We took a split last night with the Mets and Cardinals finishing was under in a loss, and the Padres and Brewers staying under for a win. In the process, the Brewers picked up their 15th win against only 5 losses and continue to have the best record in all of baseball. It’s unwise to get too excited about a team at the 1/8th mark of the season, but the Brewers do appear to be legitimate contenders in the difficult National League Central.
And if it is unwise to get too high on a team in April, it might be not equally unwise to hit the panic button. Arizona is already 5-17, putting them behind teams like Houston, Miami, Chicago, Minnesota and other usual cellar-dwellers. You might not be able to win a division in April, but you can certainly lose one…
Enough talk about losers, let’s get back to winners and see if we can better yesterday’s split and notch a few winners tonight.
Today’s Free Picks:
Arizona Diamondbacks +101 at Chicago Cubs -110 (Total: 7.5)
Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.11 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (2-1, 3.05 ERA)
Brandon McCarthy’s start to the season mirrors the D’Backs season in general; it’s been rough. The crazy thing is that McCarthy’s 7.11 ERA is actually LOWER than the staff starting pitcher average ERA of 7.46. It’s pretty tough to win many games pitching like that, and it’s a big reason they enter tonight with a 5.17 overall record.
Meanwhile, the Cubs are 6-14 and are looking for their first series win since Sept 9-11, 2013. Their pitching hasn’t been nearly as bad Arizona, but it hasn’t been great either. Their offensive numbers don’t look too good, but they’ve actually been much better lately than their team .236 batting average and 3.38 runs/game represent. In their last four games they’ve score 16 runs, and with the exception of the disastrous Yankees series, they’ve been closer to four runs a night most of the season.
Getting a chance to face a pitcher with a plus-seven ERA is a good recipe for home success. I expect the Wrigley faithful will get a few chances to cheer tonight and put some runs on the scoreboard. It isn’t often they get to see their beloved Cubbies in a series or even more rare they are favored to win a game when Jeff Samardzija isn’t on the mound.