We split our picks last night, as one was rained out (Detroit and Washington) and the Mets won, but failed to also cover the -1.5 runline. Matt Harvey was brilliant, allowing just a single infield hit to reach base, but was forced to leave the game with a no-decision, becoming just the third pitcher in the modern ERA to allow just a single hit, strike out twelve or more batters and NOT get a decision in the game. Suffice it to say the Mets’ bats let them down big-time, but fortunately the effort wasn’t wasted completely, as the Mets won in the bottom of the tenth in dramatic fashion.
Speaking of dramatic fashion, the Reds were down to their final strike before Devon Mesoraco and Shin-Soo Choo hit back to back homers to tie, and then win, the ball game in the bottom of the ninth. Between that game and the Harvey flirtation with perfection, it ended up making for one of the more dramatic and interesting days in recent MLB action.
We will try to steal our seventh win in eight picks tonight with an eye on an interesting matchup of the two worst teams in the American League. Interesting and “worst” in the same sentence? Absolutely. When one of those teams is the All-Star Dream Team Angels entering at 11-21, it makes for some perplexing and interesting drama…
Los Angeles Angels -139 at Houston Astros +131 (Total: 9.5)
Joe Blanton (0-5, 5.97 ERA) vs. Bud Norris (3-3, 3.89 ERA)
The Astros stink. Everyone knew that was going to be true and everyone was right. They are right on track to become the first team in Major League history to lose 106 games or more in three consecutive seasons. The implosion of the star-soaked Angels is the more baffling development. Josh Hamilton, Mike Trout, Mark Trumbo, Albert Pujols… this team SHOULD hit all day long and then some. But they aren’t. And they aren’t pitching well either. Things might have finally hit rock-bottom last night when they blew a ninth inning lead to the worst team in baseball to fall to ten games UNDER .500.
However, momentum is only as important as the next day’s pitcher, and the Astros aren’t trotting out Nolan Ryan anytime soon. Based just on the odds over the last three years, the Astros lose nearly 70% of their games. Just factoring in that math, anytime you can get a quality opponent against them at under -150, it’s a pretty good value.
The concern is Joe Blanton and his gas can he has been bringing out to the mound lately, and setting the diamond ablaze with base runners. He has a well-earned 0-5 record to go with his ERA of nearly six. However, if there was ever a recipe to “get right” it is facing the punchless ‘Stros.
Give me the math, and give me the Angels tonight.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Angels to WIN -139 & LAA Angels -1.5 (+135)