Welcome to the big leagues Gregory Polanco. The Pirates top prospect made the most of his recent promotion by putting on one of the best shows by a newly-promoted rookie in major league history. He had five hits, including a game-winning homerun in extra innings. Technically, it wasn’t a walk-off homerun since the Buccos were on the road, but a game winning homerun for your fifth hit in the game ain’t a bad way to break into the league. What is even more intriguing for baseball fans is whether or not Polanco can energize the lethargic Pirates lineup and help them climb back into the race in the NL Central, similar to the lift the got from Gerrit Cole in their drive to the first postseason in 21 years last season.
Meanwhile, we return from a one day hiatus and look to finish the week off with a nice MLB winner. I’m still bummed that my biggest longshot underdog of the season came up a single run short; the Diamondbacks played well enough to beat Clayton Kershaw Friday night, but a Matt Kemp two-run homer was the difference. Let’s try to make up for it today with a nice Father’s Day present; a winning MLB wager.
Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angles Angels +127 at Atlanta Braves -133 (Total: 7.5)
Hector Santiago (0-6, 4.14 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (2-4, 4.35 ERA)
It’s not every day a team with a pitcher boasting an ERA in the mid-fours and a losing record is a prohibitive favorite facing off against a team. But that is exactly the case for the Atlanta Braves and Mike Minor as they look to take the rubber match against the Angels on Sunday Night Baseball. Perhaps it has to do with the fact the opposing pitcher hasn’t win a single game ALL SEASON, and his team is a pathetic 1-7 in games he has started.
Hector Santiago enters the game winless, but by all statistical measures, he has actually pitched BETTER than Mike Minor. His WHIP is slightly lower, his ERA is slightly lower, and his run support is WAY lower. Santiago has received a paltry 2.1 runs in support so far this season, a number that would make it tough for anyone to have a winning record.
I’m going to roll the dice with Santiago snapping the streak tonight. Minor has struggled lately, giving up a 5.00 ERA in his last three starts with a WHIP of 1.61. That’s a tough formula for slowing down the Angels offense that is averaging more than a run MORE per game than the Braves at 4.69 runs/game.
I’ll take the Halos tonight on the road behind Trout, Puljols and a solid offense. They owe Santiago a decent effort, and I think he finally gets it tonight.
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