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Dodgers vs. Giants Pick MLB – Sept. 29th

We notched a third straight winner last night, though it took far more drama than I anticipated. The Blue Jays scored the winning run in the top of the ninth inning to lock up a 4-3 win over the Orioles and reduce their magic number to just two. Whether they clinch tonight or not, the division is all but academic at this point. The larger question is whether or not they can maintain the one game edge they currently hold over Kansas City to have the all-important Rogers Center advantage throughout the entire postseason.

In the National League, the Cardinals took advantage of some sloppy Pirates outfield defense in the ninth to score three runs and win a 3-0 contest in PNC Park. It gives the Cards a four game lead in the loss column with just five games to play, all but ensuring the Redbirds will skate into the postseason as the top seed in the NL and send the tough-luck Pirates to a date with Jake Arrieta in a one-game duel to the death. It’s a cruel game, baseball. Cruel.

Oh, and by the way, does it get any more perfect that the choking-dog Nationals season actually ended with one of their bust acquisitions LITERALLY choking their star player in the dugout during a game??

Let’s notch a fourth straight winner and keep a good week rolling.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Dodgers -125 at San Francisco Giants +115(Total: 5.5)

Clayton Kershaw vs, Madison Baumgarner

The run total on this game is 5.5. Seriously. 5.5. It’s the lowest number I’ve seen this season and it obviously isn’t unwarranted. The Giants kept their super-slim postseason hopes alive last night with a dramatic 12th inning walkoff 3-2 win and won a game in which Zack Greinke started. They are going to have to do the same thing tonight, staving off Kershaw, if they want to remain on life support. Interesting, if they DO win tonight, they get the Dodgers twice more without either ace on the mound and have a legitimate chance to make things a little nervy for their rivals.

Plus, Baumgarner will be able to pitch the next two games in this series as well.

Ok, that was a joke. But there is some Fall magic in MadBum, and I’m looking forward to seeing it surface tonight. I think it will. Perhaps no pitcher since Jack Morris has a better sense of the moment and the ability to power through any circumstance when it is direly needed. The exact converse could (and has) about Clayton Kershaw. For whatever reason the best pitcher on planet Earth (in my humble opinion) and a pitcher who is in the midst of a 5-year stretch that puts him in company with Sandy Koufax, just hasn’t been great at the greatest moments. The Giants are already 3-0 this season when these two pitchers have gone head to head and are 8-0 this season against the Dodgers at AT&T Park.

I am going with MadBum tonight and the Giants. I still think the Dodgers will win one game of the four this series; enough to wrap up the division. But it won’t be tonight on Baumgarner’s watch.

Free Pick: San Francisco Giants to WIN +115