Most of MLB went pretty under the radar yesterday with the MayPac Fight, Kentucky Derby and an epic Game Seven in the NBA, baseball was pretty much an afterthought for most sports fans. But, in true baseball fashion, just when you think you’ve seen it all, something strange happens. Last night two games (in the same state of California nonetheless) ended on baserunners being struck by a batted ball. You are forgiven if you didn’t know exactly how that rule even works – I’ve gotta guess that two games having the 27th out recorded on that odd play haven’t ever happened on the same night before…
Anyhow – let’s get right to the action and see if we can cap off the week with an MLB winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Angels at San Francisco Giants (Total: 7.5)
Jered Weaver (0-3, 5.87 ERA) vs. Tim Lincecum (1-2, 3.27 ERA)
This would be a pause everything pitching matchup… if it were 2008. But it is 2015, and neither Weaver or Lincecum are Cy Young contenders. And through one month of the season, barely good major league pitchers. They have just one win combined through a full month of the season and their recent starts have been pretty lousy.
Lincecum’s overall stats are solid, but his last three starts have been lousy. He has posted an ERA of 4.80 but more troubling is the WHIP of 1.73. If you let nearly two runners reach base every inning than things are going to get out of hand in a hurry, especially against a prolific offense like the Angels. Weaver has actually been BETTER in his last three starts, posting an ERA of 4.22 and a respectable WHIP of 1.05. But that ‘improvement’ is more of a statement of how tough the early season has gone as opposed to genuine stellar pitching.
The Giants offense has been pedestrian this season, averaging just three runs per nine innings, but perhaps facing a struggling Weaver can help them jumpstart things. Meanwhile, Lincecum has been struggling and now faces an Angel team that scores more than four runs per nine innings.
Both teams are a disappointing 11-13; the Angels projected to contend for the AL pennant and the Giants defending their World Series Crown. Tonight could be a good night at the plate for both teams, and I’m going to wager on a healthy amount of runs crossing the plate. Neither bullpen is bad, but there is a decent chance they will have to account for an extra inning or two, which could help inflate the score.
I’ll take the offenses tonight to close out the series with some excitement.