We cashed another easy winner last night with Max Scherzer and John Lester holding their ends of the bargain in the well-hyped pitcher’s duel between the American League’s two best teams. Scherzer pitched well but again came up short in his bid for his 20th win, as the Sox won 2-1. More concerning for the Tigers is the health of their superstar Miguel Cabrera. He played last night, but the strained back could have been a factor in an 0 for 4 performance… if Miguel isn’t 100% the American League becomes even MORE wide open for the postseason.
In the meantime, for tonight’s free pick, let’s switch it up a bit and head out west for a National League contest.
Los Angeles Dodgers +108 at Colorado Rockies -118 (Total: 10.5)
Edinson Volquez (9-10, 5.97 ERA) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (15-6, 3.33 ERA)
Talk about a fortuitous “release” – just a few days after being discarded by the Padres Edinson Volquez has landed on the best team in baseball and is being handed the ball for a start in September. Granted, tonight could very well just be an experiment; the kind of experiment that very few teams have the luxury of conducting, but given the 13 ½ game lead the Dodgers enter with, what the heck, right?? The upside is that their pitching coach who has done wonders with Greinke can help Volquez regain the 17-game winner form of several years ago in Cincinnati. Worst case scenario? The Dodgers get a guy who was only good three years ago before injury and PED-suspension and they give up a ton of early runs tonight and, GASP, lose a game…
The ball has been flying out of the yard so far in this series, and not against bad pitchers either. Clayton Kershaw and Jholys Chacin have been roughed up and in two games this series a total of 29 runs have dented the plate. I expect some more offense tonight. De La Rosa has been fantastic this season, especially given the fact half his starts are at Coors, but will this Dodger lineup is just too potent?
Here’s the catch for me, and why I’m going with the UNDER. Los Angles is all but throwing this game tonight. They are starting a retread with the worst ERA of any starting pitcher in baseball, and Crawford, Puig and Eithier are all listed as doubtful for tonight’s game. Even if Volquez gets roughed up early, I imagine the hook will be quick and they’ll let some of their bullpen get some work.
The potential for runs always exists at Coors, but with so many big bats likely out of the lineup today (don’t forget CarGo and Kemp are out as well), I like the game to move fairly briskly and stay UNDER the huge 10.5 number.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL UNDER 10.5