Seth Lugo was excellent last night as the Mets took the rubber game of their important series with the Nationals and grabbed a convincing 5-1 win. We were on the UNDER side of the equation so we cashed another winner with some room to spare. The win gave us a nice 4-2 week with a +180 winner in the mix, so a pretty nice week at the office. Let’s see if we can cap off the Labor Day weekend in style with one more winner.
There’s a ton of day games today for the Holiday, so make sure you get your plays in early if there are some games you have your eye on. The highlight of the matinee schedule is Kyle Hendricks heading up the road to Miller Park looking to drop his league-leading ERA under 2.00 with another dominating start. In the afternoon, the Cardinals and Pirates begin a series of massive importance and they jockey for the final playoff spot, and the nightcap features a nice duel between Zack Greinke and Kenta Maeda in Los Angeles.
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Today’s Free Pick:
St. Louis Cardinals -112 at Pittsburgh Pirates +102 (Total: 7.5)
Adam Wainwright (9-8, 4.53 ERA) vs. Chad Kuhl (3-2, 3.70 ERA)
The Cardinals currently have a one game lead over the Mets (two in the loss column) and enter this week’s dire series with the Pirates with a 3 ½ game lead head-to-head. If the Pirates don’t take two of three, the season is effectively over, so Chad Kuhl has some weight on his shoulders today facing off against a former Cy Young winner in Adam Wainwright.
Fortunately for Kuhl, Waino hasn’t been in vintage form this season with an ERA in the mid-fours and a barely .500 record. Batters are hitting a whopping .280 against him this season and his WHIP is up to 1.34. HOWEVER, he can still bring it on occasions and those occasions have been more frequent lately. He threw seven innings of one-run baseball in his last outing and has five quality starts in his last ten with only two real poor efforts.
Working in Wainwright’s favor is the fact the Pirates are sputter badly. They got outscored 18-4 in a weekend sweep against Milwaukee and have been shut out three times in their last six games, all losses. Oddly, St. Louis is 14 games over .500 on the road and one game under at home, so being at PNC Park today isn’t really a disadvantage.
Chad Kuhl has been pretty good since joining the Pirates rotation, but I don’t think he’ll get the offense to back him up tonight in PNC. The Pirates are bound to break out of their funk at some point, but I don’t think it is this afternoon on ESPN. I like Wainwright to dig into the 2013 way-back machine and put on a second straight solid performance.