We notched a third straight winner, again in relatively easy fashion, thanks to the Twins jumping all over the struggling John Denks and overwhelming the White Sox 13-2. Let’s hope we can find another soft line on the board today now that we have a lot more games to choose from.
One interesting development – the Reds have scratched Johnny Cueto from his start tonight against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Aside from denying the Bucco’s faithful the opportunity to scream “Kweaaaa-Toeeeee” at the top of the lungs all night long to party like they are raising the Jolly Rodger in 2013, it also indicated that something BIG might be in the works. With no injury reported as of the time of writing, it is fair to assume Johnny might be on the move and a contender is about to add another ace to the rotation. It’s the kind of move that can swing the balance of power drastically, so it is worth keeping an eye on… The team says they pushed him back to Friday to give him a few extra days rest. I’m not sold. No teams have been mentioned yet as trade partners, but don’t be surprised…
Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -120 at Chicago Cubs +110 (Total: 7)
Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.89 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (5-2, 2.92 ERA)
Both of these offenses have a ton of big names and exciting players all up and down the lineup. Tonight’s game is a veritable who’s who of future (and current) big league stars. Joc Peterson and Kris Bryant have been so fantastic and so attention-garnering that it is easy to forget All-Stars like Yasiel Puig, Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro are all still under 25 years old. Tonight, and this entire series, is like watching the future of baseball.
But that immediate future could very well belong to the pitchers tonight. Both teams have a ton of pop in their bats, but are also very strikeout prone. Greinke, while less flashy than Scherzer, is a legitimate candidate to start the All Star Game for the National League. Jason Hammel has had an awesome resurgence back in Chicago. His solid performance is a big reason why the Cubs are as far over .500 as they have been since 2009.
At the end of the day, I’ll take good arms over good bats. That’s exactly the case tonight. I expect Greinke, who has a 1.25 ERA over his last three starts despite an 0-1 record, to be excellent tonight and to flirt with double-digit strikeouts. Look for the Dodgers to snap the Cubs three game winning streak behind a great effort from Greinke, but also for the score to remain low. I like a 3-1, 4-1 Dodgers winner tonight.