Streak for the Cash Picks, May 5 Analysis and Previews

In one of my Streak for the Cash Picks today,  Memphis Grizzlies and point guard Jerryd Bayless (7) start their bruising series with the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Second Round of the NBA Playoffs. Mandatory Credit: Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports

Cinco do Mayo is packed with sports action in Streak for the Cash, so enjoy the celebration by finding plenty of green to extend your early-month streak. The day starts with a pair of EPL matches followed by the continuing NHL and NBA playoffs and plenty of baseball picks throughout the afternoon. Those picks are joined by a NASCAR prop and an MLS game to keep things varied. Tonight the Dodger and Giants wrap up their rivalry series in San Fracisco while the NHL Playoffs wrap up their busy day with some late action including a 10:05 faceoff between the Sharks and Canucks. Here’s the picks I’ll be following today:

Streak Picks

8:30- Everton win/draw: Everton gets the draw as they head to Anfield to take on Liverpool. Liverpool is coming off a huge 6-0 win in their first game without suspended Luis Suarez as they trashed Newcastle United on the road at St. James’ Park. They’ll have a tougher time against Everton who played them to a 2-2 draw earlier this season and comes in 5-2-1 over their last eight matches. Everton is 15-14-6 so far this EPL season while Liverpool trails them in the table by five points at 14-12-9. Everton getting the draw is a solid option although they have struggled on the road this season. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

11:00- Chelsea win/draw: Chelsea is headed for Old Trafford to take on Manchester United. Chelsea has gotten a win or draw in each of their last five matches in all competitions and have beaten Man U twice in their last three head-to-head meetings with the other resulting in a draw. Their last trip to Old Trafford resulted in a 2-2 draw in the FA Cup Quarterfinals. United has since that game wrapped up the Premier League trophy while Chelsea is still in a tight battle for a top-four finish and a ticket to Champions League. Chelsea needs the game more and getting the draw I think they’re the pick especially based on their recent form. Confidence Meter: 5

May 3, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) reacts with teammate left wing Chris Kunitz (left) after Crosby scored his second goal of the game against the New York Islanders during the first period in game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

12:05- Pittsburgh Penguins: The Pens and Islanders face off at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum after splitting the opening games in Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh seemed to let down a bit after their game one romp and having game two seemingly under control before letting the Isles come back for the win. The Penguins need to avoid letdowns like that, but they’re the better team when they’re at the top of their game. The Islanders actually had a better road record than home finishing the season 10-11-3 at home, so their homeice advantage shouldn’t be too hard for the Pens to overcome. Confidence Meter: 7

1:05- Memphis Grizzlies: The Grizz travel to OKC to take on the Thunder who continue to be without Russell Westbrook. The Thunder are still three-point favorites, but Memphis will try to batter and bruise Kevin Durant and force the other Thunder players to beat them. Memphis beat Oklahoma in two of their three meetings this year even with Westbrook in uniform. OKC struggled without Westbrook going 2-2 before dispatching the Rockets in game 6. The Grizzlies are coming off a series win over the Clippers in which they won their last four games after dropping games one and two. I think they’ll keep their momentum rolling as they head to OKC setting up a big must-win for Durant’s Thunder in Game Two. Confidence Meter: 4

1:05- Cleveland Indians: The Tribe are rolling having won six in a row with their bats catching fire over the past week. They’ll host the Twins as they go for the sweep behind Corey Kluber who has been a nice surprise for Terry Francona’s team after starting the year in the bullpen. Kluber comes in with a 2.25 ERA and a 2-0 record and had an impressive start against the Royals his last time out. He should get plenty of run support as the Indians face Mike Pelfrey who comes in at 2-3 with a 7.66 ERA. Look for the Indians to get win #7 this afternoon at Progressive Field. Confidence Meter: 6

1:07- Seattle Mariners: Another surprising team on a roll is the Mariners who have won three in a row and six of seven as they try to complete the sweep in Toronto. The Jays have been struggling losing eight of nine and losing their last four by an embarrassing 25-3 margin. If Toronto is going to avoid the sweep, they’ll need to beat Joe Saunders who is coming off a complete game win against the Orioles. He allowed just two runs and four hits to his former team, but he has had his struggles on the road. He’ll be opposed by Brandon Morrow who has been mediocre lately and comes in with a 0-2 record with a 5.29 ERA. This one could be high-scoring and right now the M’s bats appear way more “in gear” than the Blue Jays who are struggling mightily. Confidence Meter: 3

2:10- Chicago White Sox: Kansas City got the win in the first game of this series behind a great effort from Jeremy Guthrie, but Wade Davis hasn’t had that same effectiveness lately. In his last two starts he hasn’t made it through the fifth while giving up a total of 20 hits and 11 earned runs. He was especially hittable against Cleveland his last time out even though he was at home. Today he’ll need to be better if he expects to beat Jose Quintana who  who comes in at 2-0 with a 3.58 ERA. Quintana also struggled his last time out although not nearly as badly, but he had a 0.96 ERA the two starts before that. Quintana will need some runs which has been an issue for Chicago lately, but I think they’ll get to Davis and get the green in this one. Confidence Meter: 4

Apr 24, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Reds starting pitcher Mat Latos throws a pitch against the Chicago Cubs during the first inning at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports

2:20- Cincinnati Reds: Mat Latos hasn’t allowed a run in 17 innings as he and the Reds look to finish off a sweep of the Cubs in Wrigley Field. Latos beat the Cubs as part of his recent run of success two starts ago and will be opposed in this won by Edwin Jackson who has yet to win a game with his new team. Jackson is 0-4 with a 6.27 ERA and was roughed up in his last start by the Padres at Wrigley giving up eight runs in 4 2/3 innings. The Reds have been bad on the road, but they can improve that by completing the sweep of Chicago. Confidence Meter: 8

3:05- Chicago Blackhawks: Chicago has a 2-0 lead as the series shifts to Saint Paul and the Wild look for their first win of the playoffs. The Wild have been forced to go with Josh Harding in goal with starting goalie Niklas Backstrom sidelined since getting injured in Game 1 Warm-ups. Chicago has won their last four against the Wild and look to take a dominating 3-0 lead today. Confidence Meter: 5

3:40- Indiana Pacers: The Knicks are six-point favorites as they open their second-round series at home against Indiana, but I think the Pacers have a good shot to come in and steal game one. The Knicks offense is struggling and Carmelo Anthony is nursing a shoulder injury. The Pacers match up well against the Knicks although their struggles on the road have carried over into the playoffs. Indiana is coming off a road win over Atlanta as their defense finally showed up and shut down the Hawks in Game 6. The Knicks didn’t look good in their last three games against Boston and I think it carries over as Indiana pulls the upset in game one. Confidence Meter: 4

4:10- Colorado Rockies: The Rockies get Jhoulys Chacin back from the DL as they try to take this rubber-game of their three game set against the Rays. Yesterday, Colorado won 9-3 and they’re a solid 10-4 at home. They’ll face Alex Cobb today who is 3-2 with 2.55 ERA coming off a shaky start in Kansas City. The Rox at home with one of their better starters on the mound make a solid late-afternoon option. Confidence Meter: 6

7:05- Ottawa Senators: The Senators and Canadiens split games one and two in Montreal and now head to Ottawa. The Senators were a very good home team this season finishing 15-6-3 and beating the Canadiens in both games at Scotiabank Place. Ottawa missed a chance to go up 2-0 in the last game but should take advantage of their home ice and get the win. Confidence Meter: 5

8:05- LA Dodgers: Matt Cain has struggled since Opening Day when the faced the Dodgers who he matches up against once again on Sunday Night Baseball. Cain is 0-2 in his six starts with a 6.49 ERA although he’s had a few starts he could have won with better run support. Run support could again be a problem as he’ll be opposed by Dodgers Korean import Hyun-Jin Ryu who has been excellent so far this season. Ryu is 3-1 with a 3.35 ERA and has been especially good in his last two. The Dodgers have lost the last two games in walk-off fashion, but I think they’ll bounce back and avoid the sweep tonight. Confidence Meter: 4

8:06- Dodgers hits or Tie: In today’s user-submitted prop, the Dodgers hits are matched up against Cain’s K’s through the first three innings. Getting the tie when the number should be fairly low is always a good thing, and this is a fairly even prop overall. Last time out, Cain had three K’s in the first three while allowing two hits. The start before was a 3-3 tie, and the start before was 4-0 with more hits allowed winning. Overall in his starts, he’s had more strikeouts after three innings in four of his six starts, but I think the Dodgers will be able to get to him on Sunday Night Baseball in this really solid user-gen prop. Confidence Meter: 3

May 3, 2013; Vancouver, British Columbia, CAN; San Jose Sharks forward Raffi Torres (13) is congratulated by San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (88) and San Jose Sharks center Joe Thornton (19) after scoring the winning goal against Vancouver Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo (1) (not pictured) during overtime of game two of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Rogers Arena. The San Jose Sharks won 3-2 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

10:05- San Jose Sharks: The Vancouver Canucks are in trouble as they head to San Jose to take on the Sharks at HP Pavilion. The Sharks have a 2-0 lead in the series and are outstanding at home. They were 17-2-5 at home this season including two wins over the Canucks. San Jose has looked good in their first two games and should be able to get the win at home over Vancouver who has lost eight of their last nine playoff games. Confidence Meter: 6

Streak Scoreboard

Yesterday’s Results: 9-7

Overall Record for the month: 27-26

Record in confident picks (confidence 6+): 6-7

Current Personal Streak: W1 (Mayweather)

Topics: MLB Picks, NBA Picks, NHL Picks, Playoffs Picks, Soccer Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks

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