Dodgers vs. Cardinals Pick MLB – July 24th

The Reds did their part, putting up six runs in the first three innings and I thought we were sitting pretty for an easy OVER wager.  Afterall, the Reds had six more innings to score and the Diamondbacks were facing a journeyman spot starter and the worst bullpen in the history of mankind.  However, things immediately stalled from there as no more runs dented the plate the rest of the evening for a pretty mundane 6-1 Reds win in a game featuring two teams a combined 38.5 games out of first place.

But the most interesting story in baseball had very little to do with ‘baseball.’  Instead, it’s a foray into the world of fashion.  Specifically, Chris Sale’s extreme displeasure with the White Sox uniforms which apparently was so strong it led to him “cutting up the 1976 throwback jerseys” so the team was forced to wear something else.  A heated argument ensued and the All Star Game Starter and Cy Young favorite was “sent home” by the team on a night he was scheduled to start.

That is right up there with the weirdest stories of the year for sure…

Let’s get a win to cap off a pretty hit and miss week.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Dodgers -127 at St. Louis Cardinals +117 (Total: 9)

Scott Kazmir (8-3, 4.30 ERA) vs. Mike Mayers (first start)

Mike Mayers gets the ball in a pretty daunting environment.  He is facing the team directly ahead of his in the Wild Card race on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.  Welcome to the Big Leagues!  But how will he fare?  The Cardinals had their five game winning streak snapped last night in a really sloppy 7-2 loss, but I imagine their defense and focus will be renewed tonight.  Mayers is 24 and is making a spot start due to the doubleheader earlier this week.  He enters with 5-2 record and a 2.90 ERA in Triple-A Springfield.  The Dodgers have tallied six or more runs in their last nine games, so he will have his work cut out for him.

Meanwhile, Scott Kazmir has a dazzling record at 8-3, but his 4.30 ERA suggests some good fortune in earning that dazzling mark.  He enters with a decent WHIP of 1.27 and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in his last ten starts/  He hasn’t worked as deep into games as some would like, therefore only has five technical ‘quality starts.’  In his last three starts he has 23 K’s and only 3 walks, for his best stretch of the season.  With the injuries to Kershaw and Maeda struggling, Kazmir is going to NEED to continue to be big if the Dodgers are going to stay in the wildcard race.

I think Kazmir delivers tonight and gives the Dodgers another strong performance.  He has been strong lately and gives the Dodgers a definitive edge over a AAA starter making his debut.  It also makes the -127 line a pretty generous one.  The Cardinals are only 25-29 at home, so the ‘home field’ advantage isn’t as formidable as one might assume.

I’ll take the value of Kazmir and the Dodgers against the Cardinals and the rookie pitcher’s major league debut.

Free Pick:  Los Angeles Dodgers to WIN -127