It didn’t take long for us to take a loss last night, as the Nationals and Marlins combined for 10 runs in only 2 innings. Stephen Strasburg was responsible for 7 runs alone, and got pulled shortly after that. This is the second straight miserable start for Strasburg, something to keep an eye on going forward. Of course after the Marlins jumped out to a 7-3 lead, neither team could hit a beach ball, with the final score coming in at 8-3. On the flipside I would rather lose a game right off the bat like that, then have to stress through a screw job like the OVER 9.5 in the Tigers game. My heart goes out to everyone that had that bet.
This is the first two game losing streak I have had in over two weeks, so I am not going to get up in arms. Maintain solid bankroll management, and keep plugging away into Saturday. I think it`s even more important around this time of year, as it can be difficult to forecast which players have already checked it in for the All-Star break.
Free MLB Pick:
Toronto Blue Jays +130 at Baltimore Orioles +160 (Total: 9.5)
Todd Redmond (1-1, 3.55 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (7-5, 5.03 ERA)
The Baltimore Orioles took care of business last night in game 1, dispatching the Blue Jays, 8-5, thanks to the long ball. The Jays have been playing ping pong with themselves this season thus far in the first half of the season. One week they look like a force, and the next they make you want to vomit if you have money on them.
The Blue Jays will try and tie the series up with Todd Redmond manning the mound. Redmond is a little bit of an 8-ball, as he hasn’t had much work this year. He has only pitched 12.2 innings, which has resulted in mixed reviews. This will be only his second start this season, as he worked primarily as a reliever earlier in the season. His first start, which was his last, was quite productive against the Minnesota Twins. Redmond allowed only 1 hit and 2 runs in five innings pitched. The Orioles have quite a bit more firepower than the Twins though, so this will be his most difficult task to date.
Orioles’ starter, Jason Hammel, can be clumped into the category of disappointment. The Orioles were expecting much more out of Hammel after he had a solid 2012 campaign. His ERA has risen from 3.43 to 5.03, and strikeout numbers are way down. Hammel is a career 4.80, though, so this is about the kind of pitcher he is, very average. Of particular concern is Hammel’s numbers at home, where he has an OBP of .364 and ERA of 6.30. He will need to be careful against a Blue Jays team that has the potential to score runs in a hurry with the deep ball.
I see the offenses bringing out the hardware once again on Saturday. This is just one of those series that you look at beforehand that screams runs. I can see Redmond getting beat up in his first start against a dangerous offense. The Orioles and Blue Jays tend to play in high scoring games, and I expect that trend to continue Saturday. I like the OVER 9.5.
Free Pick: OVER 9.5
New York Mets +160 at Pittsburgh Pirates -180
Carlos Torres (0-1, 0.51 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (4-6, 3.05)
The previous game is an afternoon matchup, so I figured I would throw in a night game as well for you guys. First off, no that is not a typo. Carlos Torres really does have an ERA of just 0.51. However, if you look a little closer, you would discover that it was all done in relief work. In fact, the last time Torres started a game was way back in 2010 with the Chicago White Sox, where he got belted for an ERA of 8.56 in only 13.2 innings pitched as a starter. Last season as a reliever with the Colorado Rockies, he didn’t fair too well there either with a dismal ERA of 5.26.
A.J. Burnett is the complete opposite of Torres, in the sense that, Burnett is more accustomed to starting ballgames. Burnett has been around since 1999, so he is well aware of how things work in the starting role. Burnett made his first start in around a month last week and it was a solid performance. He surrendered only 2 runs on 3 hits, with only 1 run being charged to him. Burnett has been stout at home throughout the season when healthy, posting an ERA of 2.72 and 1.03 WHIP.
I am banking on Torres having a rough night against the Pirates. His numbers look impressive, but this will be his first start since 2010. The most innings Torres has worked in a game this season has been 3, only once. I think the Mets are hoping they will be able to get more than 3 innings out of Torres, but if he reverts back to the way he pitched when he was a starter he wouldn’t even make it past 3. The ML is too high for me, but the Pirates are a good value play on the RL catching solid plus money.
Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates -1.5