We split our picks yesterday on a very entertaining day of MLB Playoff action. Just when everyone on the radio and media were whining about how they miss the days of baseball from the 90’s and 2000’s when runs were aplenty, we get an offensive explosion – 21 homeruns in four games and a boatload of runs. My response was simply; duh. Games One and Two are USUALLY lower scoring, as a function of top-tier pitching matchups. You mean more runs score when Greinke and Kershaw and Price and deGrom aren’t starting?? Um, yeah.
The only stunner to me yesterday was that David Price threw 50 pitches. Or that he threw ANY pitches. I just assumed he would get the ball in Game Five, or at the very least you wouldn’t burn the guy with a six run lead in the fifth inning. But that is exactly what Toronto decided to do. We shall see if the faith in young Marcus Stroman will be rewarded tomorrow at the Rogers Centre, but I know personally, I would have loved to have David Price available at the very least…
Can the Cubbies and Mets close out their series tonight in home Game Fours? Or will we get two more wonderful and thrilling Game Fives?? Let’s dive into tonight’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -152 at New York Mets +144 (Total: 6.5)
Clayton Kershaw vs. Steven Matz
Can tonight please put a stop to the “Kershaw isn’t a big-game pitcher” talk?” I know the stats. But I’ve also watched the games. He has been undone by a few tough innings and some failures by the bullpen to keep inherited runners from scoring. I’m still willing to bet on the best pitcher of his generation to be big tonight in a game where he absolutely HAS to be.
Not that Stephen Matz is a bum. Far from it, actually. The rookie has a smaller sample size, but still enters today with a very impressive 2.45 ERA. I don’t expect him to wilt under the pressure, especially at home, but I do think he has his work cut out for him tonight trying to match zeros with Kershaw.
For all the talk about Kershaw’s post-season failings, he has compiled a 2.25 ERA with 15 K’s in 12 innings working on short rest. That’s pretty darn good, and a similar performance tonight should be good enough to get the series back to Los Angeles to give Greinke a shot in Game 5.
The Mets had fun last night, but things get real tonight; trying to close out a series against one of the all-time greats is a steep task, and I’m not sure the Mets are quite up for the challenge. Kershaw is 3-0 with an ERA just over one (three runs allowed in 26.1 innings) over four starts at Citi Field. I like THAT guy to show up tonight to silence a large crowd of critics.