It took a walk-off balk to get it done, but at the end of the tenth inning, our big underdog play cashed in a winning ticket. Jeff Samardzija continued to struggle, allowing five runs in five innings and it looked like the Padres were going to cruise to an easy +165 winner. The Giants battled back but the Padres eventually won the game at home in bizarre fashion.
Meanwhile, Garrett Cole’s return was spoiled by the Nationals who rumbled to a 6-0 victory to notch their fifth straight victory and open up a solid seven game lead on the Marlins and Mets and look to be in position to run away with the NL East. The Cubs also seem to have gotten back on track, winning their third straight game and edging their NL Central lead back to eight games and 9.5 over the Cards and Pirates respectively. The Dodgers are six back in the NL West, but might be the best hope we have of a decent divisional race. Aside from that, it looks like it could be a Wildcard Race summer…
Let’s take yesterday’s big underdog momentum and keep it rolling today.
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Francisco Giants -210 at San Diego Padres +190 (Total: 7.5)
Johnny Cueto (13-1, 2.47 ERA) vs. Edwin Jackson (first start)
Technically, Edwin Jackson has a 5.62 ERA, but it is over ten innings in eight games of mop up duty about two months ago. Since then, the 32 year old veteran has been signed to a minor league contract by the Padres and will make his major league starting return tonight. It is hard to know exactly what to expect, but it seems fair to think the Giants will have a decent amount of success this evening. The Giants are fourth in team batting average, fifth in runs scored and third in OBP. Expect them to make Jackson work tonight.
Meanwhile, it might be a bit of a counter-intuitive play, but I am banking on a small All Star hangover for Cueto tonight. He has been awesome this season and a worthy All Star Game starter, but he did work two innings a few nights ago and took the L in the big game. It isn’t a ton of workload, but it is still a little abnormal. It wouldn’t be unusual for a little hangover effect tonight. Plus, there is a rumor going around (and acknowledged by Bruce Bochy) that Cueto has been a little ill and under the weather.
It is a pretty low total of 7.5 considering Cueto might not be 100% and the Giants are facing a pitcher who hasn’t started a big league game this season and will be appearing for his 11th big league team in 14 years.
I’ll take the combined bats tonight and bet the OVER on the relatively low total of just 7.5.