It’s another lighter day in the MLB as the league gears up for a huge Holiday Weekend and a treat of round-the-clock baseball starting Friday afternoon and running until Sunday night. But in the meantime, there are some interesting matchups on the slate today as we try to rebound from yesterday’s loss. We went with pitchers last night in Detroit, but I suppose we should have instead had faith in the Pirates bats. The Buccos erupted for 21 hits against Alfredo Simon and anyone the Tigers drug out to the mound to easily take care of the OVER.
Meanwhile, it has been a week for the inevitable regression to the mean theory in baseball. Five of the six last place teams have winning records over their last five games, including the two worst teams in their respective leagues, Oakland (6-4) and Milwaukee (7-3). It means there are no free wins in MLB, and it is worth paying specific attention to each day’s pitching matchups and how lineups fare against a particular starter. We will try to carve out one such example today.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Milwaukee Brewers -126 at Philadelphia Phillies +116 (Total: 8)
Matt Garza vs. Chad Billingsly
Need a reason to watch Milwaukee and Philadelphia play? Of course you do! Unless you are related to one of the players, it’s hard to find a reason to tune in to tonight’s matchup of cellar-dwellars, but it is a good opportunity for some potential profits. Milwaukee is playing really good baseball lately, not surprising as some of their better players are finally getting healthy. But they still have major problems in their starting rotation. With venerable pitchers like Garza and Lohse having dreadful seasons, the Brewers staff is a shell of its former self, and frankly, one of the worst rotations in all of baseball.
In his last three outings, Garza has been a nightmare. He has allowed a 8.50 ERA over 18 innings and has posted a WHIP close to two. He has allowed six homeruns in his last four starts, so look for Philly to get some runs and maybe one or two via the longball.
Opposing Garza will be Billingsly, making his first start since returning from the DL. It’s not a good sign that he went on the DL AGAIN after just two starts this season considering he missed all of 2013 and most of last year with injuries. His three rehab starts saw him post an ERA over 5.00 in the minors, and make fun of the Brewers all you want, but this is a big league lineup he will face tonight. They have averaged 6.2 runs per game in their last six games and have some dangerous hitters with Braun, Lucroy and Gomez.
I like the matchup and the momentum of Milwaukee, but I like the OVER even more. Tonight should belong to the bats, so enjoy some fireworks in the odd 6:35 EST start.