If you are going to give me the opportunity to back the best team in the major leagues, playing at home, as significant underdogs, I am going to take it just about every time. That is what the situation was last night when we got to back the Boston Red Sox against the New York Yankees. I know betting against Yankees starter Luis Severino can be a scary proposition, but I just couldn’t pass up on backing Boston as home dogs.
Severino struggled yet again. He was unhittable for most of the season but has now really struggled in his last four or five starts. Severino got popped for four runs in five, and two-thirds worked, with three of those runs coming in the first inning. Severino has now lost three straight decisions after losing just two decision all year prior to this run.
It was a great spot, and I am not sure that Boston should be an underdog at home again this season. They are just too good of a baseball team to be picking up dog money at Fenway. As good as the Yankees are, they have the third most wins in the majors, they are just not nearly as good as the Red Sox are this year. Boston now holds a seven and a half game lead for the American League East Division race, that is the second biggest division lead in all of baseball. For today’s pick, I will break down the game between the Colorado Rockies and the Milwaukee Brewers.
The Colorado Rockies are in Milwaukee Saturday for game two of a three-game series with the Brewers. The Rockies were cruising to the win last night in game one as they had a 3-2 lead heading into the ninth inning. The Brewers were down to their last out of the game when Eric Thames clubbed a three-run bomb to give the Brewers the improbable come from behind walk-off victory.
The win was the sixth in their last nine games for Milwaukee, and they remain one game behind the Cubs for the Central Division lead. The Rockies have now lost three straight games after winning twelve out of fifteen to close out the month of July. Colorado finds themselves in third place in their division, the National League West, trailing the first place Dodgers by just two games.
Starting tonight for the Brewers is rookie sensation Freddy Peralta (4-2 3.61 ERA), and for the Rockies, it is Tyler Anderson (6-3 3.69 ERA). The Brewers are -134 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Freddy Peralta had about the best start to a career a pitcher could have. Peralta went into Coors Field in Colorado earlier this year, the toughest place to pitch in the league, and struck out thirteen Rockies while giving up just one hit. It was an explosive start to a career for the twenty-two-year-old.
He followed that start up with several more strong outings and at the end of June, he was 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in four starts. July wasn’t nearly as kind to the young man, as last month he went 1-2 with a 5.47 ERA in five starts. It was his first full month as a big-league starter, and it didn’t go overly well.
The problem with Peralta is that he tries to strike everyone out. And to his credit, he does strike out a lot of guys. Peralta has sixty-three strikeouts in only forty-seven and third innings this season. But it really hurts his pitch count as he has pitched no more than six innings in any of his last five starts and five innings or fewer in three of those five.
In the immortal words of Crash Davis, “Relax, all right? Don’t try to strike everybody out. Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they’re fascist. Throw some ground balls – it’s more democratic.” Until Peralta can figure out how to stop trying to strike everyone out, and get deep into games, he is always going to be a tough guy to back. He is good, and has electric stuff, but if he is only in the game four innings, its hard to like him too much.
Starting tonight for the Rockies is Tyler Anderson. Anderson has pitched well all year long and has been a very pleasant surprise for the Rockies this season. Recently he has been even better as he went 1-0 with a 2.16 ERA in five July starts. Unlike Peralta, Anderson has done a great job of getting deep into games as over his last ten starts he has gone seven innings or more in seven of them.
This is a close game. Peralta is showing some signs of immaturity and is struggling to get deep into games, but man is this kid nasty when he is on. Peralta pitched well in his last start, he allowed just one run against the Dodgers, but in that game, he only made it four innings as he had already thrown ninety-eight pitches. The two starts before that for Peralta? He pitched a total of nine and two-thirds of an inning and gave up ten earned runs.
He is just too inconsistent to want to back as a favorite. Both of these teams are playing fairly well at the moment. The Rockies have lost three straight, but they were on fire for a month before that, so I am not ready to say they have completely lost the mojo. To me, this is another coin flip type game. It could easily go either way. And to be honest, I think Anderson is the much steadier hand that is going to be more consistently decent. With Peralta, you are going to get amazing or terrible.
That is the type of variance that I like to fade. So, I will take a shot on another underdog today and back the Colorado Rockies. I think they will be eager to get revenge against the kid that dominated them to start the season and expect them to get that revenge tonight. Give me the Colorado Rockies as road underdogs at +124!