Guess who’s back. Back again.
For a record-setting fourth time in a single postseason, the Kansas City Royals walked the extra innings tight rope with perfect balance and took an impressive 1-0 lead in the ALCS. Big Game James gave up four runs in five innings, but the Royals offense who were last in the majors in homeruns, hit three of them (naturally). The big blast came off the bat of Alex Gordon in the top of the tenth and it put the Royals ahead to stay.
It’s getting to be predictably incredible at this point, and I’m looking forward to Game Two this afternoon to see what magic the Royals have conjured up next. We cashed an easy winner last night on the OVER with the total doubling the number and had the money in the bag by the fifth inning. Let’s see if we can keep it rolling today.
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Francisco Giants +111 at St. Louis Cardinals -120 (Total: 6.5)
Madison Baumgarner vs. Adam Wainwright
The last time we saw Adam Wainwright in the “pitching matchup of the century” we saw him getting a quick shower trailing 7-2 only to have his Cardinal brethren get him off the hook by beating Clayton Kershaw 10-9. Baseball doesn’t always make a ton of rational sense. For all the numbers, metrics and statistics, sometimes the best explanation is simply “hey, it’s October baseball.” How else do you explain the Cardinals advancing after Matt Adams hit a curveball for a homerun off Clayton Kershaw for the first time in Kershaw’s LIFE??!?
One thing that has been reliable in this postseason of chaos has been Madison Baumgarner. He’s posted a 1.11 ERA in two postseason starts (and crushed an impressive fistful of simultaneous beers in each postseason celebration. Props.). He’s even dangerous with the bat, putting up a .258 batting average this season with four HR’s. Those are far better numbers than hitters have put up AGAINST him, which is a complete rarity.
On the opposing mound, are you willing to bet on Wainwright struggling to get through fewer than five innings again? It feels like it’d be tempting fate… or would it? There are some serious questions about Wainwright’s aggravated elbow. I don’t think they’ll let him go too far tonight if the elbow isn’t right, but even a few early runs for the Giants could be enough for Baumgarner to do the rest.
Both of these teams have unexplainable October magic and find heroes in unlikely places. See Marco Scutaro, Barry Zitto, Michael Wacca, etc. I have no doubt we will be talking about someone we didn’t expect too before this series is over.
But for tonight, I’m gonna talk about the surest bet; a healthy MadBum getting the ball. Add in the fact I can get he and the Giants at plus-money and it becomes a nice value wager.