Cubs vs. Giants Pick MLB – May 20th

Wednesday’s roll of the dice on fading a struggling star pitcher backfired.  Yesterday’s went even more smoothly than expected.  Matt Harvey’s troubles continued last night as he went just 2 2/3 innings and allowed nine runs in the worst start of his professional career (and I going to wager, “life” it’s hard to imagine him getting rocked around the Little League yard…).  It was so bad that there is real talk of skipping his next start in the rotation, though there is no injury present.  While I happily faded him yesterday, that is because I like money and winning wagers.  I definitely hope he gets back on track soon, as the game is fun when colorful, charismatic superstars are in top form.

The Nats cruised to the easy victory, snapping our brief two-game MLB skid and pushing the record back to 5-3 over the last week and a half.  We will try to start the weekend off right with a winner for the fresh weekend series.  There are a few good NL series to look at, including the Cubs trying to bounce back from a rare non-winning series against Milwaukee, and the Cardinals and Pirates trying to creep back within shouting distance in the Central hosting West teams Arizona and Colorado, respectively.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Chicago Cubs -174 at San Francisco Giants +165 (Total: 6.5)

Jake Arrieta vs Jake Peavy

This one seems really simple.  In 2016, Jake Peavy is Less Than Jake Arrieta (obscure reference to 90’s band).  Continuing with my recent theme of fading big name struggling star pitchers, we will be fading Peavy today.  Not that this trend is particularly new.  Peavy is about a half decade removed from ‘star’ and even further removed from the Cy Young discussions of a decade ago.  He enters today with a 1-4 record and a massive 7.43 ERA.  He simply isn’t getting people out.  It isn’t one bad start that skews the numbers.  It is an all-around bad season.  He has allowed four or more runs in five of his eight starts, with only his most recent outing (6 IP, 1 ER) against the D’Backs constituting “really strong.”  The Giants have lost five of his last seven starts and didn’t cover the runline in any one of them.

And, perhaps most importantly, none of those starts were against Jake Arrieta and the best team in baseball.   Expect the Cubbies to roll tonight and take out some offensive frustrations on the Giants.  The Cubs had their first bobble of the season, dropping three of their last four games and scoring only seven runs in the process, including a losing series against the Brewers.  However, they are still averaging an NL-best 5.67 runs per game, even after the mini-drought.  Jake Peavy has an ERA over seven.  I like the dams to bust open early tonight.

And really, doesn’t Arrieta really only need three runs to make a runline wager feel safe?  He has won on the runline in every start except his last. It’s a pretty good bet he gets back to dealing filthy tonight and shuts down the G-Men.

I’ll take Arrieta getting back to business tonight, along with his mates in the batter box.  I know, the Giants have won eight in a row and are on FIRE.  But none of those eight were Peavy trying to stave off Jake Arrieta…

Free Pick: Chicago Cubs RUNLINE -1.5 (-110)

Chris Scheeren / Author