We notched a second-straight MLB winner last night on the strength of the Reds staying hot and evening up their short two-game series against the Yankees. Just as projected, the Reds offense at home was able to touch up C.C. Sabathia early and Tim Adleman was once again good enough to keep the Reds in the game and hand the ball off to the most improved bullpen in the league. The Reds were historically BAD last year, especially for the first half of the season where their ERA was a full standard of deviation worse then the rest of the National League.
The Reds and Cardinals both won to stay atop the NL Central while the Cubbie split their double-header in Colorado with Jake Arrieta getting touched up in the opener. The recent Cy Young winner’s troubles continued and his ERA has now climbed over 5.00. It is still a little early to panic, obviously, and the Cubs lineup, defense, and depth will probably still carry them to 90 wins. But with Arrieta showing some real regression, Lackey nearing 40 and the fifth starter spot being in flux, it is fair to seriously reconsider if the Cubs are in fact the best team in the NL…
We’ve been notching winners lately by not trying to outsmart the room and simply backing hotter teams with starting pitcher advantages and relatively inexpensive lines. There’s no better illustration of that simple principal on today’s slate than this game…
Today’s MLB Pick:
St. Louis Cardinals -110 at Miami Marlins +100
Lance Lynn vs. Tom Kohler
The Cardinals have taken the first two in the series and have now reeled off nine wins in twelve games while the Marlins have done the exact opposite. Now the Marlins are in the unenviable position of trying to avoid a sweep in a game where they have a -4.00 ERA starting pitching disadvantage.
For some reason, this line doesn’t reflect the fact that they Cardinals have been as good as any team in baseball over the last three weeks and that the Marlins have been a disaster It also doesn’t reflect how GOOD Lance Lynn has been this season. The Cardinal hurler enters with a 4-1 record and an ERA near 2.00. It is hard to see him NOT giving the Cardinals a really good chance at a sweep tonight.
Meanwhile, Kohler enters with an ERA over six and a lineup that hasn’t been providing much support the last few weeks.
The numbers and pitching matchup are squarely on the side of the Cardinals. I would have thought I’d have to lay at least -130 to -140, but at close to even money, this was the easiest pick on the board. I’ll take the Cards to finish off the sweep in Miami behind another solid outing from Lynn.
Today’s MLB Pick: ST. LOUIS CARDINALS TO WIN -110