The story of the day yesterday was the weather as rain swept across the nation, washing out four games including the Reds and Mets who were tied 1-1 in the seventh inning. They will resume their game today at 1:10 PM, while the Orioles and Indians and the Nats and Phillies will play single-admission double headers today.
That makes for one packed slate of baseball today, and lots of games to pick from as I try to bounce back from yesterday’s quick defeat. Two days ago, we won on the OVER by the third inning. Yesterday, the Pirates and Braves erased that number in quick fashion and snapped a nice run of positive money each day this week. The biggest take away from that game – forget my loss – was McCutchen getting hit in the wrist. The Pirates are still collectively holding their breath hoping there is no lingering effect or even injury…
Let’s wrap up the week with a winner in today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs +120 at St. Louis Cardinals -130 (Total: 7)
Jason Hammel vs. Carlos Martinez
The Cardinals try to finish a series sweep over the rival Cubs and deal a deathly blow to any dreams of winning the NL Central. Not that the Cards have too much to worry about anyhow. Their 50-24 start is five games better than ANY team in baseball and keeps them on pace to win a ridiculous 110 games. They hand the ball to a big part of the success, Carlos Martinez, whose 2.89 ERA and 8-3 record merit unexpected All Star consideration.
The Cubs will counter with Jason Hammel, who has been the best pitcher on the team despite the much higher profile addition of Jon Lester. Hammel enters with a 2.65 ERA a 5-2 record. They will need him to pitch well tonight to snap a season-long four game skid. He was 0-2 with a 6.25 ERA last season against the Cardinals, and though it is a limited sample size, does indicate he may not be super comfortable tonight in St. Louis…
The Cardinals have won five straight and are 23-7 in their last 30 games, and are a league-best 28-7 at home. They have outscored their opponents 32-13 in their last eight games and are just steamrolling opponents. The Cubs made them work in game one but dropped the hammer on the Cubs quickly last night. Tonight should be a little closer thanks to Hammel, but I’ll go with all the trends and numbers and take the Cardinals. If you can get a team that never loses at home at a reasonable price, you might as well take it.