We notched another easy winner last night to push the weekly record to a nice tidy 6-2 ATS and to wrap up the month of September at a fat 19-10 ATS with a handful of nice dogs sprinkled in the mix. Technically it is now October, and the magnitude of these final regular season games FEELS like October. All three NL wildcard winners prevailed yesterday, and did so with plenty of room to spare, so perhaps the pressure of the pennant is energizing these lineups rather than daunting them.
Our win unfolded exactly as prescribed. Rich Hill and Madison N=Bumgarner were both good, but with so little on the line for the Dodgers, Hill was pulled after five innings and the bullpen – long relief – immediately imploded allowing a seven run sixth inning and that was more than enough for the Giants to grab the vitally-needed win. Today they face Kershaw, but can take solace in the fact that he is very unlikely to pitch past the sixth inning. As long as rookie Ty Blach can hold the rope, and hey, that’s not asking much is it? “Hey, rook, I know you only have thrown nine innings in the big leagues, but could you go out and pitch head-up against Clayton Kershaw in a game that should we lose we could miss the postseason?” Insane, right??
The Cards host the Pirates and Bartolo Colon and the Mets have a matinee in Philly with a chance to clinch their wildcard spot.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs -200 at Cincinnati Reds +190 (Total: 8.5)
Jon Lester (19-4, 2.28 ERA) vs. Tim Adelman (3-4, 4.90 ERA)
There are not a lot of reasons for the Cubs to give a rip about today’s game, and not a ton of compelling reasons to put a real strenuous effort in at the yard. But there is ONE, and that ONE reason should be enough to get them yet another win by wide margin against the poor Reds. That reason is Jon Lester is 19-4 with a look at 20 wins for the first time in his excellent big league career. Stuff like that matters to players and I expect Maddon to recognize that sentiment and reward his veteran leader with every opportunity to earn that accolade today.
The Cubs are 14-3 against the Reds this season. Staggering. They are 8-2 in their last ten games at GABP and Lester is personally 4 for 4 in the quality start department against the Reds this year. Add in the fact they are facing a journeyman rookie in Tim Adelman today and it all adds up to a big Cubbies win.
Adelman has been competent and competitive in just about every start. He has allowed between two and four runs and delivered between five and seven innings in each of his last eight starts. So he gives the Reds a chance to win, but against Lester, I think he’ll need to be better than he has ever been, which is obviously asking quite a great deal. Add in the Reds brutal bullie, and it is hard not to like Chicago on the runline.