Diamondback vs. Cardinals Pick MLB – May 21st

Is it annoying to break out the Jake Arrieta ATM analogy again??  Well, it isn’t if you played along with me yesterday and you made a nice withdrawal from the said Jake Arrieta free-money ATM .  Arrieta and the Cubs beat-down the Giants 8-1 behind yet another masterful performance from Jake who ran his record to a perfect 8-0 and lowered his league-leading ERA to 1.29.  The Cubs have now won Arrieta’s last TWENTY TWO starts and he is personally 19-0 over that stretch.  It is a string of dominance unlike anything we have ever seen.  He has won all but one of his starts this season on the -1.5  runline as well, making the fact that we could get a runline at near even money last night kind of insane.

Easy money baby.  Easy money.  Add in the fact that he was facing Peavy, whose ERA went UP after last night to 8.21 and it was even easi-ER money.  Free freaking money.

Sadly, I will have to do some real work today as the Arrieta ATM is closed until Wednesday.  But let’s see if we can cash a third straight MLB winner and a seventh in ten tries this afternoon.

Today’s Free MLB Pick:

Arizona Diamondbacks +125 at St. Louis Cardinals -131 (Total: 8)

Robbie Ray (2-2, 4.26 ERA) vs. Mike Leake (2-3, 4.66 ERA)

Two teams with good offenses throwing out two starters who have been mediocre this season if we are being generous.  Neither Ray or Leake have been AWFUL, but neither has shown a lot of ability to lock down opposing lineups either.  Ray has four starts where he has gone six innings and allowed a pair of runs – quality major league starts.  He only has the two lousy ones with five allowed and a one five-inning blanking of the Giants.  Leake, the Cardinals free agent acquisition in the offseason, had some reasonable success over the years against the Redbirds as a Red.  This season he has been OK, but the last two outings have been promising.  He has only allowed a single run in two consecutive starts and has induced 26 groundballs in the process – and THAT is how Mike Leake operates best; keep the ball DOWN and pitch to contact.  If he can do that again today, the Cards should win.

Robbie Ray hasn’t been awful, but he has a real test today.  The Cardinals are the best offense in the National League in just about every category (the Cubs average a tenth of a run more per game) including slugging percentage (.462), total runs (235), RBI (227), and OPS (.807).  This offense deserves a better record than the team has to this point, and if pitchers like Leake and Wainwright can build on their recent outings, don’t be surprised to see the Cardinals begin skyrocketing up the standings and get into a decent race with the Cubbies.

That winning starts today.  I’ll take the Cardinals at a nice reasonable -131

Free Pick: St. Louis Cardinals to WIN -131

Chris Scheeren / Author