What a crazy game it was yesterday. We backed the Atlanta Braves on the run line against the Miami Marlins. The game certainly did not start out the way we had hoped as the Marlins ran Braves starter Julio Teheran out of the game after just five innings of work. Teheran gave up six earned runs, and the Braves found themselves in a deep hole.
Then a little baseball magic happened. Atlanta hit the home half of the ninth inning down 9-4. The Braves came surging back and scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth to walk the game off with a dramatic comeback victory! The problem for us? We laid a run and a half, and even though they made a miracle comeback, we came up short by half of a run.
That is the downside to taking the home team on the run line, you always run the risk of getting burned in a spot like this. If you are laying a home run line you want a game that you expect to be an early blowout, as the later it gets in the game, the harder it is going to be for the home team to cover that extra run. That is what I thought we had yesterday with a very favorable starting pitching matchup, but it turns out we missed. What can you do, when you play with that run line fire sometimes you end up getting burned. For today’s pick, I am going to take a look at the game between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are in Milwaukee Monday for game one of a three-game series with the Brewers. This is a game where the two teams are headed in opposite directions. The DBacks have lost ten out of their last eleven games and seem to be in an early season slump after a hot start. For Milwaukee, the Brewers have won five of seven and are tied with the Atlanta Braves for the most wins in the National League.
Starting today for the home team Brewers is Chase Anderson (3-3 3.97 ERA), and for the visiting Diamondbacks, it is Zack Greinke (3-2 3.46 ERA). The DBacks are small -116 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:40 PM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The Arizona Diamondbacks were the best team in the majors for much of the season’s first month. They ran out to the National League’s best record and were running away with the NL West Division. Coupled with the early season struggles of the Dodgers and Giants, it looked like they might have the division locked up by July. Then, for some reason, they just stopped winning.
Arizona has lost eleven out of their last twelve games, and it is a testament to just how good they were earlier in the year that they have somehow managed to keep ahold of first place out west. It is hard to imagine this team struggling this bad for too much longer, as they are clearly very talented. The starting rotation took a hit when Tajuan Walker went down for the year with a season-ending injury, but they are still much better than they have been playing the last couple of weeks.
Starting tonight for the DBacks is Zack Greinke. Greinke has been the lone bright spot over this recent stretch of bad luck for Arizona. The DBacks last win? Last week against this very same Milwaukee team with Greinke on the mound. In that start, Greinke pitched six innings, allowed just four hits, and gave up just one earned run in the win.
On the year, Greinke has been his usual solid self. He has an ERA of 3.46, and the DBacks have won five out of his last seven starts. Greinke has pitched at least six innings in all but one of those seven starts, and in the one where he didn’t make it out of the sixth, he pitched five and two thirds on an inning. As is usually the case with Greinke, he gets better as the season wears on. He has given up a total of three earned runs in his last here starts, spanning nineteen and two-thirds of an inning. When the weather heats up, so does Greinke.
Starting tonight for the Brewers is Chase Anderson. Anderson started out the season lights out. Through his first six starts of the season, Anderson had an ERA of just 2.86. In his last two starts, Anderson has been mostly ineffective. Anderson has surrender nine earned runs in ten, and two-thirds of an inning worked over his last two starts and has walked six guys and given up three long balls. It is tough to win games when you are walking a lot of guys, and people are going deep on you.
Normally I like to stay away from the slumping teams and back the hot ones. But for today’s pick, I am going to buck that trend. Why you ask? The price. Greinke pitched against this very same Brewers team in his last start and looked fanatic. In that game, he was a -165 favorite. Just a few days later and now all of the sudden he is laying just -116? That screams like an overreaction to me. Anderson is a little bit better of a starter than Chacin was in the original matchup, but it feels like this number should be a heavier one for Arizona.
So, I am going to try my best to not overreact too much to this recent slide by Arizona or this hot streak by the Brewers. At the end of the day, I think these two teams are very evenly matched and by the end of the season, I see Arizona being the team that ends up with more wins. So, I will take Greinke at a very discounted rate and hope this struggling Arizona offense can turn things around today against a guy in Chase Anderson, that has seemingly lost his way a bit recently. Give me the Arizona Diamondbacks at -116 tonight on the road!