Homer Bailey looked much better last night, a good sign for the Reds, but it still wasn’t enough to get the Reds in the winning column as we notched a nice even-money winner with the Miami Marlins getting the 3-1 win. The run total line got as high as ELEVEN in a few sportsbooks, so if any of you were on the UNDER last night, you had a pretty stress-free evening.
Elsewhere, the Cubs six game winning streak was finally snapped behind the strength of the Cardinals nine-run eighth inning on a night where ALL the favorites seemed to fall by the wayside. The Dodgers dropped their second straight, as did the Washington Nationals and the Milwaukee Brewers took a sixth straight loss; unable to capitalize on a Cubs loss.
Is this the start of some restoration of competitive balance in the National League? The American League has eleven teams legitimately in Playoff contention, and if you consider being within 7.5 games of the wildcard “still alive” you can add Detroit, Toronto and even Oakland to the “if we just get hot…” list. IN the National League, two of the division leaders lead by larger margins than the Oakland A’s trail by while sitting in 14th place in the AL, and aside from the wide-open Central, no one is in legitimate distance of the wildcard. It is going to take some massive losing streaks (like Milwaukee’s current) from Colorado and/or Arizona for this thing to get truly interesting…
Cashing winning wagers is ALWAYS interesting however, so let’s get back to the business at hand and keep the weekend rolling forward.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Milwaukee Brewers -115 at Philadelphia Phillies +107 (Total: 9)
Brent Suter (1-1, 3.09 ERA) vs. Jeremy Hellickson (6-5, 4.44 ERA)
The Brewers have been miserable since the All-Star Break, and after sixth straight losses they have the Cubs breathing down their necks (not to mention the Pirates and Cardinals). The NL Central is now a wide-open free-for-all, and the Brewers are one more bad week away from losing their two-month grip on the division that most assumed would never last in the first place.
They are in an interesting spot tonight with a young pitcher Brent Suter making his fifth start and his first ever against Philadelphia, while the Phillies send veteran Jeremy Hellickson in what could very likely be a final audition for teams looking to add a starter before the trade deadline. His overall numbers aren’t dazzling, but he has been more than respectable in eight of his last nine outings. However, he has never been GREAT in any of the starts. Serviceable, but never dominating. Batters are hitting .257 against him, which isn’t great, and his 2:1 K/BB ratio is average as well. The Brewers haven’t had trouble hitting, their trouble has been on the mound. They have a good chance to give Suter ample run support tonight and get to a Phillies bullpen that is sporting a 4.43 ERA (tenth in the NL).
Suter has been good this season in limited opportunities. In July, he owns a 2.12 ERA and a solid 1.18 WHIP. I don’t expect him to dominate, but he has a good opportunity to get a win against the Phillies tonight, who are batting just .245 and rank 14th out of 15 teams in runs scored.
Today’s MLB Pick: MILWAUKEE BREWERS TO WIN -115