Well, I guess even when you are as hot as we have been the last several weeks, you are going to miss once in a while. That was the case last night when we backed the San Francisco Giants as road underdogs in San Diego, against the Padres. The Giants had beaten the Padres eight consecutive times and were 17-4 on the month heading into the game.
I didn’t love having to back Giants starter Shaun Anderson as the kid has clearly been showing some growing pains recently, but I didn’t let that scare me off backing a red-hot team as an underdog. And in the end, the Padres were just too much for the youngster as they lit him up for four runs in just five innings of work.
Fernando Tatis Jr led the way for the Padres with three hits, including a home run, and two RBI. While Padres starter Cal Quantrill managed to slow down this Giants offense that is second in runs scored in the month of July. Quantrill tossed five and a third very efficient innings, allowing just one run on only three hits.
For the Padres, they managed to save face and avoid the third consecutive sweep at the hands of the Giants, but their season still looks to be just about over anyway. The Padres are likely candidates to make some moves to dump salary before the July 31st trade deadline. I don’t think we will see any mega names like Machado or Tatis on the move, but their All-Star closer Kirby Yates would likely net a solid return, and you can expect him to get moved any day.
For the Giants, they are hoping to win tonight in the series finale against the Padres as the road is about to get a lot bumpier for the streaking G-men. After this series, the Giants play the Phillies, Rockies, Nationals, and Athletics. If they can find a way to stay hot, they are going to position themselves nicely for the playoffs. If they stumble against the increased competition, they will see this recent hot streak go up in flames along with their chances to make the playoffs. For today’s pick, we will head to Milwaukee where the Brewers look to sweep the Cubs.
The Chicago Cubs are in Milwaukee Sunday for game three of a three-game series with the Brewers. The Brewers have staged late-game comebacks the last two nights to take the two games to none series lead. Both teams are tied up for second place in the NL Central Division, a game back of the first-place St. Louis Cardinals. Today’s winner could end up with a share of the Central Division lead if St. Louis loses.
Starting for the Cubs is Jose Quintana (8-7 4.42 ERA), and for the Brewers, it is Zach Davies (8-3 3.17 ERA). The game total over-under is set at ten runs. The Brewers are slight -113 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 11:10 AM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
The NL Central Division is the tightest race in baseball as three teams are trying to declare themselves as favorites, with the Cards, Brewers, and Cubs all battling for first place. Heck, even the Reds and Pirates aren’t all that far back and are just a ten-game hot streak away from being right in the mix. That makes these divisional games that much more important as each team tries to separate themselves from the pack.
The Brewers will turn to Zach Davies today in game three to finish off the sweep. Davies has been great this season as he is 8-3 with a very respectable 3.17 ERA. In his last start, he got roughed up by the Cincinnati Reds, to the tune of six earned runs in just four innings of work. But in his other three July starts, he pitched a combined eighteen innings and allowed just one earned run.
Against the Cubs this season, Davies has been nearly untouchable. He has faced Chicago twice this year, and has pitched a total of twelve innings, and gave up just one earned run. The Brewers have relied on Davies this year as they have won thirteen of his starts this season. They need one more big effort out of him today.
The Cubs will counter Davies with veteran Jose Quintana. Quintana has been his normal inning eating self this season. He isn’t going to blow anyone away, but he usually doesn’t get pounded all that hard either. But recently he has hit a rough patch as his ERA is 5.50 in three July starts. Surprisingly enough, the Cubs have won all three of those games despite Quintana getting lit up.
Before this recent three-game winning streak, the Cubs had lost eight out of his previous ten starts. Against the Brewers this season, Quintana has been really bad as he has pitched nine and two-thirds of an inning in two starts and has gotten nailed for eleven runs and the Cubs got blown out in both games.
This is a mismatch on the mound. Davies has been great against Chicago, and Quintana can’t seem to not get hammered against the Brewers. To see this is as a tight number is a bit surprising. Yeah, these teams are very evenly matched overall, but when you look at how poorly the Chicago bullpen has pitched in this series, they have blown late leads in both games, and the fact that the Brewers clearly have the better side of the starting pitching matchup, I would think that the Brewers would be valued higher.
So, as is always the case, I will look to take advantage of the bad number. This isn’t one of those awful numbers where the price is a full dollar off, but I could see Milwaukee at -135 or more easily in this one. So, to get them at just -113, creates some significant value for us. So, I’ll do just that. Give me the Milwaukee Brewers as small home favorites tonight in game three as they sweep the Cubs out of Milwaukee!