We were on the right side of the total in yesterday’s Nationals and Pirates games, but I’ll admit I didn’t expect it to unfold QUITE like it did. I believe my quote was “while it isn’t reasonable to expect Scherzer to duplicate his last performance, it is reasonable to expect him to once again be very good.” Well, I guess technically, he was even a bit better. While I suppose one can debate the degrees of excellence in a one-hit, no walk, 16 K complete game versus a no-hit, no walk, 10 K no-hitter, but there is little debate as to who the favorite to start the NL All-Star game now is, as well as who is the most dominant pitcher in the major leagues. Scherzer’s last two games rank right up with Johnny Van Der Meer’s consecutive no-hitters as the best consecutively pitched games in MLB history, and adding in the insane strikeout totals, one could make a case that what we saw over the last six days was as good as anything ever authored by a big league pitcher.
It’s always nice to stack up a winning column, but watching that game yesterday was about as good as baseball gets… And by the way, tell me Jose Tabata isn’t getting dotted for REAL next time these two teams see each other after that lean-into pitch to break up the perfecto with two outs and two strikes in the ninth?
Let’s see if we can keep the winning mojo running into today with a Sunday night winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (Total: 7.5)
Tim Lincecum vs. Brett Anderson
The Giants beat the Dodgers yesterday for the ninth time in eleven tries this season. It’s odd, because they are still trailing the Dodgers in the NL West, but if they didn’t have them as their personal punching bag, they’d be under .500 and trailing the D-Backs. They will try to continue their dominance tonight with another source of unlikely success, the resurgent Tim Lincecum. “The Freak’s” two Cy Young Awards are WAY in the rear-view mirror, but it is nice to see his return to an above-avergae level pitcher in 2015. He enters tonight with a 7-3 record and a 3.31 ERA, though his has posted a 4.41 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in his last three outings.
The Dodgers will try to avoid a sweep at home to their arch rival by countering with Brett Anderson. He is certainly their most unheralded starter, but he has been good this season. He enters with a similar ERA to Lincecum, 3.34, though his 2-4 record tell a different tale of run support. In his last three starts he is 0-1 with a 3.43 ERA.
I like both offenses to get a few runs across the dish tonight. Four of the last five meetings in LA have gone over the total, and while I am impressed with Lincecum’s resurgence, I don’t see him shutting down this Dodger lineup tonight like he did four weeks ago in a 4-0 win (ironically, also over Brett Anderson). This is each team’s second look at the opposing starter within the month, and I expect each to have a little better comfort level tonight.
The Dodgers failed to score a single run in their series at San Fran in May, but in five home games this season they are averaging 4.6 runs, with a one-run outing against MadBum pulling down the average. In non-Baumgarner starts the average climbs to 5.5.
Both these offenses are good, averaging over four runs a game. The Dodgers average nearly 4.5 and the Giants are hitting .264 as a team. Look for offenses to lead the way tonight.