July 8th Beat the Streak and MLB.com's Survivor

Matt KearneyCorrespondent IJuly 7, 2008

I have recently become enamored with a couple fantasy games entitled "Beat the Streak" and MLB.com's "Survivor". For those that don't know, "Beat the Streak" is a game from MLB.com that allows participants to pick any MLB player from any team who he or she believes will get a hit on a certain day. New players can be picked for each day, with the goal of obtaining a 57 game hit streak, which would "break" Joe Dimaggio's 56 game record. The first successful player to do this wins $1,000,000.

Also mildly interesting, the challenge for MLB.com's "Survivor" game is to successfully pick any particular MLB team the player believes will win each day in an attempt to win 27 consecutive games, with a grand prize of $10,000. Today will start some of my own predictions. Here goes...


July 8th, Beat the Streak

Placido Polanco - (2B Detroit Tigers)-Polanco is a perennial 180+ hits a year player, and is again hitting over .300 this year. Polanco is hitting .397 vs. lefties over the first half-season, and will be facing one in Jeremy Sowers and his .356 BAA(Batting Average Against) and 7.53 ERA. Polanco has hit .500(2-4) over a small sample size against Sowers, who has only struck out 17 hitters in 34.2 innings.

Ian Kinsler - (2B Texas Rangers)-Ian has been red hot of late, sporting a 19 game hitting streak during which he is hitting .436(34-78). Kinsler has hit .533(8-13) against Joe Saunders for his career. Kinsler also leads the majors in hits this year, and although Saunders has an opponents BA of .239, he does not have a high strikeout rate. Kinsler will bat leadoff, get 4 or 5 at bats, and putting the ball in play will not be difficult.

J.J. Hardy- (SS Milwaukee Brewers)-Hardy is currently the hottest hitter in baseball right now with 7 home runs and a .512 BA in his last ten games, including 22 hits. He gets to hit against another lefty in Mark Redman, who sports a 7.05 ERA and a .309 BAA.


July 8th, Survivor

Milwaukee Brewers- What better way to inaugurate recently traded C.C. Sabathia than going up against the previously mentioned Mark Redman(2-3, 7.05 ERA) and the Rockies. The Brewers predominantly right handed hitting lineup forced them to call up Russell Branyan earlier this season to help when facing right handed pitchers, but he shouldn't be needed this night. Weeks, Hardy, Hart, Braun, Cameron, Hall and Kendall all hit lefties very well, and the addition of the reigning AL Cy Young award winner should be a nice boost for the Brew Crew.

Detroit Tigers - After a terrible start to the season for Cy Young hopeful Justin Verlander, and the Tigers for that matter, both have played closer to expectations of late. The Tigers are 6-4 in their last 10 games, and Verlander has given up more than 3 runs once in his last 10 starts, and more than 2 runs only twice. Verlander will face the disappointing Cleveland Indians(37-51), who will run out Jeremy Sowers(0-4, 7.53 ERA).