Things were looking good for a plus-money winner last night and a third straight victory without a loss, until Jonathan Broxton ran into rare trouble and surrendered two runs, and eventually the game. The Reds setup man has been brilliant this season but failed to come through, his ERA ballooning to 1.86 in the process.
Yesterday slipped away from us, but let’s get back on track today and start a new winning streak.
Speaking of getting back on track, things are starting to get away from the Oakland A’s a little bit. Last night they were blanked by Jared Weaver and the Angels to fall to a full three games back in the AL West. They have two more chances at them this weekend, but anything short of winning both will leave them in a very precarious position with less than a month to play.
Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs +114 vs. St. Louis Cardinals -123 (Total: 7.5)
Tsuyoshi Wada (4-1, 2.56 ERA) vs. Marco Gonzales (0-2, 7.07 ERA)
** IMPORTANT NOTE – THIS IS THE SECOND GAME OF A DOUBLEHEADER TODAY. THE PICK IS FOR THE ABOVE STARTING PITCHERS
The Cubs will most likely finish in last place this season, but unlike years past it is reasonable to feel good about where this team is heading. Anthony Rizzo had a breakthrough fringe-MVP candidate on a better team type season, Starlin Castro returned to the promising form he displayed as a rookie, and they may just have an ace in the rotation in Tsuyoshi Wada.
Wada will get the ball tonight looking for a fifth win against just a single defeat. He took a no-hitter into the 7th against Baltimore in his last outing and is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA in his last three starts and 4-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his last six starts. He has gotten better every outing, and that could spell some trouble for the Cardinals.
St. Louis is trying to avoid losing a fourth straight game and letting their tenuous grip on the wildcard slip away. They have only scored nine runs in their last five games, and could very well find that stretch continue tonight in their first look at Wada.
Chicago has won 8 of 12 and aside from their dreadful 14-26 start, has been a .500 team the rest of the season. They aren’t world beaters, but they are a better team than their record and reputation suggest. They could provide some nice wagering opportunities down the stretch. Getting a vastly superior Wada at plus-money is a good example.