We came up a half-run short in our bid to cap off the MLB week with four straight winners as the Yankees got a surprisingly good outing from CC Sabathia before his premature heave-ho for arguing balls and strikes. Who knew you couldn’t do that, huh CC? But perhaps the big guy just figured he was heading to the showers anyway; why not vent a little steam first…
Regardless, his surprising fortune left us begging for just one more run to cash a winning ticket. There aren’t a ton of games to choose from today with just half the league in action while the rest gets a well-deserved day of rest, but we will do our best to start the week off on a winning note.
Before we do – how about that Cardinals/Dodgers game this weekend? If that is the NLCS preview, and it well could be, I think we are in for a delight. The Cards scored four runs in the eighth last night to turn a 2-0 deficit into a win, and they are now 19 games over .500 and have the best record in baseball by FIVE FULL games. Incredible stuff – and while I doubt they can continue the pace, they are on track to be the best team in modern baseball history with 121 wins…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Milwaukee Brewers +155 at Pittsburgh Pirates -165 (Total: 7.5)
Jimmy Nelson (2-6, 4.41 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-1, 2.21 ERA)
The Pirates have won 13 of 16 games, Andrew McCutchen put a sub .200 first month in the rear view SO fast, he is in the NL MVP discussion just a month later, Gerritt Cole leads the NL with nine wins, and AJ Burnett, having a career-year at age 38, gets the ball tonight looking to stay in line for his stunning first All-Star appearance.
Things are good in PNC Park and with the Buccos, who aside from the misfortune of being in the same division as the Cardinals, are looking like a legit World Series contender. Their opponent today, um, does not. The Brew Crew, despite some optimism (from me as well) around getting some of their players, including Jonathon Lucroy, healthy, are still floundering, picking up right where their collapse of last season left off and posting the worst record in baseball. However, they are 4-3 since Lucroy’s return and have faced series against St. Louis and Minnesota. I still think once they get through this Pittsburgh series they have some decent wager value lurking.
But the Pirates are on FIRE, sending an All-Star to the mound, and facing a starting pitcher with a 2-6 record and an ERA of 6.48 in his last three outings. I think the Buccos keep rolling today. They’ve won seven of ten and six of those wins were by more than a single run. So let’s load up a get a little extra value today on the runline. You should be able to get the Pirates at +130 or even +135. That’s where I’m heading today to start the week.