My last baseball pick was a frustrating loss, as the under got sullied with only 2 outs to go in the 9th inning. It was only after a home run from Jose Fernandez earlier in the game that made it possible for a run in the 9th to down the bet. The Braves didn’t appreciate the antics of Fernandez too kindly, as the benches cleared after he spit while rounding third base in the direction of an Atlanta Brave. A run also scored off an error in that one, so it wasn’t a fun night losing that bet. That is part of baseball though, so moving on.
Yesterday I didn’t have a pick, opting to focus on that train wreck of an NFL game. I think I would have rather watched a Houston Astros, Seattle Mariners game than what transpired last night in the NFL. However, lets enter the weekend on a positive note and start it off with a win.
Free MLB Pick
San Francisco Giants +165 at Los Angeles Dodgers -180 (Total: 6)
Madison Bumgarner (11-9, 2.89 ERA) vs. Clayton Kershaw (14-8, 1.92)
Madison Bumgarner vs. Clayton Kershaw provides one of the best pitching duels of the season. We have had a lot of games, and I have done many writeups this season, but I think this showdown takes the cake. The Dodgers scathed by the Giants last night, taking that one 3-2 in extra innings. The Giants are out of the playoff picture at this point, but taking a series from the rival Dodgers would feel fairly sweet this deep in the season.
The Giants will have an uphill battle against Kershaw, who has far outshine other pitchers in baseball this season. An argument can be made for Jose Fernandez, but whenever you see an ERA below 2.00 in September, the nod has to go to Kershaw. He has a 1.92 ERA this season and his last three starts have actually been a cold spell for him. His ERA comes in at a whopping 4.08 in that respect with a 1.64 WHIP. It really was only one game that gave him those numbers, as he allowed 1 and 2 runs in the other starts. It was on September 2nd where he surrendered 5 runs to the Rockies in Colorado, one of the most difficult places to pitch. He bounced back against the Reds, allowing only 2 runs, so the 4.08 ERA in his last three starts is a little misrepresented.
It is quite unfortunate for both of these pitchers that their records are where they are. Kershaw is the best pitcher in baseball, but he only has a 14-8 record. Bumgarner has been great as well, but is only at 11-9. The problem with Kershaw is that the Dodgers’ roster was severely depleted on the offensive side earlier in the season, so that explains that. And with the Giants, they have failed to be able to score runs all year long. Bumgarner has done well though, posting an ERA of 2.82. He’s done quite well in his previous three starts with a 2.60 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. His numbers are consistent through, so you know what you’re going to get out of Bumgarner when he takes the mound.
6 seems like a low total, but I actually thought this was going to be a 5.5. I haven’t bet a total lower than 6.5 all season long, but this one is difficult to ignore. Hitters should be frustrated all night long, with Bumgarner and Kershaw doing what they have been showcasing all season long. I can’t see this one touch 7 runs, so I think the under is a safe play Friday night.
Free Pick: UNDER 6