We notched a second straight winner last night with the Dodger and Clayton Kershaw covering the runline with a 3-1 win over the D’Backs. The big story was…gasp…Clayton Kershaw allowed a run! I jest, but it has gotten to be that insane with Kershaw lately. Besides, the run was Unearned, so Kershaw complete-dominance is still intact. He fanned 10 batters and mowed through the depleted lineup, making our ignoring the fear of his past troubles in Phoenix warranted and wise.
The Pirates and Yankees were also big winners last night, closing a game closer in the wildcard races by knocking off the team directly ahead of them in the standings, and the Royals won while David Price allowed nine straight hits to the Yankees (um, they lost), to push their Central Division lead to 2 ½ games. It’s going to be an amazing September in MLB, and yes, I know, I know – football starts TONIGHT. I’m pumped up too, but there’s a ton of great baseball worth tuning in to this month as well and we’ll be here to cover it all.
Let’s see if we can cobble through a very limited slate to string together a third straight winner tonight.
Today’s Free Picks:
Atlanta Braves -120 at New York Mets +110 (Total: 7)
Mike Minor (5-8, 4.90 ERA) vs. Jonathan Niese (7-9, 3.47 ERA)
Let’s get this out of the way right up front – yes, I realize both pitchers have been better of late. But let’s also agree that with season numbers like Minor’s especially, that isn’t a terribly high bar to jump over. Minor is 2-12 with a 2.53 ERA over his last three starts, however in ten starts spanning from June to August, he posted a 7.33 ERA. It’s good he’s been “better” because if he was worse, they’d have had to cut him.
Meanwhile, Niese has been fairly consistently above average for his major league career, but not by much. He has strung together three straight quality starts after four starts with a 5.76 ERA. He has been decent against the Braves in his career, posting quality starts in eight of eleven meetings.
These two have played some low-scoring affairs, staying under in four straight meetings, hence the overly-low seven on the over/under. However, I’ll take a little more offense tonight. Neither side has been lacing the ball and lighting up the scoreboard, but with two average pitchers who’ve had some struggles heading off, I think both teams will score a few runs with the potential to break out and have a really good night.
I’ll take the OVER on the low over/under total tonight.