Fortunately, we got back on the winning track last night with Ricky Porcello once again dealing, and in the process, dealing a damaging loss to the surging Yankees. A series win by the Tigers should be enough to all but end the Yankees playoff dreams. Yes, they’d still have 30 games to play, but falling five games behind BOTH Seattle and Detroit would make a 20-10 finish a necessity to even have an outside shot. Assuming one of the two teams they’d trail plays better than .500 ball, their work load would climb to 22-8, 23-7… pretty lofty stuff for a team with as many holes as the Yankees.
Meanwhile, the National League got a little more interesting with Pittsburgh taking a big win over St. Louis. The Cardinals “feel” like the favorite, but in truth, their -9 run differential is the only negative number among real playoff contenders (the Yankees and Marlins are both minus as well). Ironically, Cincinnati, Cleveland and Tampa Bay all have positive run differentials despite records that keep them well out of the true playoff chase.
Let’s try to stack a second straight winner tonight and build a little pre-football bankroll…
Today’s Free Picks:
Los Angeles Dodgers -218 at Arizona Diamondbacks +201 (Total: 7)
Clayton Kershaw (15-3, 1.82 ERA) vs. Wade Miley (7-9, 4.29 ERA)
Reports of Kershaw’s greatness haven’t been exaggerated. He is the runaway Cy Young winner (sorry Cueto and Wainwright) and is top MVP candidate (though my vote I do not really have goes to Giancarlo Stanton). He is turning in one of the best pitching seasons in decades and it seems hard to think that Arizona without Goldschmidt would be the team to topple him now.
He is 6-0 with a 0.88 ERA in his last seven road games and his overall ERA and WHIP are the lowest in all of baseball. Interestingly, he HAS struggled in Arizona. He is 1-5 with a 5.24 ERA in his last six starts. Those numbers aren’t just mortal, they’re… gasp… really lousy.
So is Arizona his kryptonite? Not tonight. This D’Backs team is far worse than teams he has faced in previous years and starts, and without their MVP caliber first baseman, this offense just doesn’t have a lot of punch. They are 7-15 since he went to the DL, and is 2-8 in their last ten games. They’ve mustered some runs lately – scoring 19 in four home games, but prior to that they averaged less than two runs a game for an eight game stretch.
The point is – past numbers may introduce a little bit of doubt, but not enough to make Kershaw on the runline a really wise wager. I’ll take him and the Dodger Blue on the runline at a nice value.