Giants vs. Padres MLB Pick – July 16th

3-0 Nats lead entering the seventh inning, the Reds bullpen rested and Max Scherzer on the mound for the Nationals, you have to feel pretty good about an UNDER 9 wager. But it’s baseball, man, and you just never know. So of course, the two teams combined to allow FOURTEEN RUNS in the next three innings, because, that happens, right??

Alas, we are 0-2 out of the shoot and need a win today to save a lousy second-half opening weekend. I think we have a pretty good place to go in search of a little sneaky Sunday afternoon value.

Elsewhere, the dream season for the Dodgers and Cody Bellinger shows no signs of slowing in the second half of the season. The Dodgers won again last night, 7-1 in Miami, to move to a staggering 63-29 for the season. Cody Bellinger became the first Dodger rookie in a franchise famous for their stories rookie phenoms, to hit for the cycle. Forget Rookie of the Year, Bellinger is starting to make it a relatively obvious case for MVP…

Let’s get on the diamond and get done with this losing nonsense…

Today’s MLB Pick:

San Francisco Giants -115 at San Diego Padres +105 (Total: 7.5)
Jeff Samardzijia (4-10, 4.58 ERA) vs. Trevor Cahill (3-3, 3.38 ERA)

On paper, this game is strong advantage Padres. But baseball players do not hit and pitch on paper. In reality, I love the G-Men tonight precisely BECAUSE their statistically-challenged pitcher as opposed to in spite of him. Yes, the record is as bad as any fulltime starter in the National League, and the ERA isn’t great either. AND his team stinks and they are playing on the road, and…

A lot of bad stuff in that opening paragraph. Here’s the good: His WHIP of 1.15 is eighth best in the league. He is eighth in strikeouts. He is in the Top Ten in FIP – Fielding Independent Pitching. Those numbers tell me Samardzijia has been so wildly, irrationally, Bell-Curve shatteringly UNLUCKY in 2017. That bad luck should last forever; it’s why it is called “luck” which is by definition, random. It provides some pretty decent value to get a pitcher who has actually been really GOOD at a very low price.

Trevor Cahill, by contrast, looks so much better in traditional statistics; W/L and ERA, but is actually the owner of a higher WHIP (1.22) and a far-worse K/BB ratio at barely 3/1. Samardzijia has one of the best in baseball at 127 strikeouts to just 14 walks – that’s about as good as I’ve seen in a while for a guy no one seems to think is even a GOOD pitcher. (Perhaps those folks are right… he’s closer to “great” if you look at real numbers).

I’ll take the value of a great pitcher with a perplexingly bad 4-10 record. His big weakness has been his propensity for home runs. That has crushed some otherwise good numbers. However, he is in pitcher loving PETCO Park today against a pedestrian Padres lineup.

I’ll take The Shark to swim free today and get a long overdue fifth win.


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