Clayton Kershaw capped off one of the most dominant months in major league baseball history yesterday with seven more scoreless innings, running his current streak to 28 innings without allowing a run. He finished the month with a perfect 6-0 record, a 0.82 ERA, and 61 strikeouts in 44 innings pitched. Oh, and he threw a no-hitter. Not a bad month. And with his brilliance, the Dodgers have erased a 9 ½ game deficit in the NL West and Kershaw has vaulted into the Cy Young lead, despite the also-brilliance of Johnny Cueto and Adam Wainwright.
More importantly for us, his dominance allowed us to cash in a plus-money “underdog” wager for the second straight night on the Dodger runline and runs a nice little winning streak to five straight winning wagers (5-0-1 ATS). We will try to keep it going and see if we can bring our clean-sheet into a new week. And yes, I’m practicing more soccer terminology in anticipation of tomorrow’s USMNT game against Belgium…
On to today’s free pick…
Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs +126 at Boston Red Sox -133 (Total: 7.5)
Jake Arrieta (4-1, 2.05 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (1-6, 4.93 ERA)
The lowly Cubs visiting the defending World Champion Red Sox with former Cy Young winner Jake Peavy on the mound? Sounds like a mismatch, right? Well it just indeed might be, but not in the direction Vegas has it tilted.
My goal with this daily column is to try and find a close-to-even or even slight plus-money line with a relatively good value. Trying to pick 100 baseball games in a row is a difficult proposition. The Astros, Cubs, Padres, etc. will come close to winning 70 games. The Brewers, A’s and Dodgers/Giants will likely none win more than 95. It’s a pretty day-to-day, even-odds sport. So the larger aim in handicapping baseball is to try to find good value opportunities. I think that is what we have here with the Cubs in Fenway.
Boston looked great on ESPN last night, winning 8-5 over the rival Yankees in normal marathon baseball fashion. However, with Peavy on the mound, they are at a pretty decided disadvantage. Peavy has only one win on the season and with an ERA nearing five is enduring one of his worst seasons in baseball. With his relative age and all his injury history, it is fair to ask if the road is nearly at an end for the venerable Peavy.
Meanwhile, Chicago counters with another young gem, Jake Arrieta. His June was fantastic, posting a 3-0 record with a 1.18 ERA. He has good stuff and could be a tough matchup for the Sox in his first trip to Fenway. The Sox are hitting a dismal .240 as a team and averaging just 3.75 runs per game. That’s not a good resume to bring to the table against an up and coming star pitcher. I like him to give the Cubbies seven strong innings, and contrary to years past, hand the ball over to a relatively reliable bullpen (3.13 relief corps ERA).
I like the value on Chicago tonight at solid plus money.