We got back on track with a nice winner last night, though I did feel a bit scavenger-like feeding on the rotting carcass of the Nationals with all the other vultures. Game, set, match, Nats fans. Thanks for playing this season, we will see you again in April. The Mets completed the decimating three-game sweep of Washington and left the Nation’s Capital with a nearly-insurmountable seven game lead. It isn’t mathematically impossible with one head-to-head series still remaining, but it will take a combination of miracle and gag-job to make this race even interesting heading into the final series first week of October.
It feels gratuitous to keep piling on Washington, but are you seriously offering me even money (or even slight plus-money) to back the Mets? It was easy money last night. Easy money.
Let’s see if we can build on yesterday’s winner by stacking another one on this evening.
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Today’s Free Pick:
St. Louis Cardinals -138 at Cincinnati Reds +128 (Total: 7.5)
Jaime Garcia vs. John Lamb
This game is such a mismatch on paper, that I am stunned the line is as slim as it is. Jaime Garcia has been lights out this season and enters tonight with an ERA under two at 1.89. If he had been healthy and performing like this all season, he’d be in the Greinke/Arrieta conversation. He’s been THAT good. He has also been good against the Reds historically, going 10-3 with a 3.24 ERA in his career.
Opposing him is a rookie with an ERA over six who has yet to earn his first major league win. Hmmm. And the Reds are only +128?? Add in the fact that the Cardinals have the best record in baseball and the Reds are the worst team on Earth over the past six weeks and the evidence keeps piling on the St. Louis side of the scale. It feels like a pretty safe wager tonight to back the Cards, who have absolutely OWNED the Reds over the last five years; even when the Reds were a regular playoff participant.
The Cards have won Garcia’s last five starts while he has posted a 1.78 ERA and held opponents to a slim .212 batting average. The Cards have won 8 of 12 against the Reds this season, including a 4-2 clip at Great American Ballpark. I like them to pad that number again tonight.