We are back after a one-day hiatus, and looking to keep a nice 6-1 winning streak rolling. In truth, it’s been a pretty fantastic baseball run. We are up around 65% since the All-Star Break, and while interest in the final weeks of the regular season is diminished by both the lack of quality pennant races and the freight train that is the NFL and college football, there are still some really good games left to play and some great profit opportunities.
But, yeah, like you, I’m ready to fast forward 13 days and get this post-season locked and loaded, because it is setting up to be a pretty dynamic one. It looks like Pirates and Cubs, Cole vs. Arrieta is all but a certainty, while the wildcard in the American League is still fluid after the Yankees dramatic extra-inning winner over the Blue Jays to remain in the race and the glut of teams looking to sneak up on the Astros for the second spot.
Let’s dive in to today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Francisco Giants +100 vs. San Diego Padres -110 (Total: 7)
Jake Peavy vs. Andrew Cashner
Don’t look now, but the Giants are only six games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yes, they are six back with 12 games to play, but with four games remaining at home against the Dodgers, they really need to make up just two games to have a fighting chance. It is still highly unlikely, but the Giants, like the Cardinals, require a Zombieland double-tap before officially decreeing deceased.
They will have Jake Peavy trying to win his first game at Petco Park since he called it home many years ago. It seems improbable that the veteran hasn’t gone home a winner yet, but this is only his fourth appearance at his old stadium in a visiting uniform. He will be facing Andrew Cashner, who is on pace to become one of 15 pitchers to lose 17 or more games despite having an ERA under 4.50. Granted, 4.50 isn’t fantastic, but it is certainly decent enough to avoid losing as many games as he has this season.
The Giants have fared well against the Padres, winning 10 of 15 and the last six series overall. More importantly, they have outscored the Pads a whopping 47-10. Jake Peavy tends to fare well down the stretch of seasons. While other pitchers tire, the veteran seems to strengthen. He is 4-0 with a 3.45 ERA in his last five outings this season and closed 7-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his last two Septembers.
The Giants have a flicker of life, and they love playing at Petco. I expect them to play well again tonight and to make things at least a little interesting in the final week of the season. They need to win tonight with Greinke pitching for the Dodgers, as a loss tonight might be the final nail in the defending champ’s coffin.