Streak for the Cash Picks, May 15 Analysis and Previews

In one of tonight’s NHL Playoff matchups on Streak for the Cash, the Chicago Blackhawks and Marian Hossa (81) take on the Detroit Red Wings and goalie Jimmy Howard (35). Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

Wednesday offers plenty of Streak for the Cash opportunities if you’re looking to build your streak headed into the middle of the month. The Greek Super League playoffs kick things off this morning and the Europa League Finals also take place this afternoon if you’re looking for soccer picks. There’s also a full slate of Major League Baseball action throughout the day mixed in with an MLS Pick, the NBA Playoffs, and the NHL Playoffs. Here’s the picks I’ll be focused on today:

5/15 Streak Picks

10:00- Giannina win or Draw: Giannina is -200 at home as they host Tripoli in a round robin format to determine a Champions League slot for next year. These are the #3 and #4 teams from the regular season table, so I’ll gladly take the draw with the home team especially since Tripoli played a Cup final just a few days ago. Confidence Meter: (out of 10)

May 4, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Freddy Garcia (38) pitches in the fifth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

12:35- Baltimore Orioles: The O’s are hosting San Diego as they send Freddy Garcia to the mound against Jason Marquis. The Padres took game one in this two-game miniseries, and Baltimore will look to earn a split. San Diego actually released Garcia in Spring Training so he should be even more motivated to impress against them. The Padres came back in the ninth off Jim Johnson last night and will look to earn a sweep as they send Jason Marquis to the mound. Marquis was great his last time out against the Marlins but has struggled mightily against the O’s with an 0-1 record and a ghastly 10.80 ERA in his three starts against Baltimore. Marquis has been good at home but struggled on the road, so I think Baltimore gets the win in this one. Confidence Meter: 5

1:10- Minnesota Twins: The Twins and White Sox play the rubber game of their three-game series as Dylan Axelrod takes the ball for Chicago and opposes Mike Pelfrey for Minnesota. The White Sox are 8-12 on the road while Minnesota is 9-9 at home. In a game where both starters are hard to trust, I’ll go with the home team over the team in last place in the AL Central. Confidence Meter: 3

2:45- Chelsea: In the Europa League Championship, Chelsea takes on Benfica at the Amsterdam ArenA. There’s been plenty of divisiveness and bad blood between these two teams in the buildup to this match. The Spanish team, Benfica, have lost six straight European Finals while Chelsea won the big one (Champions League) just a year ago. Chelsea may be more focused on getting back into the Champions League, so I’m not too confident in the Blues, but I think they’ll most likely get this cup as a bit of a consolation prize for their rough season. Confidence Meter: 4

3:35- Texas Rangers: Alexi Ogando heads for the hill for Texas as they look to get the series win in Oakland against their AL-West rival Athletics. Oakland won Monday 5-1, but Texas came back and won last night in 10 innings. Ogando earned a no-decision his last time out while his opponent Dan Straily was knocked around at Seattle. The A’s may get a boost if Coco Crisp returns, but I still like the Rangers chances to win the game. Confidence Meter: 5

May 14, 2013; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (31) in the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

7:07- Boston Red Sox: Jon Lester goes tonight for the Red Sox who have been struggling lately but also getting hit with some bad luck. They lost last night on a infield double that they couldn’t find in the dome of Tropicana Field. Lester is excellent as a stopper and looks to improve to 6-0 if he can get a win tonight. He’ll be opposed by David Price who has been inconsistent so far this season after winning the AL Cy Young. With the struggles the Red Sox lineup has had and the dominance of the Rays bullpen, I’m not overly confident, but picking against Jon Lester doesn’t seem like a good move when he’s this on his game. Confidence Meter: 3

7:07- Toronto Blue Jays: The Jays won game one of this two-game set last night behind R.A. Dickey’s best start of the season. Melky Cabrera broke out of his funk with a 4-5 game to power the offense and Toronto rolled 10-6. Tonight the Jays offense will look to rev it up again as they take on Ryan Vogelsong who comes in 1-3 with a 7.78 ERA. Ramon Ortiz gets the start for Toronto and looked decent his last time out allowing just one earned run in five innings at Boston but taking the loss as Jon Lester was even better. Vogelsong has been a wreck and the Blue Jays bats are starting to come to life so I’ll take Toronto for the green. Confidence Meter: 5

7:10- Heat win by 15+: Miami comes home and are favored by 14 to close out the Bulls. Chicago appeared to have finally run out of gas in their last game as the Heat trucked them in Chicago winning by 23. They won  game two in Miami by 37. Chicago did play well in games one and three and will give all they have left to avoid elimination, but with the Heat at home I think LeBron and Co. close this out and get ready for their next round opponent. Confidence Meter: 6

May 11, 2013; Chicago, IL, USA; Philadelphia Union midfielder Michael Farfan (21) with the ball during the second half against the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park. Philadelphia won 1-0. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

7:35- Philadelphia Union win or draw: The Union get the draw at home which is huge in MLS play. So far this season the Union are 1-2-1 at home and 4-3-3- overall while the visiting Galaxy are just 1-1-2 on the road with a 4-2-3 record overall. LA has lost back-to-back games at home to Houston 1-0 and then on the road against Vancouver who beat the 3-1. The Union should be able to get at least a draw in this one. Confidence Meter: 6

8:10- Blackhawks win by 2+: Chicago and Detroit skate in game 1 of their second round series. Chicago is well-rested and beat the Wings in all four of their meetings this year. Only one of those was by multiple goals, but I think this Chicago team will be rested and focused and will win by 2 or more. With tmpty net goals at the end, the big difference is that if Detroit is able to take the game to overtime then they will earn the green. As Detroit comes off a tough seven-game series, I’ll take Chicago to win handily at home in game one. Confidence Meter: 7

9:40- Oklahoma City Thunder: The Grizzlies have won three straight close contests to take a commanding lead as the series shifts back to Oklahoma City for game five. The Thunder’s role players should be able to step it up at home and perform well enough to get OKC to a game six back in Memphis. Durant is a beast and can win this game on his own which I think he’ll do to get the green here. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Grizz close them out, but the Thunder are an excellent home team and are favored by four. Confidence Meter: 5

10:05- Los Angeles Angels: The Angels offense may have gotten back on track last night as they hit four home runs as they beat the Royals 6-2. However, their biggest challenge in this one could be their starting pitching which has been their struggle all season. Due to Tommy Hanson’s continued unavailability, the Halos turn to Barry Enright who was knocked around his last start at Chicago and comes into this matchup with a 0-1 record and a 11.37 ERA.The KC starter, Wade Davis doesn’t inspire much confidence either although he does have a couple good starts this season. The Angels hitters have a good track record against him, though, so I think they’ll be able to plate enough runs to win this high-scoring affair and take the rubber game of the series. Confidence Meter: 4

Apr 11, 2013; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres left fielder Carlos Quentin (center) and Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Zack Greinke (left) tangle as Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (17) and shortstop Justin Sellers (right) and Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso (top center) join in the bench clearing brawl during the sixth inning after Quentin was hit by a pitch at PETCO Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

10:10- Washington Nationals: Zack Greinke is coming back for the Dodgers just over a month after breaking his collarbone in the scrum with Carlos Quentin. As heroic as it is that he’s back already, I’ll take the Nats and Ross Detwiler to get the win at Chavez Ravin in this rubber game of the three-game series. LA is just 3-7 in their last 10 while Washington had won six of eight before losing yesterday. Confidence Meter: 5

Streak Scoreboard-May

Monday Results: 11-6

Overall Record for the month: 99-70

Record in confident picks (confidence 6+): 27-19 (3-2 yesterday)

Longest Personal Streak: W5

Current Personal Streak: W2 (No neither team 26+, and the Dodgers)

Topics: MLB Picks, NBA Picks, NHL Picks, Playoff Picks, Streak For The Cash Picks

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