An interesting weekend of baseball concluded up last night, highlighted by Ryan Dempster throwing at A-Rod multiple times (unsuccessfully) before finally connecting on the fourth pitch of the at bat. It made me smile, because it appears even the UMPIRES don’t like Alex. Think about it, the first time you throw a pitch behind a batter with clear intent, both benches are usually warned. In this case, it wasn’t until he was plunked on the fourth pitch that both benches got a “warning.” It couldn’t have been more flagrant if the umpire bent down and tied Alex’s shoelaces together while he was standing in the box. It neither upset nor pleased me, but it did make me laugh that A-Rod dismissals have reached as far as the umpire crews.
On more relevant points, I finally got back on track last night to wrap up a tough week, notching a win on the Mets v. Padres OVER, so let’s take some of the momentum into a new week and start banking some winning wagers before playoff time.
Let’s focus tonight’s pick on one of the most watchable pitching match ups of the season, and it takes place in Miami of all locales. On to tonight’s free pick…
Los Angeles Dodgers -119 at Miami Marlins +113 (Total: 6.5)
Hyun-Jin Ryu (12-3, 2.91 ERA) vs. Jose Fernandez (8-5, 2.45 ERA)
Two of the best pitchers in the National League meet tonight as the team with the worst record in the National League tries to halt the hottest team in nearly three-quarters of a century. It’s going to be a great game and I’m looking forward to watching it, not just with a wagering interest, but also as someone who likes baseball. This one should be a classic pitchers duel. Both pitchers have been fantastic this season, and have been EVEN BETTER in their last three outings.
Ryu would be getting some Cy Young consideration were he not on the same staff as the easy front runner, Clayton Kershaw. But outside of Kershaw and Harvey, Ryu could easily be in the conversation for third place with Adam Wainwright, Patrick Corbin, and of course, his counterpart this evening, Fernandez. In his last three outings Ryu is a perfect 3-0, with a 1.40 ERA over 19.1 innings pitched. He has fanned nearly four batter for everyone he has walked (very similar to the more publicized Fernandez) and the Dodgers are a nice tidy 17-6 in games he has started.
And then you have Jose Fernandez, the only competitor to Yasiel Puig for NL Rookie of the Year. He has been EVEN BETTER than Ryu over his last three games, posting a 0.90 ERA and a WHIP of 0.85 over 20.2 innings. However, he is just 1-0 in those appearances, and therein lies the problem when pitching for a team that is 28 games under .500. The Marlins are 14-9 in games Fernandez started, but he hasn’t gotten nearly the run support of Ryu (5.3 rpg compared to just 3.6).
A lack of Marlin run support is trouble most days, but will be exacerbated by the brilliance of Ryu. Conversely, I know the Dodgers are rolling but no one has touched up Fernandez yet this season, and I think he continues to be sharp tonight.
It all adds up to a low-scoring affair. The run total is low at 6.5, but I’ll bank on the output being even lower tonight. It feels like a 2-1 type ballgame.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 6.5