We got on the right track yesterday with a big fat +168 winner as the Chicago Cubs slide seems to know no bottom. Chicago dropped their sixth straight game yesterday afternoon, sinking them to 0-6 on their West Coast road trip, and this time, Jake Arrieta was definitely not to blame. The bright side for the Northsiders was that their former Cy Young winner looked like his old self. The down side is that the bats still refuse to wake up. The Cubs scored just eight runs in the six games away, and will be more than happy to enjoy a day off today to recoup. The resume play this weekend with a Friday matinee at home against the rival Cardinals.
And speaking of day’s off – nearly half the league will enjoy one today, making for an abbreviated slate of action. The National League offers up just three matchups and only 7 of 15 teams in action, but fortunately there is a game with a line offering some nice value. The Cardinals and Dodgers finale might be better television, but I’m going to Miami for today’s featured MLB pick.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Arizona Diamondbacks -128 at Miami Marlins +108 (Total:8)
Zack Greinke (6-3, 3.24 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (0-0, 0.00 ERA – first start)
Just when the Marlins were left for dead, they have shown some signs of life. Miami enters tonight on a four-game winning streak and having outscored their opponents by a combined 30-7. Giancarlo Stanton is starting to mash home runs again and they have gotten solid starting pitching.
But facing one of six teams in MLB with a record over .600 and their ace, Zack Greinke, is a lot different that a three-game set against the Phillies, who have the worst record in all of baseball. Greinke got roughed up in his last outing, allowing five runs in just over five innings. However, that was his only loss in his last five decisions and he has been very comfortable in his career against the Marlins. They are the only team in the league he has never lost to, posting a 4-0 record with a 2.98 ERA in eight career starts.
There are a few reason this line is so slim. First, the Marlins have some good momentum entering tonight and are now taken a little more seriously. Secondly, the Diamondbacks had to travel from Pittsburgh last night after a 14-inning game that saw the bullpen throw eight innings. That is fatigue on two levels. However, the easy way around that fatigue is for Zack Greinke to get back to the way he has pitched most of this season. His road splits are much worse than his dazzling home numbers, but I think some of that is a function of opponent and small sample size. Miami is not an unfriendly park for pitchers, so it isn’t like he is heading to Coors or Great American tonight.
I like Greinke to bounce back, and am skeptical that Locke, in his first start after being claimed from Pittsburgh in the off season. Locke was an All Star in 2013 but is a career mid-four’s guy with an ERA of 6.57 in his career against Arizona.
The D’Backs have a huge pitching edge AND the better overall team. As long as Greinke can give them six of seven solid, they should have enough gas left in the bullpen to grab the W.
Today’s MLB Pick: ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS TO WIN -128