Cardinals vs. Nationals Pick MLB – May 26th

Syndergaard.  deGrom.  Harvey.  And perhaps soon the return of Wheeler.

The Mets fearsome pitching staff is intimidating.  And that above list might be excluding the best of the bunch (Ok, not better than Syndergaard, but still) this season, Stephen Matz.  The least heralded of the Mets rotation turned in the best outing of his career yesterday, blanking the rival Nats to get back to even in the loss column for first place in the National League East.  The 24-year old hurler pushed his record to 7-1 and his ERA to 2.36.  He is emerging as a likely All Star in a rotation blessed with three of them already.  I thought the Mets would have a difficult time holding off the Nationals this season, but if Matz continues to do THIS, they are going to be really hard to beat.

Meanwhile, I had some technical glitches yesterday, so my Dodgers runline pick never made the light of day (it’s OK, you don’t have to believe me… but I swear I did have LAD -1.5 ;)  Anyhow, the pick was predicated less on my prescience than the fact that the Reds are so insanely lousy it is hard to comprehend.  They lost their eleventh straight game last night and the eighth by more than one run.  They are off today, but at 3-17 on the road, there are some strong Reds fades in my future…

Let’s see if we can notch a second straight official MLB winner after Tuesday’s +135 Washington runline winner.

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Today’s Free Pick:

St. Louis Cardinals +125 at Washington Nationals -135 (Total: 8)

Mike Leake (3-3, 4.07 ERA) vs. Joe Ross (3-4, 2.70 ERA)

Today’s game features two good teams looking to get yesterday’s bad taste out of their mouths.  Most of the NL is off today, but these two are probably glad to get back on the diamond.  The Cardinals lost a tough 9-8 game to the hated Cubbies yesterday while the Nats were blanked by the aforementioned Stephen Matz and the Mets.

Mike Leake enters tonight on a nice little run.  He has won his last three starts and has only allowed two runs in the process.  Perhaps more importantly, he has induced 40 ground balls in just 21 innings.  That is Mike Leake’s game, and he appears to have found his stride of late.  It makes him and the Cardinals, still the best offense in the National League, an intriguing plus-money value tonight.

Joe Ross has been solid this season, posting a very good 2.70 ERA and he probably deserves better than his losing 3-4 record.  But he hasn’t been great lately.  In his last four starts, the Nats are 0-4 and while it isn’t all Ross’s fault, he hasn’t carried the team to victory.  He has allowed 12 earned runs in his last 22 innings for an ERA over five and his WHIP is well up over 1.50.  That could portend some troubles tonight against the potent Cardinal lineup.

I like Leake to keep the ball on the ground, and in the ballpark, and for his offense to get him a few runs early.  Even more, I like that I can get the Cards at plus money.

Free Pick: St. Louis Cardinals to WIN +125

Chris Scheeren / Author