Our pick got washed away last night into no action (frustrating, because I really liked the UNDER with deGrom on the mound) but alas, we will take the refund and hopefully apply it to nobler purposes this evening with an interesting slate of action to sift through. There are four afternoon games, highlighted by a MASSIVE series between the Cubs and Brewers heading into the break. This series could make the race tight again, or, if the Brewers can go into Wrigley and do some damage, they could actually open up a commanding lead in the NL Central. Zach Davies will get the ball against Mike Montgomery today at 2:20 EST. It will be interesting to see if Kyle Schwarber can make an impact after his surprisingly-necessary short stint down in Iowa…
In other action, the Braves will look to try and sneak back into the NL East race against the Nationals and the Diamondbacks will try to keep pace with the blistering Dodgers with Robbie Ray squaring off against Rich Hill in Chavez Ravine.
We are entering the final weekend of the first half of the season – let’s make it count!
Today’s MLB Pick:
Arizona Diamondbacks +137 at Los Angeles Dodgers -146 (Total: 7.5)
Robbie Ray vs. Rich Hill
The Dodgers are absolutely laying waste to every opponent in their paths. After a pedestrian April with a struggling offense, the Dodgers have been the beat team in baseball since Mid-May and will look to cap off a damaging sweep to their closest rival, Arizona, tonight. They enter with an insane 35-11 home record, while Arizona is just 20-20 away from Phoenix. So mismatch Dodgers, right?
Well, let’s take a little closer look…
Every MLB matchup starts with a close look at the starting pitching. Rich Hill was awesome in his last outing, going seven shutout innings, but the Dodgers, despite the overall dominance, are just 2-2 in his last four starts and more often than not, Rich Hill has been departed after just five innings. His ERA is an even 4.00, but with the Dodgers excellent pen, five innings and two earned runs is usually more than enough. It is perfectly plausible to think Hill will leave after five, and no more runs will cross. They are 2-2 in his last four starts, but 7-3 in his last ten overall.
Robbie Ray has been great this season, but following a stretch of five quality starts where he allowed just a single run over 37 innings, he has hit some tougher times. He has allowed ten runs in his last three starts, lasting just 17.2 innings and most troubling, he threw 122 pitches in his last start. He is already showing some signs of fatigue, and a workload like that in his previous outing, immediately before going TO Los Angeles to face the scorching Dodgers? It feels like a recipe for a fall-off and a tough night.
I think Los Angeles is going to jump all over Ray tonight and give Hill enough of a cushion where he can happily and smoothly hand the ball off their lights-out bullpen. There isn’t great value at -146, but I like the aggressive runline play at +145. Ray is a good pitcher, but there are some real warning signs of fatigue in both the pitch count overall and the fact he has walked 13 batters in his last three starts.
Today’s MLB Pick: LOS ANGELES DODGERS RUNLINE (-1.5) +145