We snapped our brief three-day MLB skid with a pair of wins last night, riding the scorching hot Brewers to both a win and the OVER on the run total last night. Today we will try to keep it going on “get-away day” in major league baseball with a pair of picks. The first is an afternoon game, so make sure you plan accordingly.
St. Louis Cardinals +137 at Washington Nationals -142 (Total: 7)
Jaime Garcia (1-1, 3.12 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (1-3, 2.96)
Stephen Strasburg hasn’t been bad this season… but he hasn’t quite been the dominant anchor Nats fans are banking on. He enters today with just a 1-3 record, and while some of that can be blamed on run support (his ERA is a solid 2.96 and WHIP is 1.17), there is no denying he has been outdueled this year by a pair of less-heralded aces; Johnny Cueto and Matt Harvey.
Today Strasburg has a more favorable pitching matchup in Jaime Garcia, but he is going to need his mate’s bats to wake up in a hurry. The Nationals have managed only two runs in the series against St. Louis and have seen their record fall to 10-10 and their deficit in the NL East already climb to five full games. There’s no such thing as a “must win” game in April, but today is sure an important outing.
Garcia has been solid this season, but I think he is facing a lineup primed to breakout today. The Nats aren’t going to hit THAT poorly for too long, and perhaps a nice afternoon matinee is what they need to break out of their mini-slump.
It says something about the current tenor surrounding the Nats that you can get Strasburg against a non-#1 starter and only pay -142 to get it. I am going to bank on a good outing by the young ace and a Nats win to salvage the final game of the series and am doubling up on the run line, expecting a nice breakout offensive day.
Free Pick: Washington Nationals to WIN -142 & Washington -1.5 (+155)
Milwaukee Brewers -117 at San Diego Padres +110 (Total: 7.5)
Marco Estrada (2-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (0-3, 8.84 ERA)
The well hasn’t run dry yet, so I’m going back for more. The Brewers own the Padres, they are on a ten-game winning streak, and they are that rare team that has hit far better on the road at Petco over the past few seasons.
Volquez has been terrible this season, and it seems fair to ask if his All Star season after which he was injured AND suspended 50 games for PED’s might have been a PED-aided aberration. Perhaps this guy just isn’t going to consistently get big league hitters out…
Either way, I like the Brew Crew to keep on mashing out West and to wrap up their third consecutive series sweep.
Free Pick: Milwaukee Brewers to WIN -117