I took the day off yesterday for travel, but certainly didn’t miss some of the fantastic starting pitchers on the mound. Clayton Kershaw, Max Scherzer, Scott Kazmir, Cole Hamels, Matt Harvey, and Sonny Gray all on the mound in the same day? Granted, none were linking up directly but it was still a banner day for big-name pitchers, and certainly a taxing day for anyone who plays daily fantasy to try and allocate a proper lineup. Hopefully you didn’t sink too much cash in Sonny, as he got surprisingly battered around by the Angels to the tune of six runs in five innings.
Perhaps the biggest pitching story of the day is who pitched, and who pitched well/poorly, but rather who didn’t pitch at all. Michael Wacha was scratched from his scheduled start, and while the word is it was simply to catch another day of rest, it is certainly worth keeping an eye on as the Cards try to hold off Pittsburgh, as well as gear up for a postseason in which AT LEAST two teams has a better starting rotation (Dodgers & Mets) and Pittsburgh isn’t terribly far behind. I know, I know – spare me the emails or comments about their record setting ERA. They have been fantastic. But would you take their top three starters over either of the two aforementioned staffs in a short series? It be pretty hard to do confidently. The point. The Cards NEED this to be no big deal. As a baseball fan, I hope it is true.
Let’s shake off Tuesday’s blowout loss and get back to stacking winners.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -134 at San Diego Padres +126 (Total: 7)
Mat Latos vs. Colin Rea
The Dodgers took care of business in a major way, sweeping away division rival San Francisco and putting the division all but in their hip pocket. Now, they set their sites on another division rival, albeit one with far less urgency, the San Diego Padres. Los Angeles feels like they are setting up for a Game Three of the postseason; they’ve won the first two with aces Greinke and Kershaw in tight fashion, now they head on the road with a ‘nothing to lose’ Game Three and the pitcher they acquired to hopefully slam the door in this situation, Mat Latos, on the mound.
Latos hasn’t been great this season, but certainly has the stuff to be an excellent number three starter. He is just 4-9 on the season and has been even a shade worse than usual on the road. However, Petco is a pitcher-friendly ballpark, and one he knows very well having spent the beginning of his successful career there. I expect the friendly surroundings to give him a little boost and for the Dodgers to see some of the reasons they acquired him at the deadline surface tonight.
Meanwhile, the Padres counter with Colin Rea. He is just 2-2 on the season and doesn’t have a ton of experience under his belt. The Dodgers haven’t been scoring a ton of runs lately, having six of their last nine games hit the UNDER. However, they have been winning a lot of games going 8-1 SU in that stretch. I like Latos to have a nice outing and put his team in position to win. The Padres have the 21st ranked offense in MLB, and that bodes well for a talented pitcher who has slightly lost his way.