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Giants vs. Padres Pick MLB – Sept. 24th

What looked promising early quickly turned sour as the Mets used a six-run fifth inning to power past the Phillies and foil my big-money upset bid.  More importantly, the win, coupled with the Cardinals 5-0 loss to Jake Arrieta and the Cubs and the Giants 7-2 loss to their odd nemesis, the Padres, gives the Mets a game and a half clearance for postseason safety.

The Cardinals have a big game at 1pm this afternoon as they face off against Jason Hamel – and not that he hasn’t been very good this year, but if there IS a vulnerability in the Cubs rotation, he is probably it.  They will be hoping their young rookie can live up to his 1.03 ERA in just his fourth career start.  Meanwhile, the Mets throw a third straight young non-regular starter tonight, Sean Gilmartin, who will make his second career start and first start of his 2016 campaign at 7pm, and lastly, the Giants will try to avoid yet another disastrous loss to the Padres trying to get his first win in four starts.

It’s a football weekend in America, but these last nine games of the MLB season are going to be fantastic – you really don’t want to miss ‘em.

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Today’s Free Pick:

San Francisco Giants -210 at San Diego Padres +195 (Total: 7.5)

Madison Bumgarner (14-9, 2.57 ERA) vs. Jarred Cosart (0-4, 5.63)

If there was ever a night when the Giants need Madison Bumgarner to BE MadBum, tonight is the night.  The stat about him not notching a win in the last two and a half weeks, despite the urgency of the situations, is a tad misleading.  In his last outing he pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just one hit while striking out ten against ZERO walks.  That one, suffice it to say, was not his fault.  But fault or no, while the offense is scuffling, the Giants NEED their ace to be big once again and might need him to string up perfect zeros deep into the evening.

That is exactly what I expect to happen tonight.  Complete Bumgarner dominance.  I think the Cy Young Award belongs to Kyle Hendricks at this point, but look for Bumgarner to remind everyone he is still in the mix with a huge performance tonight at Petco Park.

I expect far less from winless Jarred Cosart.  The Marlins castoff has had a rough go in 2016.  He has only one quality start in eight outings since being acquired by the Padres and has allowed as many runs as innings pitched in four of them.  It’s not been pretty.  Granted, the Giants offense is mired in the mud, but I still expect them to score enough runs to give Bumgarner the cushion he needs to succeed.

-210 is a pretty steep price for a team that has proven they can lose even if their pitcher throws a near no-hitter.  But I still like the value on the runline.  If they are going to win, I expect some cushion.  The Padres have lose each of Cosart’s last three starts by three or more runs.  I could see a low scoring 4-1, 3-0 game tonight, but still a Giants runline cover.

Free Pick:  San Francisco Giants RUNLINE -1.5 (-125)