We notched our sixth win in seven games to cap off another nice week of MLB picks with an easy winner on the OVER in the Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN. It was almost as if the managers had READ my column, because the game unfolded in perfect synchronicity. Matt Harvey was dealing; five shutout innings with only a single hit and another reaching base on a walk. That was it.
But the inning’s limit reared it’s ugly head. So what if he only threw 77 pitches in five stress-free innings, he’s on an innings count, so enter the bullpen. Four innings and eleven runs later (though in fairness four of the five runs in the immediate inning after Harvey’s departure were unearned) and the Yankees have a huge victory and we cash an easy winner on the over.
Another positive from the game, if you are a Yankee fan, is that for the fourth straight outing CC Sabathia was pretty good. He allowed only a single run in six innings. He labored a bit, allowing five hits and walking another three, but he was able to get out of trouble and turn in yet another quality start. He will never be their ace again, but if he gets the ball in a Game Four of a playoff series, you need to know he can hold his ground.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Angels +185 at Houston Astros -200 (Total: 8)
Jered Weaver vs. Dallas Kuechel
We have had some success lately fading Kuechel, who despite some really rough outings lately, continues to get massive respect from Vegas. Tonight he is installed a two to one favorite, despite posting a 5.79 ERA in his last three outings. As a matter of fact, his opposition, Jered Weaver, has been considerably better over the last month and his team is playing better baseball.
So, take the underdog value play? Not so fast…
Hidden in Kuechel’s numbers is an absurd differential between home and road starts. His troubles come away from Minute Maid Park. At home, he is simply dominant. This season he is 13-0 with a 1.46 ERA at home. Again, he has not lost a SINGLE GAME at home all season long. Couple that with Weaver’s road woes, he is 1-6 with 7.10 ERA in his last seven road outings, and you have the potential for a pretty lopsided affair in the Astros favor.
It is easy to get caught up in the emotion of the Astros “collapse” and being overtaken by the Rangers. However, it is still prudent to recognize that they are really good at home (50-25) while the Angels are really mediocre on the road (32-42) and Kuechel is other-worldly at home.
I like the Astros to get the runs they need to allow Kuechel to get back on track and cruise to his 18th win of the season and push his home mark to 14-0. There isn’t great value in the ‘Stros to win, but at even money on the runline, they are a good value for a game that projects to be a comfortable winner.