The Tigers and Alfredo Simon were in firm control of that game yesterday, before Angel Nesbitt entered the game in relief with the bases loaded. Actually, lets go back even before then, when second baseman Ian Kinsler botched a play that could have potentially been a double play to end the inning. Instead Kinsler ended up getting no one out. He threw to home in a last ditch effort after he realized he wasn’t going to have a play at second base. The throw was late and a run got in. Simon got yanked, Nesbitt comes in allows the grand slam and the game was over from that point. Beyond that, the Tigers should have been able to do more damage against A’s starter Kendall Graveman. Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus must be feeling the heat after his team continues to take a tumble. A 11-2 start to the season has turned into turmoil. Yeah it’s only June, but that is still three months into the season and they are becoming close to hitting .500.
To today though where we search out a winning pick after we had one stolen from us yesterday. This is a series which features two teams that had high hopes coming into the season. The Cubs armed with plenty of young talent, and the Marlins coming off a season where they exceeded expectations, there were expectations for both clubs to perform in 2015. I definitely hold the Cubs in high esteem for the future, but I already stated in previous articles that I think this is more of a practice run for them to get their feet wet. I really didn’t expect them to blow the doors off everybody with little experience throughout the lineup. Pitching wise they have gotten a boost from acquiring Jon Lester in the offseason. Lester was off to a slow start, perhaps adjusting to his new has surroundings, but has since been on point on the mound. Lester will get the start today against the Marlins, as they counter with Dan Haren.
Chicago Cubs vs. Miami Marlins
Jon Lester (4-3, 3.30 ERA) vs. Dan Haren (5-2, 3.03 ERA)
Dan Haren been a pleasant surprise for the Marlins this season in an otherwise turbulent season at 21-32. That wasn’t what the Marlins had in mind, but a 5-2 record for Dan Haren is exactly what he had hoped for. He also has the benefit of going against a Cubs team that definitely favors the lefties, as they are hitting just .231 against right handers compared to .265 against left handed pitching. In their last ten games they’ve batted only .212 against right handers. Haren has been a good righty, especially of late, where he posted an ERA of 1.71 with a 0.95 WHIP in his last three starts. The only had start credited to Haren was against the Angels on the road. At home he has been spectacular, with a 1.45 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in 31 innings pitched.
His opponent tonight, Jon Lester, has been hot himself. In fact, they had identical ERA’s over their last three starts, as Lester comes in with a 1.71 in his most recent outings. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs since eight starts ago on April 13th. Since then Lester has had five starts in which he held the opposing teams to less than 3 runs a game. The Cubs are 7-1 to the UNDER in their last eight games, and the Marlins are 8-2 their last ten games. I will take my chances backing the UNDER 7 in this one tonight.
PICK: UNDER 7 RUNS (+102)