Chicago Cubs +250 at Los Angeles Dodgers -270 (Total: 7)
Chris Volstad (0-7, 7.94 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.95 ERA)
It’s been a good week in baseball, and a good week here at thesportsgeek.com as we try to extend upon our three-game winning streak (four, if you count Wednesday’s double pick win). The game we’re looking at tonight violates my rule against the value of huge 2:1 or greater favorites, but fear not – the official wager won’t be a standard win/lose selection.
The Dodgers made a splash at the trade deadline, picking up Shane Victorino and Hanley Ramirez (and being unable to pull off the deal for Dempster; which doesn’t look as egregious after his start Thursday night…). But will all these moves pay dividends in the form of a division championship and deep playoff run? They snapped their three game losing streak last night, beating the Cubs 6-1, but were previously swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, getting outscored 19-4 in the process.
Tonight the Dodgers send reigning Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw to the mound, who is having another good season, albeit not the dominant season of 2011. In his last three outings he is 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA, but his WHIP of 0.93 suggests he has been a little sharper than those first two numbers indicate. I expect him to be sharp at home tonight against the Cubs.
Meanwhile, oh Chicago, Chicago, Chicago… What must go through a manager’s head before sending out a pitcher who is on pace to post one of the worst statistical seasons by a starting pitcher in the long and illustrious history of baseball? Chris Volstad not only hasn’t won a game this season, his TEAM hasn’t won a single game in which he has participated! His ERA is climbing towards a run-an-inning territory, and his last three starts have been even WORSE. He is a “perfect” 0-3 in his last three starts with an 11.68 ERA and a video game-like WHIP of 2.35.
It seems like a Dodger win is a near given tonight, but at -250, it really isn’t worth your time. However, you can get the Dodgers at -1.5 on the runline and pay just -125 for it. That’s a really favorab;e line, especially when you take a 10,000 foot view of the matchup: one of the better teams in the league is hosting one of the worst teams in the league. The better team, at home, is pitching the reigning Cy Young Award winner who has a WHIP under 1.00 in his last three outings. The poorer team, on the road, is starting perhaps the worst statistical starting pitcher in 100 years.
Who would YOU pick?!?
It seems like a no-brainer to me as well. Give me the Dodgers -1.5 and cruise to an easy win.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 (-125)