The Windians streak is over, the Dodgers are back on track, the Cubs are looking like sure-fire postseason participants and by and large, it feels like it is about time to get down to business and get this postseason show on the road.
Of course, we still have two weeks of important action remaining, but for the most part, all the key players in the postseason are falling into place. It isn’t to say that all is settled; the Cubs still have some work to do and would be wise to at least split the remainder of the Cardinals series this weekend, but by and large, there is less high-level drama in the final few weeks of the 2017 season.
The Dodgers have righted the ship enough that this weekend’s remaining games with the Nationals are more “playoff preview” than “playoff positioning.” The Dodgers have a six game cushion as they send Rich Hill to the mound against AJ Cole this afternoon.
Our last pick ended up as no-action, as Jose Urena was scratched in the Marlins game. We will try to start a new winning run tonight with a Saturday clash between two of the best pitchers on Earth, pitching for very different reasons and circumstances.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Arizona Diamondbacks -140 at San Francisco Giants +130 (Total: 7.5)
Zack Greinke (16-6, 2.99 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (3-8, 3.55 ERA)
Pay no attention to the ugly stat line. In fact, pay no attention to the entire 2017 Giants season (said in my best devious magician voice). It’s been a disaster – like an ATV-wreck of a disaster season for the Giants, but it doesn’t mean MadBum can’t crank it up tonight against a top-flight opponent in an absolute marquee pitching matchup. He has a knack for the big moments, and this is probably the last thing that can pass for one this season in the Bay (at least until basketball season begins).
Bumgarner is just 3-8 this season, and his last two starts were disasters, allowing six and five runs respectively, and lasting just 11 innings. His entire season; mid-three ERA, 3-8 record – is ugly. But his WHIP is just 1.11 and batters are still hitting just.239 against him. The dude can still DEAL when he has it going, and I like a bounce back tonight.
Meanwhile, Greinke has been stellar of late, delivering four straight quality starts and allowing just six runs over the span of 27 innings. He has struck out 22 batters and issues just 3 walks. The guy is on fire, and now he gets to go to a pitcher-happy ballpark and face a pitcher-friendly lineup. It has the makings of a fifth straight quality start – and quite likely a D’Backs victory.
But I’m not willing to put my money against MadBum, especially at a steep price of -140 – especially when I can bet on BOTH pitchers at near even money. I like the total to stay low tonight. The D’Backs offense is potent, but if MadBum bounces back, and I think he will, this could be a nice pitcher’s duel in the Bay.
Today’s MLB Pick: RUN TOTAL UNDER 7.5