We notched a relatively easy winner last night with the Miami Marlins notching 5-3 victory in Philadelphia and pushing our record to 4-1 in our last five MLB picks. Hopefully we can keep it going and make this week a nice big week full of winners.
There are some good matchups on the board today to choose from. The obvious highlight is the Nats and Mets – widely considered two of the top teams in baseball – linking up for a big series. On the mound tonight is Max Scherzer, fresh off his record-tying twenty strikeout performance and Noah Syndergaard, who might have the filthiest stuff on the planet currently. The interesting thing about that matchup is that Syndergaard’s ERA is nearly TWO FULL RUNS lower than Scherzer, meaning that despite the dominance when Scherzer is rolling, he is far from invincible. In fact, he is the decided Vegas underdog in tonight’s matchup in New York.
That’s the game to watch tonight, but I am heading in a different direction for today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs -176 at Milwaukee Brewers +166 (Total: 9)
Kyle Hendricks (2-2, 3.03 ERA) vs. Chase Anderson (1-5, 6.11 ERA)
One win against five losses and an ERA over six is NOT a great recipe for success against the juggernaut Cubbies. There is good reason the Cubs are a substantial favorite. However, they aren’t as wide as I’d expect, given both the teams and pitching matchup. I’m not opposed to laying -176 on the Cubbies tonight, though I generally like a little more reward for my risk in general. There is, however, nice value on the runline at -110 – that’s where I am looking today.
The Cubs are already twelve games ahead of the Brewers in the standings and are +147 in run differential – or an average of more than FOUR AND A HALF RUNS per game – mind boggling. Normally, conventional wisdom says that laying the runline increases the risk because of how many game are one run contests, but the Cubs have eschewed that wisdom all season long.
The Cubs are 16-5 in their last 21 games and of those 16 wins, only THREE have come by a single run. The majority have been blowouts and I expect facing a guy with an ERA in the sixes, tonight will follow that same recipe. Look for the Cubs to score I bunches and for Hendricks to continue to pitch well enough to let his offense carry him to victory.
Again, I am surprised I can get the runline at near even money tonight given the dramatic mismatch. But I’ll take advantage of it, and hopefully we can cash a fifth winner in six games.