We got the slumpbuster we were looking for last night with Jon Lester’s bounce-back performance in Atlanta in the Cubs in a 4-3 win. The Cubs had to hold on for dear life, allowing two runs in the bottom of the ninth (blowing a runline play, if one were so inclined), but grabbed the victory to remain perfect on the other side of the All-Star Game. The Cubs have suddenly closed the gap to just 3.5 games in the Central and suffice it to say that the Brewers are taking notice…
It’s a pretty good slate of action today with the Brewers heading to PNC Park to face the Pirates who are 8-2 in their last ten games, the Cubs give the ball to John Lackey to try and keep things going in Atlanta, and the Dodgers will be looking for their tenth straight win overall tonight against the White Sox.
Let’s see if we can start a nice little winning streak.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Chicago Cubs -103 at Atlanta Braves -107 (Total: 9.5)
John Lackey (5-9, 5.20 ERA) vs. Sean Newcomb (1-4, 4.26 ERA)
John Lackeys stats are pretty ugly this season, but three of his last four starts have been quality starts and he has a hot team batting behind him tonight in Atlanta. He has also had since July 5th to rest and recover from a brief and minor stint on the DL. The Braves will counter with young Sean Newcomb, making just his seventh career start and seeking just his second career win. It’d be a thrilling place to earn a second career victory, knocking off the reigning World Series Champs, but I don’t think he’ll be getting it tonight.
The Cubs seem to have FINALLY gotten things going in the right direction and are beginning to play to their talent level. They’ve won four straight and will be looking to make it five tonight in Atlanta. Lackey has had success in the ATL, posting a career ERA of just 2.56 against the Braves.
Meanwhile, Newcomb started off his career GREAT, posting a 1.46 ERA in his first four starts but there are some signs that the league might be starting to catch up to him. His last two starts, allowing 11 runs in 7.1 innings and walking six batters in the process. I think the Cubs will have similar success today and jump out to an early lead and hang on for the win.
Today’s MLB Pick: CHICAGO CUBS TO WIN -103