We dropped our underdog bid last night when the Angels turned a 3-0 lead into a late 7-3 loss to the Atlanta Braves. While we weren’t able to cap off the week with a baseball winner, we did finish the NBA Finals with our fourth win in five games with another very easy win. There’s no more hoops to write about for about four or five months, and what a long four or five months it will be for the Miami Heat. They weren’t just “beaten” – they were eviscerated is stunning fashion. That series was light years from competitive, and there are some serious things to consider in Miami with an aging roster and some high-profile contracts to navigate.
Back in MLB, we start a new slate of series tonight, highlighted by the Royals trip to Detroit. Three weeks ago this division looked like a done-deal, but thanks to a Tigers’ swoon and a Royals surge, they long-beleaguered Royals head into the Motor City tied with the Tigers in the win column and only 1 ½ games back in the standings. This series could go a long way towards boosting the Royals viability for a playoff spot. 2012 saw the Orioles break through. 2013 it was the Pirates. Is 2014 the year for another double-decade playoff drought to come to a conclusion?
We will get a good glimpse tonight as the Royals face the struggling Justin Verlander. Can they reverse their 0-5 record against the Tigers and continue Verlander’s misery, or will the former Cy Young winner regain his form against a team he has long dominated…
Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Angels -104 at Cleveland Indians -104 (Total: 7.5)
Jared Weaver (7-5, 3.51 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (1-3, 4.24 ERA)
Jared Weaver is 1-2 with a 5.71 ERA and a 1.67 WHIP in his last three starts, and hasn’t been anything close to the Jared Weaver we are accustomed to seeing. So is tonight a great opportunity to bet against a big name pitcher on the road and steal an easy win?
I wouldn’t jump ship in Weaver just yet. He is technically “on the road” tonight, but he is at home more at Progressive Field than any other ballpark in the league. In his career Weaver is 6-0 with a 1.67 ERA at The Jake. The Indians enter hot at home, having won nine straight there, but are still just 5-5 over their last ten games overall.
I think you are getting a nice value to get that kind of pitching dominance in a particular venue against a pitcher with pretty modest stats. That’s a big starting pitching edge in my book, and I’d also give the slight edge to the Angels bats. As long as their bullpen and their 4.36 ERA don’t blow it up, I like the Halos tonight behind a resurgent effort from Weaver.