You can hate him if you want too; too brash, too arrogant, too mouthy, overrated. But it is probably time to recognize that Bryce Harper, who is still just 22 years old, might just be the future of baseball he was hyped to be five years ago on an SI cover. He hit his 15th homerun of the season last night, his tenth in the month of May, and the career numbers he is starting to compile through his age-22 season put him on par with just a few of the most hallowed names in baseball history. Hate him at your own peril, but keep in mind, Kris Byrant, the “future of the Cubs” and future HOF’er? He’s a full two YEARS older than Harper…
The Nats are rolling, and we were too prior to lsat night’s loss. Who’da thunk the Royals would notch their first consecutive shutouts in 20 years? More bad luck for Johnny Cueto, who can’t seem to get any run support and a tough, but earned, loss for me as well.
Let’s get a winner tonight and start a new winning streak.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs +135 at San Diego Padres -145 (Total: 7)
Tyoshi Wada vs. Tyler Ross
Tyler Ross has been one of the best strikeout artists in baseball this season. But it has come at the price of a ton of walks. He is sixth in the NL at 10.6 K/9, but his walks top baseball at 5.1. That’s a lot of nibbling, and you certainly don’t want to allow free baserunners the way this Cubs team can swing the bats.
Meanwhile, Chicago sends Wada to the mound for the first time this season after six reahd starts in AAA. He was good as a rookie, posting a 4-4 record with a 3.15 ERA, and at times was absolutely fantastic. He makes his season debut in a very pitcher-friendly ballpark which is a nice way to ease in to the season… except for the fact that the home lineup has made it MUCH more un-friendly this season. The Padres can HIT now, so perhaps it wasn’t all the park’s fault all of these years… The OVER is 7-1 in the Padres last eight games as a home favorite (meaning against non-elite pitchers) and I expect a few runs to cross the plate tonight as well. Ross lets too many guys on base to keep a clean sheet and Wada is likely to run into some trouble against a lineup that has averaged 4.62 runs at home. The Cubs average nearly 5 (4.82) on the road.
I like Ross’s stuff, and he may very well induce some K’s from the young Cubs lineup, but not without putting too many people on base to constantly avoid trouble all night.