There were a lot of good stories around Major League Baseball this weekend. Giancarlo hit an eighth-inning eventual game winning homerun that went close to 500 feet. Very impressive. The Cincinnati Reds finally snapped their major-league record for most consecutive games with the bullpen allowing a run… only to resume the streak a day later with back-to-back bullpen losses to increase their league-worst bullie ERA to 6.59 ERA. The Padres are second worst at 4.88. Very impressive in a different way.
But the story… I mean THE story this weekend was the Cubs four-game sweep of presumed second-best team in the National League Washington. The Cubbies are now 24-6 and full-blown curse-breaking hysteria has engulfed the Windy City. Obviously, they will cool off at some point and lose a few games, but the prospect of them shattering their best win total post-WWII of 98 wins in 1945 seems obvious. Their franchise record of 116 wins in 1906 is even in the discussion. Fun times in CHI right now, when you also add in the stunning start for the ChiSox. (and by the way, those lines I warned would tighten up after a free week of exploitation? The Cubbies are -268 tonight against San Diego. Yikes!)
We broke our short losing streak yesterday with a narrow winner on the Mets and Padres UNDER to finish with yet another winning week. Let’s see if we can run with it and start another winning week today.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Milwaukee Brewers +215 at Miami Marlins -225 (Total: 7.5)
Wily Peralta (2-3, 7.50 ERA) vs. Jose Fernandez (3-2, 4.28 ERA)
The Marlins came back to earth a little big the last two days with losses to the Phillies after eleven wins in twelve games, but they are still playing excellent baseball and at 16-14 have already put a tough season start well behind them and have to feel good tonight to get back on track with their ace pitching at home as more than a 2:1 favorite.
However, I’m not on board with the huge laydown tonight. Fernandez and the Fish SHOULD win, but it isn’t like Jose has been money in the bank this season. He is just 3-2 on the season and he hasn’t gone more than six innings in a single start. His WHIP is up to 1.34 so people are getting on base as well.
However, the Marlins have won 23 of his last 25 starts at home, and his personal lifetime record at Marlins Park is a stunning 18-1. It’s hard to bet against him tonight, but I;m not sure there is enough value to lay more than 2:1 nor enough compelling evidence he can completely shut down the Brewers to play with the runline.
Instead, I am looking at the Marlins hot offense and the Brewers pitching issues. Peralta enters with a ballooning 7.50 ERA and their bullpen checks in around the mid-fours. Expect the Marlins to put a big dent in the run total by themselves, but also expect the Brewers to scratch out several runs. Milwaukee is averaging over 4.5 runs a contest and Ryan Braun is putting up MVP-like numbers (not suggesting he is an MVP candidate, relax, just saying his numbers are stellar).
I like this game to beat the 7.5 run total, and perhaps even with a little room to spare.