Dodgers vs. Reds Pick MLB – Aug 20th

We had an easy plus-money winner in the bag until the Nats bullpen imploded late.  A 6-0 lead turned into a 6-6 tie (still want to release Papelbon???) after Atlanta tallied six runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.  A top of the ninth run sealed the win for the Nats, so we split our pick, but the plus-money runline slipped away in odd fashion.

The loss dropped the Braves to a staggering 18-43 at home this season, flirting with the worst home record in decades.  The win put the Nats ten games clear in the loss column in the NL East and picked up a game on the losing Cubs for the best record in MLB.

Let’s see if we can get a clean winner with tonight’s free pick.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Los Angeles Dodgers -150 at Cincinnati Reds +140 (Total: 9)

 Brett Anderson (0-1, 45.00 ERA) vs. Brandon Finnegan (7-9, 4.54 ERA)

The Reds have been sneaky good since the All Star Break and enter tonight on a 7-3 streak over their last ten games that includes three wins over the wildcard contending Marlins and a win over Jose Fernandez.  They’ve tallied 54 runs over that span and have gotten pretty good work from their much-maligned bullpen.  The record may not reflect it, but right now, this is a pretty good baseball team.  Joey Votto has been a big part of the turnaround, hitting well over .400 since the break and once again resuming his mantle as one of the toughest outs in baseball.

The Dodgers have been middling, but FEEL hot due to the collapsing Giants.  They are only 5-5 over their last ten, but have drawn even with the Giants in the loss column despite being without ace Clayton Kershaw for an extended period.

Brandon Finnegan was excellent in his lone home start against the Dodgers, throwing a complete game one-run gem for the first complete game by a Reds left-hander in 15 years.   He was  also excellent in April, taking a no-hitter to the seventh as he dropped an epic 1-0 duel with Clayton Kershaw.  He will look to duplicate those efforts tonight.  I like the value of Finnegan against Anderson tonight in a game that feels like a toss up.  The big difference is the huge plus-money the Reds are catching on the line.  Cincinnati has been good not just over the last ten but really since the Break.

Finnegan seems to match up well against the Dodgers.  I’ll take him and the +140 tonight at home.

Free Pick:  Cincinnati Reds to WIN +140