The danger in fading two talented starting pitchers while they are struggling is that you never know when a dominant return to form might occur. We caught a pair of them last night in the 2-0 Mets win over the Giants. Jeff Samardzija turned in his best outing in months, completely flummoxing the Mets before allowing two runs in the seventh inning. It turned out to be all New York needed as Noah Syndergaard allowed just two hits in eight shutout innings.
Either way, the OVER was never in danger and we took the L to cap off an otherwise successful weekend. We will try to get back on track today with a new week and a mostly new set of series commencing. The highlight of the early week is the Beltway series between a pair of interleague division leaders, Washington and Baltimore, but for our pick today we will head to a less-competitively interesting series – but a good wagering opportunity.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs -220 at San Diego Padres -200 (Total: 7.5)
Jon Lester (13-4, 2.86 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (3-3, 5.36 ERA)
The Cubs are just rollin’ right now, and I expect things to keep on rolling through the hapless Padres this week. The Pads are sending Edwin Jackson to the mound to try to counter Cy Young candidate Jon Lester. Jackson is on his 212th team (slight exaggeration, slight) and is 3-2 with a 5.15 ERA with the Padres. He has been good the first time through the lineup, taking no hitters in to the fifth inning on several occasions, but the wheels have come off quickly.
Meanwhile, Lester has only allowed five runs in his last four starts and the Cubs have won his last six outings. He had two terrible outings the first week in July, but has been lights out this season otherwise. The Cubs are 16-4 over their last twenty games and won more games by two or more runs than they have by one. They are covering runlines with ease and have a HUGE pitching edge tonight. Kris Bryant is in the zone and the rest of the lineup is not far behind. The Cubs have scored five or more runs in seven of their last ten games. If they get five tonight, I can’t see Lester not getting them an easy win.
The line of -220 is a bit steep for my liking, but the runline of -130 or -135 is really fair. Look for the Cubbies to roll in “Wrigley West” tonight in front of the adoring fans at Petco (seriously, it will sound like a home game).