Cardinals vs. Braves Pick MLB – April 9th

I hate to be derivative or boring, but the start to the season by Trevor Story is becoming quite a, well, amazing story.  The 23-year old shortstop with just twenty homeruns in the minor leagues had the unenviable task of trying to replace one of the best players in Colorado Rockies history, departed shortstop Troy Tulowitski.  All the rookie has done is homer six times in his first four games.  That’s good for a pace of over 240 this season.

I imagine he will cool off a bit (joking – obviously he isn’t hitting 200 homers), but either way, what a memorable start to a career.  Despite Story’s heroics, the Rockies still lost as the Padres took out some pent up frustration for their record-breakingly bad opening series by scoring 13 runs in a 13-6 win.

There’s some pretty good NL pitching matchups today including Gerrit Cole and Rasiel Iglesias, Zack Greinke trying to bounce back against Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs and of course, Clayton Kershaw vs. Madison Bumgarner in a 4pm West Coast matinee.

Let’s see if we can bounce back after yesterday’s loss and begin a nice winning streak.

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Today’s Free Pick:

St. Louis Cardinals -148 at Atlanta Braves +138 (Total: 7)

Carlos Martinez vs. Julio Tehran

The Cardinals got a record-breaking three pinch hit homeruns to avoid an 0-4 start, but they still haven’t looked great so far in the young season.  The Braves are struggling for real as well.  They are 0-3 and lost their second straight game in which they held a late lead.  Like many of the worst teams in the league, they are having bullpen issues and, despite the fact that bullpens are still the most overlooked facet of a team, is the most common difference between 70-92 and 92-70.

That said, the Braves run the same risk tonight as well.  Julio Tehran is a solid front line starter and I expect him to pitch well at home.  The bullpen scares me, but at +138, they are a decent roll of the dice.  St. Louis doesn’t look like the team that won 100+ last season so far.  Tehran was 1-1 with a 1.89 ERA against the Cardinals last season, so I expect him to pitch well in chilly Atlanta tonight.

Carlos Martinez was excellent last season, posting a 14-7 record and 3.01 ERA last season.  He looked sharp this Spring as well, with an ERA of 2.03.  The Braves will have their work cut out for them, but I like the value of getting nearly 1.5 to 1 money at home with an excellent pitcher on the mound.

Free Pick: Atlanta Braves to WIN +138

Chris Scheeren / Author