Took it on the nose yesterday, as the St. Louis Cardinals didn’t get much going against the San Diego Padres. Games like this reinforce the point why it isn’t wise to lay the huge juice on big favorites, but rather play the RL and save yourself the heartache, and busted bankroll. The shortened baseball week concludes on Sunday, where we turn our attention to a couple of marvelous pitchers taking center stage in Washington.
Free MLB Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -117 at Washington Nationals -103 (Total: 7)
Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 1.98 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (12-4, 2.58 ERA)
The Los Angeles Dodgers are continuing to do what they started a month ago, and that is win ballgames. The Dodgers took the first two games of the series, and will look to complete the sweep by dominant left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw is arguably one of, if not the best pitcher in baseball today. If you were to look at the win-loss column, you would think his ERA must be in the 3.5+ range. Yes, it is that Kershaw has a ridiculous ERA of 1.98, but only has an 8-6 record to show for it. What that says is Kershaw is getting no run support behind him. Kershaw has lost many 1 run low scoring games this season, doing all he can do to win games for his team.
Like he has been doing all season long, Kershaw has been excellent in his last three starts, posting an ERA of 1.50 and godly 0.62 WHIP. All signs point to him having another great start on Sunday afternoon on the road. The road is a place where Kershaw doesn’t mind pitching, as he has only allowed 1 dinger all season long. Another number that indicates Kershaw should shut down the Nationals on Sunday is their batting average against lefties, only .212. Doesn’t look like a great formula for success against the best left-hander in the business.
The Nationals will counter with a stud of their own, Jordan Zimmermann. He doesn’t have the brand name that Kershaw does, but Zimmerman is beginning to enter the same tier of excellent pitchers as Kershaw. Zimmerman brings an ERA of 2.58, but a shaky number of 4.58 in his last three starts. You can bet on Zimmerman pitching well at home, though, where he holds an ERA of 1.75 and perfect 9-0 record. He was voted into the All-Star game, but didn’t pitch due to neck soreness. Zimmermann will be ready for Sunday afternoon, however.
If you like low scoring games, this should be one you avoid. I thought the total was going to be 6.5 when I originally looked at the matchups, so I definitely like the UNDER 7 here. The line may very well dip to 6.5 by the time the first pitch is thrown, so lock it in early.
Free Pick: UNDER 7