We notched a nice plus-money winner on the strength of Kyle Hendricks dazzling seven hit shutout against the Marlins. Joe Maddon showed some real faith in his “fifth starter”, who is making a reasonable Cy Young case as he has outdueled his two more famous teammates and Clayton Kershaw idles on the DL, sending him back out to the mound to pitch the ninth inning despite having already thrown 108 pitches AND having newly acquired Aroldis Chapman sitting in the pen.
Meanwhile, there were some big movements in the National League yesterday. Not nearly as much impactful movement as the American League, but some big moves nonetheless. The Mets finally acquired the Reds’ Jay Bruce after a few false starts the last two years. Their struggling offense needs the boost, and the Mets are hoping the Bruce can do similar to Yoenis Cespedes last season and inject the same boost to the Mets flagging postseason chances.
The biggest winner might be the St. Louis Cardinals. Their division rivals Milwaukee and Cincinnati waived the white flag in dramatic fashion and are going to be pretty punchless the rest of the 2016 season. That leaves wildcard chasing St. Louis with 19 games left against staggering teams…
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Today’s Free Pick:
St. Louis Cardinals -160 at Cincinnati Reds +150 (Total: 8.5)
Adam Wainwright (9-5, 4.16 ERA) vs. Dan Strailly (6-6, 3.84 ERA)
The Reds lineup certainly looks a little different right now with the NL Leader in RBI’s, long-time Red Jay Bruce having packed his bags for New York. Alas, life goes on for the team with the worst run differential in Major League Baseball as they host the arch nemesis St. Louis, the team with the fourth-best run differential in all of baseball.
The Reds send Dan Strailly to the mound, whose season stats aren’t impressive, but his last outing sure was. He is fresh off outdueling Madison Bumgarner in San Francisco. In fact, over Strailly’s last three starts he has only allowed three earned runs in the last 20.2 innings. He has five straight quality starts and has looked to solidify his spot in the starting rotation. He has held batters to a fantastic .207 average against this season and has posted 12 quality starts.
Adam Wainwright is on a similar trajectory. He has quality starts in eight of his last ten starts and has lowered his ERA from 5.40 at the beginning of June to nearly four at the end of July. He has become a very good MLB starting pitcher once again and he has always been pretty solid against the Reds. He owns a 1.77 ERA in July and the Cardinals are 14-3 in his last 17 starts.
SO my question, is WHY is this line 8.5? Two quality starting pitchers who are pitching well, and one of the offenses just lost their leading run producer less than 24 hours ago. I like the pitchers to shine tonight and keep the run total well under 8.5