinals props, the home team gives a goal and a half in the first leg. In this first one, I think Rubin Kazan will pack it in on defense and be able to hold Chelsea even at Stanford Bridge. Kazan is 6-3-3 in Europa League without any multi-goal losses. In fact in seven matches this year (all in the last seven weeks), they’ve only allowed one goal. Their defense should be enough to hold Chelsea to a one goal win especially when you consider that Chelsea is playing their third game in a week. Confidence Meter: 6

3:05- Benfica wins by 2+ Goals: Benfica is atop the Portuguese league while Newcastle United has struggled this season and are just three points clear of the relegation zone in the EPL. I hate giving goals, but Benfica has been so dominant I’m willing to do it in this case. I’d rather take the goals in the above pick, but if you’re looking at this one Benfica at home is the way to go. Confidence Meter: 3 1/2

April 3, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles first baseman Chris Davis (19) is congratulated by center fielder Adam Jones (10) and right fielder Nick Markakis (21) after he hit a 3-run home run during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

3:10- Baltimore Orioles: The Orioles took the opener of this series from the Rays beating David Price and almost stormed back to another win last night after scoring off Fernando Rodney only to lose on a walkoff home run by Matt Joyce. Today, I think they’ll win as they send Miguel Gonzalez to the mound coming off a breakthrough campaign. He’ll be opposed by Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) who has struggled mightily in recent seasons and didn’t have an inspiring spring. Gonzalez is the better pitcher, and the O’s lineup has looked solid in the first two games so I think they get the win here. Confidence Meter: 5

7:00- Washington Capitals: The Caps host the New York Islanders in a battle of two teams fighting for the last few spots in the Eastern Conference. Washington has gone 5-1-1 in their last seven games to close in on division-leading Winnipeg and are just two points back with 12 games left. The Islanders have also been playing well winning five of their last six including beating Washington a week ago Tuesday in a game at the Verizon Center, the same place tonight’s game will be. Both teams are playing well, but I don’t see the Isles sweeping the season series or the Capitals dropping this one at home. Confidence Meter: 4

7:05- Boston Red Sox: Just so we’re clear, I’m a huge Sox fan which skews my pick both ways at times. So far though, this series has been as one-sided as any in baseball as the Red Sox have dominated New York winning 8-2 and 7-4 in the first two games. Today, it’s a new Red Sox starter, Ryan Dempster, against an old Yankee standby, Andy Pettitte. Pettitte struggled with injury last year and the Yankees will need him to act as a stopper after losing Hiroki Kuroda after just 1 1/2 innings last night. It’ll be his first start against Boston since the end of the 2010 season, but the Sox have been able to get to him for runs in his most recent starts against them. Dempster doesn’t have a great track record against New York (0-4, 7.62 ERA) but as Clay Buchholz reminded us last night this is a different Yankees lineup so those numbers may not affect his performance tonight. I think he’ll be fired up to make his Red Sox debut and complete the sweep of his new team’s hated rivals. Confidence Meter: 4 1/2

9:05- Baylor Bears: The Bears are two-point underdogs as they fact Iowa in the NIT championship. I’ve been under-estimating the Hawkeyes all tournament, while I’ve been getting plenty of green with Baylor. Pierre Jackson and Isaiah Austin have been playing very well, and I think they’ll carry Coach Scott Drew’s team to the title. Baylor has played a Big Ten team this year, losing to Northwestern before injuries dampened the Wildcats season. On the other side of things, Iowa lost to Iowa State  in its non-conference game against the Big 12. Baylor has been inconsistent at times this year, but they have the talent to win this even though Iowa has won seven of their last eight games. This should be a competitive game and be lots of fun to watch, but it’s a hard one to pick with much confidence. Confidence Meter: 3

9:45- San Antonio Spurs win or Single Digit Loss: Oklahoma City is favored by 8 1/2 as they host the Spurs tonight in the finale of their season series. San Antonio has won their two home games against the Thunder but did lose by 14 at Chesapeake Energy Arena earlier this season. The Thunder haven’t played in four days but sit 1 1/2 games behind the Spurs with just over a week left in the NBA season. The Spurs are expected to have Tim Duncan, Kawhi Leonard, and Tony Parker for this one; and as long as they do, I think they should be able to keep it within 10 of their Western Conference rival. Confidence Meter: 4

10:00- Detroit Red Wings: The Wings take on Phoenix in the desert tonight looking for their ninth win in their last ten against the Coyotes. Detroit is playing extremely well going 6-0-1 including a 3-2 win on Monday, March 25, at the Jobing.com Arena where tonight they’ll face the Coyotes once again. Both Detroit’s goalies are hot and their power play has been on fire. Detroit is surging and Phoenix looks to be just treading water especially with starting goaltender Mike Smith sidelined. They’ve managed to go 2-0-2 in the four games ince they played Detroit last, but I don’t see them hanging with the Wings in this one. Confidence Meter: 6

Streak Scoreboard-April

Yesterday’s Picks: 13-6

Picks Overall this month: 37-15

Confident Picks (over 5): 8-3 (3-0 yesterday)

Personal Streak: W2

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