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Cubs vs. Pirates Pick MLB – June 12th

We notched another nice win last night with the Reds bouncing back after a pair of rough games to get a 5-0 win over the Dodgers behind Johnny Cueto. Cueto was simply brilliant, lowering his now-major league-leading ERA to 1.85. He fanned a career high 12 batters in six innings, and got an early hook not due to trouble but simply an elevated pitch count because of all the batters he whiffed. He didn’t walk a single batter. It’s safe to say Cueto is right back in the “All Star Starting Pitcher” decision.

A pitcher who is definitely NOT in the All Star discussion is former Cy Young/MVP Justin Verlander. The Tigers and baseball fans have to be getting concerned after Verlander was once again roughed up last night. He gave up seven runs on eight hits in just 5 2/3 innings to fall to 6-6 with a 4.61 ERA. He has now given up 31 runs and 18 walks over his last 37 innings. Is it panic time in Detroit? Maybe not, but it’s getting really close…

Meanwhile, let’s see if we can keep a good week rolling with another MLB win.

Today’s Free Pick:

Chicago Cubs +106 at Pittsburgh Pirates -115 (Total: 7)

Jeff Samardzija (2-5, 2.54 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (3-5, 4.27 ERA)

The Cubbies have delivered us a win already this week, something that has generally been in short supply in the Windy City, and tonight they send their ace to the mound in search of their seventh win in their last ten games. But if they are going to notch a road win they are going to need Samardzija to have a really good outing. He got roughed up badly two starts ago, giving up eight runs in just three innings. However, excepting that performance, he has given up three runs or less in nine straight starts.

His opponent, Edinson Volquez, has been pretty consistently average. His ERA is just over 4, and his team is 5-7 in games he has started. He gives them a chance to win, but hasn’t often been the REASON why the Pirates have won, if that makes sense.

I’d give the starting pitching matchup to the Cubs, but that edge hasn’t helped Samardzija much this season. He is 2-5 personally, and the Cubs are just 3-10 in games he has started despite his sparkling 2.54 ERA. Perhaps it is the Cubs ridiculously bad .218 batting average against right handed pitching this season. Wow.

Look for some chilly Cubs bats tonight on the road. And for another wasted effort from their ace.

Free Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates to WIN -115