Stephen Strasburg took just his second loss of the season yesterday, lasting less than five innings and allowing four runs to the San Francisco Giants. His batsmen did little to back up his rough day, as Matt Cain enjoyed a second-straight sterling outing against the potent Nationals, this time throwing another five shutout innings against the Nationals. In one week he pitched ten scoreless innings against the Nats, but it is still pretty odd he threw just five innings in each. I get that they want to ease their former ace back into action gingerly, but, it is still odd to fail to notch a “quality start” with allowing a run.
Alas, we took the L to even up the weekend and will try to cap it off with a Sunday matinee victory.
And by the way, if you haven’t seen Giancarlo Stanton’s homerun from yesterday, it is worth checking out. It was the longest homerun in six years in MLB and the longest homerun EVER at Coors Field. It is a thing of majestic magic…
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Francisco Giants -104 at Washington Nationals -106 (Total: 7.5)
Madison Bumgarner (10-6, 2.25 ERA) vs. Tanner Roarke (11-6, 3.02 ERA)
It is pretty telling that these two starters, both with excellent (or REALLY excellent in Bumgarner’s case), pitching for two of the top teams in baseball, each have six losses this season. Madison Bumgarner has an excellent case for the Cy Young Award, but when his record is splashed up against Strasburg and Cueto and Lester, it pales dramatically.
A problem has been run support at times, and today might not be any different. Tanner Roarke enters with the 13th lowest ERA in the league and in the top twenty in just about every major statistical category. Neither pitcher have been at their absolute bests in their last three outings, but it seems a fair bet that at least one will be excellent today, if not both. The Nationals batters have had some success against Bumgarner, but it is such a ridiculously small sample size that I am not putting too much stock in that fact. I’ll still bet on Bumgarner in a relatively big game for his team.
If I had to lean on this game, I’d take Bumgarner at a really good price. But the Nats are at home and Roarke is one of the more underrated starters in baseball, so I feel like the more conservative play tonight is under the run total. Today could easily have been a 7, or even a 6.5. But since we get the extra half-run, I like this game even more.