We picked up a win last night as the Rays got blanked for the third straight time for the first time in franchise history. Things are sinking to new depths in Tampa Bay as a lone solo shot from Matt Holliday did them in yet again. It puts a ton of strain on a pitching staff to feel like you have to throw a no-hitter every time out to have a shot at a win, but as it turned out, even a no-no wouldn’t have been sufficient. In fact, you have the feeling they might STILL be playing were that the case…
It’s one of the worst stretches of offense I can recall for a team that was expected to contend for a title. Things are going to get real interesting for the Rays as the trade deadline approaches, as they have a ton of valuable parts that more than a few teams would be eager to pony up for, particularly their young pitching staff. Is it time to blow things up in Tampa? Expect to hear a lot of talk about David Price in the next month…
Meanwhile, let’s see if we can keep a nice little MLB run rolling tonight with another winner.
Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers +115 at Cincinnati Reds +125 (Total: 7)
Hynu-jin Ryu (7-2, 3.08 ERA) vs. Johnny Cueto (5-5, 1.97 ERA)
I’ve backed Cueto on several occasions this season with mixed results. The main reason I’m going back to the well again tonight is that his recent struggles are a bit misleading. He has been on the wrong side of some lopsided results, but there have been an uncharacteristically high number of unearned runs and errors from one of the usually more reliable defensive teams in the league. Assuming the Reds can catch the ball tonight, it’s not unreasonable to think Cueto can have some success.
The Reds have hit some offensive skids in this series as the Dodger pitching has had their way with them in the opening two games of the series. Tonight will be a rare occurance for the Reds this year; they will have their full lineup intact and their opening day starter on the mound. Joey Votto returnd to the lineup last night and is expected to play tonight. That should add some punch to a listless offense.
The Dodgers have been excellent on the road this year, an MLB-best 22-12 mark away from home. That’s enough to give me slight pause, but I like some regression to the norm to occur, both with the Dodgers ridiculous road mark and Johnny Cueto’s odd lack of defensive support.