It’s been a brutal week, no other way to slice it, with a few underdogs falling short and a few picks going a long way the wrong way for some ugly L’s. A Sunday winner won’t erase a bad weekend, but it will be a nice start, so let’s see if we can get things going back in the right direction.
When in doubt, perhaps it is better to not try and outsmart the room and just ride the most obvious trend in baseball… we will get to that in a moment.
First, there are some real highlights on today’s National League schedule. The Cubs and Nationals play the rubber game of their series at 2:20 on TBS, with young Erick Fredde getting the ball for his second start – and he gets to face Jon Lester in Wrigley Field. It should be interesting to watch how he handles the big moment. Elsewhere, Jimmy Nelson gets the ball in Tampa Bay against Chris Archer in an attempt to NOT become the first Brewers pitcher to allow a single RUN in this series. It’s been a pretty impressive display so far from the arms in Tampa – obviously. The UNDER 8 is a nice play in that game this afternoon.
But for today’s featured pick, I’m going with the most obvious, if not the most glamorous, play on the board, and backing the hottest team on Earth.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -153 at New York Mets +145 (Total: 9)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-6, 3.83 ERA) vs. Stephen Matz (2-4, 5.50 ERA)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the midst of their most successful 50 game run in more than a century of baseball. Not more than a century in Dodgers baseball, more than a century of ALL baseball. Their 43-7 record hasn’t been equaled since the 1912 Giants. You are forgiven, if like me, you took a few opportunities to bet the value against them – after all, a run like this hasn’t happened in any of our lifetimes (going out on a limb that we have no 105 year old readers…).
So why fight it??
Not only are they 43-7 over their last 50 games, they are 9-1 in their last ten road games and have covered the runline (or ‘spread’) in three straight games and five of their last seven wins. They are pouring on the runs, averaging 5.10 runs per game to the Mets barely four and a half.
New York has dropped six of seven and it is officially a lost season in the Big Apple, despite playoff expectations entering the season. High hopes have given way to a bevy of injuries, and it appears they are going to stagger their way to the finish. They have lost five straight to the Dodgers this year, and every single one of the has been by more than one run.
I’ll take the Dodgers at -153 to get off the schnide, but the money line value of even money is a pretty good value as well. Ryu hasn’t been great this season, but he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in a start since June 11th. He may not give you more than five innings, but with the best pen in baseball behind him, two runs over five innings should be enough to win. The Dodgers have won five of his last six starts.
Meanwhile, Stephen Matz is one of the only starters to stay healthy, but the strain of trying to carry a battered rotation seems to be taking a toll. Matz doesn’t have a quality start since back to back shutouts over a month ago, and has allowed 24 earned runs in his last five starts, totaling just 18.1 innings. That’s an ERA in the four digits, if you are keeping bloody score…
Today’s MLB Pick: LOS ANGELES DODGERS TO WIN -153 & LOS ANGELES RUNLINE -1.5 (-103)