Athletics vs. Pirates Pick MLB – July 8th

It wasn’t exactly how I expected it to go, but regardless, the Nationals gave us a win on the RL yesterday to give us a winning afternoon. The Padres managed to put up 7 runs with Stephen Strasburg starting, which is an accomplishment in itself, but the Nationals pounded Erlin. The 11 run onslaught included a grand slam from Ryan Zimmerman in the bottom of the 3rd. While the Nationals had a big lead the entire game, the Padres didn’t go quietly, they put up a fight and tried their best to come back, but of course, to no avail. We are now entering the home stretch before the All-Star break, so let’s make it a good one before we get there.

Free MLB Pick:

Oakland Athletics +100 at Pittsburgh Pirates -120 (Total: 7.5)

Bartolo Colon (11-3, 2.78 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (8-1, 2.12 ERA)

This isn’t the first time I have picked a Jeff Locke game. While Locke doesn’t have the same ring to his name then say a Stephen Strasburg, Locke is competing with the big boys this season. He has become the catalyst in the Pirates’ rotation, pitching brilliantly for all of 2013. I think a large reason for the Pirates being where they are this season is because of the way he has been pitching, an X factor of sorts. His numbers definitely back up what I have preached about this kid. Locke features an ERA of 2.12, and has been tremendous in his last three starts with a 1.83 ERA and 2-0 record. A solid start is a sure bet with Locke, the last game he allowed more than 3 runs was back on April 18th.

While the Pirates have a phenomenal youngster on the mound, the Athletics will start the ageless one, Bartolo Colon. In a way, Colon has found resurgence in 2013. He has been around since 1999, but you would never know it from looking at his splits. In fact, Colon’s 2.78 ERA is his best since 2002 when he had a 2.55 with the Indians. Like Locke, Colon has been great in his last three starts as well, posting an ERA of just 2.35.

Unbelievably, this game showcases two first place teams. The Athletics are first in the AL West, and the Pirates are holding on to that first place position in the NL Central. This is an important series for both clubs, as neither want to see those leads disappear before the All-Star game. I think what we are going to see is a classic pitcher’s duel between Colon and Locke. I have made many under wagers involving Locke this season, and they have pocketed me some good coin. That trend should continue Monday night, so I am going to bet the UNDER 7.5 with a lean on the Pirates.

Free Pick: UNDER 7.5