The baseball beat kept on rolling last night with two more wins, including a big underdog winner with Atlanta taking care of the Nationals and their ace, Stephen Strasburg. Granted a few of the runs were unearned, but Stras still gave up enough to be meritorious of the loss; his sixth straight against the Braves. It pulls me to 11-0 on the young season and a nice +$1,011 for $100 bettors. The streak has been fun and profitable, and at the risk of getting greedy, let’s stack two more MLB plays on today and see if we can finish with a dream week.
But first, after one week, the three best teams in MLB are the Tigers, Giants, and Florida Marlins?? The Fish moved to 5-1 last night behind Jose Fernandez again shutting down the opposition and getting five runs off of Andrew Cashner and the Padres to notch a 5-0 win. Through six games the Marlins have the best run differential in the majors at +23. Are the Marlins going to win the East? Probably not. Atlanta and Washington are much deeper. But it is bad news for the Mets and Phillies who have a LONG way to go to be able to compete in that division.
Today’s MLB Picks:
Cincinnati Reds -104 at New York Mets -106 (Total: 7.5)
Alfredo Simon vs. John Neise
The Reds have gotten off to a disappointing start and through one week are the worst bet in baseball at -413 for the season. However, they have been the playoffs three of the last four years and have one of the better pitching staffs in the NL once Latos and their bullpen trio all return from the disabled list. It is the bullpen in particular that has been a sore spot, lowlighted by a walkoff grandslam to lose to the Mets 6-3 yesterday. If you had the UNDER 7.5 yesterday, you had to be feeling pretty good with a 3-2 Reds lead leading into the 9th.
You’ll feel even better with the OVER today. The Reds offense hasn’t been the issue in their last three games, scoring 12 runs in the last three games. It isn’t awesome, but it isn’t like they are getting shit down. They have gotten multiple homers from Bruce and Frazier this week and face a pitcher with an 0-3 career home record against them.
Alfredo Simon had a rough Spring and wouldn’t be in the Reds rotation without an injury to Mat Latos. He is 3-9 with a 5.19 ERA in 19 career starts. I expect the Mets to score some runs today.
Seven and a half feels a little low in today’s scenario. I’ll take some offense to wrap up the series today.
San Francisco Giants +144 at Los Angeles Dodgers -151 (Total: 6.5)
Matt Cain vs. Zack Greinke
The Giants are off to a 5-1 start and are averaging close to 6.5 runs per game, second-best in MLB behind only the surprising Marlins. However, those hot bats will get a big test tonight in Zack Greinke. Greinke is the ace of this staff until Kershaw returns, and he will put in an “ace” situation tonight; trying to stop the bleeding at home and salvage a game in the series against their hated division rivals. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in his last 13 starts dating back to last season, posting an 8-1 record with a 1.70 ERA during that stretch. It’s going to be an awesome matchup tonight watching him try to shut down an explosive and hot offense.
Meanwhile, the Giants have lost Cain’s last six starts, but he hasn’t pitched poorly. Likewise, they have lost seven of his last eight starts against the Dodgers, even though he limited the Dodgers to two or more runs in seven of those eight games. He just hasn’t gotten much run support.
I imagine his tough luck will continue tonight. This has been a good offensive series, but good pitching has a way of cooling off hot bats. It’s tempting value at +141 and Matt Cain, but I’m not sure I trust his offense to get it done against Greinke. I’ll bank on two pitchers stepping up tonight and a great, tense, Sunday Night Game.