Unlike some of the more high-profile pitching matchups this season, the Max Scherzer vs. Brandon McCarthy late night duel in Los Angeles lived up to the hype. I was pretty pumped to get Max Scherzer at near even money; even on the road against a good team and a solid starter – and it paid dividends, but it wasn’t an easy stress-free winner by any stretch. The Nats and Dodgers both scored a single run in the first (the Dodgers’ run unearned) and then just a single run for Washington in the fourth was tallied the rest of the night.
If you are keeping score at home, Max Scherzer has now allowed just a single run in his last three starts, spanning 24.1 innings and has fanned 38 batters. His Cy Young defense is well underway, and given the voters affinity for strikeouts, he is currently the strong favorite (though it is hard to ignore Mister Kershaw, who gets a chance to answer this afternoon against Stephen Strasburg…)
Elsewhere, the Cubs won their fifth straight game, this time in dominating fashion, downing the Marlins 10-2. Perhaps one of the “worst bets in baseball” through two months is finally re-finding their 2016 form.
And lastly, what a night for Reds utility player Scooter Gennette. The 5’9’’ 190 pound reserve, who barely has 100 at bats this season, became just the seventeenth player in MLB HISTORY to hit four homeruns in the same game. I don’t have the entire list in front of me, but I’d have to assume he is also one of the least-likely… He hasn’t been getting everyday play for the Reds, but with 30 RBI and 7 HR in just 116 at bats, it seems like it’ll be hard to keep him out of the lineup much longer.
Today’s MLB Pick:
San Francisco Giants +125 at Milwaukee Brewers -132 (Total: 9)
Ty Blach (4-2, 3.24 ERA) vs. Jimmy Nelson (3-3, 3.86 ERA)
Ty Blach has the hot hand, and we rode him to an easy victory last week as he posted his first career shutout against the Philadelphia Phillies. Granted, the Brewers are a little different animal offensively, but Blach is 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA overall in his last five starts and he appears to be a solid, dependable Major League starter.
Opposing him in Jimmy Nelson, who has rebounded from a disastrous 2016 and has posted a respectable 3-3 mark with a 3.36 ERA in 11 starts this season. He recently became the first Brewers starter to record ten or more strikeouts in back to back outings without allowing a walk. He will get a chance to face an ice-cold Giants lineup tonight who are last in the league in every major offensive category.
Milwaukee has been one of the surprising teams in baseball thus far, sitting atop the Central Division and yielding a fourth-best Vegas return overall on the season. But they have a weird anomaly, where despite their success, they have actually yielded a negative return at home and a whopping fat positive on the road.
I’m going with both pitchers keeping their recent success rolling tonight and keeping the total under the lofty nine run threshold. Blach has been excellent for a month, and Nelson enters with a 1.77 ERA over his last four starts.