We hit a snag in the road yesterday with a losing pick on the Yankees/Blue Jays over. The Jays sported a AAA roster outside of Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion, but it wasn’t that in particular which turned in a loser. The Blue Jays took a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the 5th, so we only needed 2 runs from that point on to at least secure a push, but everyone seemed to shut it down for the night following that frame. The Yankees inserted a member of the bullpen with a 5.00+ ERA, but they still looked disinterested in adding to the lead. And the only thing of note from the Yankees was an A-Rod solo shot, who has been playing well since making his comeback. Onwards to Tuesday where we look to bounce back with a winner.
Free MLB Pick:
Chicago Cubs +262 at Los Angeles Dodgers -290 (Total: 5.5)
Travis Wood (7-10, 3.22 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (13-7, 1.72 ERA)
What more is there to say about the Los Angeles Dodgers? Chris and I have raved about them for several weeks now, and soon as people think they may regress a little bit, they get right back on the horse and bounce back. Nothing seems to faze the Dodgers, which is certainly a good thing to be able to shake adversity off quickly. The Dodgers dropped two straight to the Red Sox, which for them is a pretty big losing streak, but downed the Cubs easily last night, 6-2. The Dodgers didn’t get on the scoreboard until the 9th, already way too late to stage a rally at that point.
After a 6-2 loss against Zack Greinke you would think the Cubs would catch some slack the next night. Nope, the Cubs are going to need to come out Tuesday night in Los Angeles to face arguably the best pitcher in baseball today, Clayton Kershaw. Statistically speaking, Kershaw is the best pitcher in the majors, bringing an ERA of 1.72 into Tuesday night. It’s quite hard to believe that his record is only 13-7, but remember Kershaw had a very bad offense to work with back then when the injuries piled on. The Dodgers are of course healthy now, and Kershaw has gotten good run support lately. His numbers from his last three starts have been nothing short of magnificent: 0.38 ERA, 0.71 WHIP, and .198 OBP. Those are easily the best numbers I have seen this season in a three game split.
Sharing the mound with Kershaw Tuesday night will be Travis Wood, a pitcher that is no slouch himself. Is Wood in the same league as Kershaw? No, but is he a solid option in the Cubs’ rotation? Absolutely. His numbers tell the story with a 3.22 ERA and credible 1.11 WHIP. However, his recent starts have portrayed a different picture, perhaps because certain pitchers’ arms begin to slow down this time of year. Wood yielded a 4.50 ERA in his last three starts, getting taken for 4 in his last two against the Nationals and Cardinals.
If facing Kershaw isn’t enough, the Cubs should be disappointed to find that not only is he the best in baseball, but they are one of the worst against left-handed pitching. The Cubs hit only .227 in this regard, compared to .240 against righties. I don’t normally like taking square picks, I rarely do, but I just can’t see how the Cubs are going to do anything against Kershaw. The ML is way too pricey for me, but I’ll take a stab on the RL and hope for a repeat performance of last night.
Free Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5