We notched a winner last night and it barely felt fair; simply fading the Reds since the ASG has been nearly literally free money. Last night was no different. The Marlins won and covered on the runline at +135 as well. The Reds are now 2-13 since the Break and have dropped 11 games by multiple runs – one of the worst stretches of any team this entire season.
Elsewhere, the Cubs got a dramatic 2-1 win in eleven innings in Milwaukee to flip the score line from the day before, setting up a big rubber match this afternoon. The Rockies stole a 4-3 win in Washington, and Zack Greinke dominated the St. Louis Cardinals to cap off a big day for the National League West and their hopes for sweeping through the regular season with both wildcard berths. The Rox and Cards will play a double header today to make up for a Friday washout.
Every so often, there is a line so enticing; so fat, so juicy and so ripe with value, you have to take a shot. For the sake of picking one game a day in a VERY public forum, I’d be well-suited to play it safe. I get that. But we are rolling the dice tonight with a big fat value on one of the most counter-plays of the season. Follow at your own discretion…
Today’s MLB Pick:
San Francisco Giants +140 at Los Angeles Dodgers -146 (Total: 8.5)
Madison Bumgarner (1-4, 3.38 ERA) vs. Hyun Jin Ryu (3-6, 4.17 ERA)
How bad has it been for the Giants this season? Heading in to today they trail their hated rival Dodgers by more game than they ever have at any point in any season EVER. They are 33 ½ games back of the Dodgers and en route to one of the worst seasons in the proud history of their franchise.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers never lose. They’ve ripped off seven straight once again and have been the most runaway dominant team in baseball since May. They are a ludicrous 73-31, a .702 win percentage which puts them on pace for a 114-win season, and perhaps even better if you remove a shaky April from the mix. They have been unbeatable at home, posting a 46-13 record at Chavez Ravine.
So how could anyone, ever, bet against them??
The Giants moved him ahead of Matt Cain in the rotation to make the start tonight on ESPN Sunday Night Baseball. Does this game MEAN anything, really? No. But it FEELS like it does to the Giants; like today is a metaphorical ‘last stand’, an opportunity to defiantly refuse to be embarrassed by their rivals, a proud back-straightening moment for a franchise that has won three World Series in the last eight years led by the man who is grabbing the ball tonight.
Bumgarner has been excellent against the Dodgers in his career, posting a 14-9 record with a 2.70 ERA in 27 starts. His opponent, Hyun Jin Ryu has battled injuries all season and was at one point demoted to the bullpen. He has been reasonable in July, posting a 3.60 ERA but going exactly five innings in most starts. More troubling, if you can find any ‘trouble’ for the Dodgers, is his 1.60 WHIP. He is allowing baserunners, not striking out batters, and relying heavily on the Dodgers superb bullpen. The Dodgers pen ranks first in the National League by a half a run at 2.81 ERA. The Giants are sixth with a 4.13 ERA, and that is a big reason why the Dodgers are so heavily favored.
But I’m betting on Bumgarner. Who needs a bullpen if you can gut out all nine innings with post-season like defiance?
I’ll take the big underdog play tonight with one of the best big-game pitchers in baseball history. I’ll also take the subtle edge that the game might only be “big” to him and his teammates.
Today’s MLB Pick: SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS TO WIN +140