It’s baseball nirvana today with the first playoff pitch commencing at 12:07 EST and continuing around the clock until early Saturday morning. Grab a seat and enjoy all four series, as well as one of the best pitching matchup you will ever get to watch in Kersahw vs. Wainwright in the 7pm NLDS GameOne.
We took a tough loss last night as Jason Vargas defied all his metrics and recent performances and dominated the Angels. Aside from solo homers to David Freese and Chris Ianetta, Vargas stayed out of trouble for six solid innings and gave the Royals a chance to do what they do; battle deep into the game, grind out a run and get a dramatic win . I guess I should know right now that numbers and metrics do not apply to the Royals. There’s a little baseball magic brewing in KC (though I STILL think LA should win this series…)
Let’s get back on track with a couple of winners today!
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Today’s Free Picks:
The theme of both of today’s picks is VALUE. It is not “pitching advantage” per se, rather it is more a matter of a significantly less “dis-advantage” than the line indicates.
San Francisco Giants +170 at Washington Nationals -181 (Total: 6.5)
Jake Peavy vs. Stephen Strasburg
Stephen Strasburg has finally shown the full promise that was expected of the highly touted #1 overall pick. He closed the season without allowing a single run in his final three starts, notching 20 innings with just 10 hits allowed and a mere three free passes issued. Simply dominant stuff. The Nats are rolling, the ball is in their ace’s hand, so why not back the nearly two to one favorite??
Well, for starters, the opposing starter. Would I give the slight nod to Stras over Peavy? Sure. But emphasis on “slight.” Peavy has been dynamite since escaping Boston and joining the Giants. He has also dominated over his last three outings, winning them all and holding opponents to a 0.65 ERA. In fact, for the time he has been in the National League, his ERA is a FULL RUN lower than Strasburg’s.
This pick is again, a value pick. If I can get a red-hot pitcher backed by a team that just seems to elevate their play in October and get them at +170, I’m willing to take the risk.
Bonus Pick – St. Louis Cardinals +178 at Los Angeles Dodgers -185 (Total: 5.5)
Adam Wainwright vs. Clayton Kershaw
You gotta love a game with a 5.5 run total. It’s because we are slated for one of the best postseason pitching matchups ever. It’s not hyperbole. Kershaw is in the midst of one of the best three season runs in baseball history. And Wainwright is nearly matching him step for step.
You are telling me I can get Adam Wainwright and postseason venerable Cards at +178??? Look, Kersahw is AMAZING. First ballot Hall-of-Fame greatness. But that didn’t stop the Cards from battering him all over the yard in last year’s NLCS. Do I think that’ll happen again? No. But is it a two to one certainty the Cards can’t scratch out one or two runs and let Wainwright do the rest?
Again, I’ll take value. If either Peavy OR Wainwright are themselves, I have an easy winning money day.