It should be a fun day in MLB today, with games starting bright and early at 1pm EST, and rolling all the way past midnight with a bevy of west coast home games. We took a bad beating yesterday, with the Cardinals lineup just slapping the ball all over Great American Ballpark last night, en route to a dominant 9-2 win over the Reds. Cincinnati will get a chance to even up the series tonight on FOX’s Saturday evening game. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to see this Cardinal lineup live, you’ll be surprised by how much the names have changed from several years ago, but at how ridiculously deep this lineup is. They get more production from their bottom half of the order than any team in the National League, and it isn’t even close… They will have their hands full tonight against Mat Latos (the Reds are a -150 favorite), but I’m staying away from tonight’s featured game after being reminded of a valuable lesson yesterday; don’t bet against the Cards…
Let’s move to the left coast for tonight’s free pick.
Atlanta Braves -143 at Los Angeles Dodgers +135 (Total: 7.5)
Kris Medlen (2-6, 3.14 ERA) vs. Stephen Fife (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
The Dodgers are riding an exciting wave of youth, crested by the Fernando Mania-like Yasiel Puig. The insane feel-good story continued last night, each chapter even more improbable than the last. Puig hit his fourth homer in five games to tie the game against the Braves, and then went on to win 2-1 on a wild pitch. His ten RBI’s in five games ties the MLB record, and he became only the second player in the modern era to homer four times in his first five games. Puig Mania is so overwhelming, no one will even notice Stephen Fife making only his third MLB start.
Kris Medlen knows a little about being a young phenom, but this season his luck has turned. He has pitched well, but has just a 2-6 record to show for it. You can see why he and his better Braves are favored tonight, but when shopping for an underdog, it is always nice to have the home crowd and insane momentum on your side. The Dodgers needed a Mike Trout-like shot in the arm, and they just may have it in Yasil Puig. Couple that with a pitching staff anchored by Clayton Kershaw and Zach Greinke, perhaps this team can live up to preseason hype after all.
I like the momentum of the Dodgers and the nice +135 line.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers to WIN +135