We stayed hot last night with our third straight winner this week and our second winner at plus-money. Max Scherzer was exactly as expected, mowing through an overpowered (and relatively weak) Mets lineup, allowing just two hits and no runs while fanning ten batters in seven-plus innings. He left with a 4-0 lead and despite a little bullpen nervousness, the Nats escaped with a 4-2 win and a runline winner. The performance was big for the Nationals who swept their closest division rival to open up a nice, wide lead. However, the performance might have been even bigger for Scherzer personally. With the rash of injuries befalling National League star pitchers this week, Scherzer might have just punched his ticket to San Diego for the Midsummer’s Classic.
Let’s see if we can stay perfect this week with a fourth straight winning wager. There are only five National League games as half the league has an off day today, and there are a few afternoon getaway games, so we have a little smaller pot to pick from, but there is an evening game that is definitely on my radar tonight. Let’s dive in.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs -121 at New York Mets +111
John Lackey (7-4, 3.29 ERA) vs. Steven Matz (7-3, 3.29 ERA)
Bone spurs? What bone spurs? The rumor was the Matz was looking at some time off the field due to a bone spur issue, but he is still slated to get the ball tonight. It will be interesting to see what transpires.
My bet is the conservative one. If I have a pitcher with some big question marks etting the ball against the best team in the league who enters having scored 28 runs in their last three games and the “possibly injured slightly” pitcher enters with one of the WORST offenses in baseball backing him up – take the other team, right?
It sounds simple, but give me Lackey and the Cubbies tonight. Lackey is fresh off his worst start of the season which pushed his ERA over three for the first time this season, but iexpect him to bounce back for two reasons: one, the larger sample size this season is excellent, and two, the Mets can’t hit. It is a good time to get back on track for Lackey.
I’ll take the far safer play in Chicago. The line is excellent at -120 given all the other mitigating factors. Give me the team with the best run differential in baseball who is entering red-hot.