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MLB Preview and Baseball Picks for Friday August 31, 2012

San Francisco at Chicago Cubs – Giants LHP Madison Bumgarner (14-8, 2.93) vs. Cubs RHP Chris Volstad (1-9, 6.28): Usually dominant at home and not one to give free passes, Bumgarner walked four as he allowed four runs in 6 1/3 innings in the Giants’ 7-3 loss to the Braves in his last start. He is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts at the Friendly Confines. … Volstad doesn’t have to worry about the streak any more. He ended a 24-start winless streak in his last game, picking up the win over the Rockies as he threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings. He has a 3.82 ERA in five starts in August. Take the Cubbies for the big upset.

St. Louis at Washington – Cardinals RHP Adam Wainwright (13-10, 3.63) vs. Nationals LHP Gio Gonzalez (16-7, 3.28): Wainwright, looking like his old self again, has had a tremendous month. He has a chance at moving to 6-0 in August and enters the start with a 1.47 ERA in five starts this month. Batters have hit just .203 against Wainwright in August. … Gonzalez recorded a quality start but lost to the Phillies on Saturday, giving up three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out seven over six innings. He struck out 31 and walked only eight in his first five starts in August.

NY Mets at Miami – Mets RHP R.A. Dickey (16-4, 2.76) vs. Marlins RHP Nathan Eovaldi (4-9, 4.54): In beating the Astros on Saturday at Citi Field, Dickey became the Mets’ first 16-game winner since Johan Santana in 2008. Next milestone for Dickey? No Mets pitcher has won 17 games in a season since Al Leiter in 1998. … Facing his former club, the Dodgers, didn’t go as planned for Eovaldi, who was lifted after three innings, and six runs allowed, with three homers. Eovaldi hadn’t allowed a home run in his five previous starts since joining Miami. Take Miami in the upset here. 

Philadelphia at Atlanta – Phillies RHP Roy Halladay (8-7, 3.88) vs. Braves LHP Mike Minor (7-10, 4.71): Halladay looks to fare better than his first two starts vs. the Braves, when he combined to go 0-1 with 8.74 ERA. He looked great Saturday vs. the Nats, earning his fourth win of the month after throwing an astounding 86 of 105 pitches for strikes. … Once known for his changeup, Minor has turned his season around since essentially removing the pitch from his arsenal. He has posted a 2.50 ERA and limited opponents to a .211 batting average in his past nine starts. We also like Atlanta to give Philly the upset here.

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Friday, August 31st, 2012 2012, Baseball

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