It was another night where we had to wait a little bit to cash a winning ticket, and certainly a night where the final 7-3 score didn’t accurately convey the drama. Brandon Phillips hit a two run homer in the ninth to put the Reds up 2-1, only to have the Giants score in the bottom of the ninth to tie it and Aroldis Chapman pitch his way out of a tie game with runners on second and third and no outs to somehow extend the ballgame. After a five-run Reds 11th, all the runs coming with two outs, the final score looked easy, but it was anything but.
Alas, a win is a win to keep a nice 4-0-1 streak rolling into Sunday. Sunday can be a tricky day, as I try to avoid writing up games that are played early in the afternoon, so it shrinks the potential pool a bit. However, I feel pretty good moving forward today that we can finish up the week unblemished.
Let’s move on to today’s free pick.
Today’s Free Pick:
St. Louis Cardinals +186 at Los Angeles Dodgers -200 (Total: 6.5)
Shelby Miller vs. Clayton Kershaw
The Cardinals have mustered just four runs in the first three games of this series, but things should be much easier today facing… Clayton Kersahw? Ouch. That’s a tough matchup when the bats are already cooled off. Kershaw enters with a sparkling 2.24 ERA on the season and an imposing 0.87 WHIP. Over his last three starts (no-hitter included) he is a perfect 3-0 with an ERA of 0.38 and a WHIP of 0.67. That is simply ridiculously dominant stuff.
Meanwhile, Shelby Miller has been good this season at times, but hasn’t taken that big step forward Cardinals fans and management were hoping for. The Cards are just 8-8 with him on the mound this season and his 3.75 ERA merits about such a record. Over his last three starts his ERA has swollen to 4.50 and he is allowing nearly two runners per inning to reach base. That isn’t going to get it done against the Dodgers.
I think it’s hard to bet against LA anytime Kershaw takes the ball right now. However, -200 isn’t a ton of value. However in most books the runline (-1.5) swells all the way to +110 or even +115. That’s a HIGE swing, especially considering Miller has been scuffling, the Dodgers offense can score some runs, and it’s entirely possible Kershaw strings zeros on the board all night long.
I’ll take the Dodgers on the runline and bank on yet another Kershaw gem.