The Dodgers split their series with the Rockies yesterday, but not in the fashion I expected. Their offense has been the best in the National League and they were facing the pitcher with the highest ERA of any qualifying pitcher in baseball. So a 1-0 victory wasn’t exactly the way it was supposed to go down. Our runline pick came up a run shy, but if you had the Dodgers straight-up then you enjoyed a nice (albeit small payout) win.
It’s a new week, and it’s a lighter slate of action as a lot of teams have travels days. But there are a few good series commencing tonight, including the Cardinals and Mets and an interesting Freaky Friday-like twist when the first place Astros host the last place A’s.
But our pick tonight focuses on two of the best pitchers in baseball with the worst 2015 numbers. We already know one of them shook off a terrible start with one of the most masterful starting pitching performances in baseball history. So can the other presumed Cy Young candidate do similarly tonight?
Let’s dive in to today’s free pick…
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Cleveland Indians -105 at Chicago White Sox -115 (Total: 7)
Corey Kluber (1-5, 4.27 ERA) vs. Chris Sale (3-1, 5.09 ERA)
Corey Kluber’s last outing was an 18-strikeout, one-hit masterpiece. However, it is fair to note it was his first win of the season against five losses, and even with those nine sparkling innings his ERA is still well over four. The team is just 1-7 in his eight starts, so how crazy do we want to get over one awesome performance??
Meanwhile, Chris Sale has a pretty good personal record at 3-1 and his team is 4-2, yet his ERA is over five and over eight in his last three starts. Is it panic time for Sox fans? Well, not quite yet, but a solid performance tonight would go a long way to assuage some fears that both he and Samardzijia have induced in the early season.
The Indians are hitting just .228 on the road against southpaws, and Sale, despite his recent struggles, is still one of the better one’s out there. I think he is due for a quality outing, and tonight’s a good night to get one; he is at home against an offense that has struggled mightily. Meanwhile, I wouldn’t bet against Kluber having turned the corner. He IS the reigning Cy Young winner after all. I’m not willing to proclaim him full back to that level, but it is easier to shed off the terrible start given his dominance last week as well as his 2014 season.
Expect a low-scoring affair tonight as two pitchers perform closer to their abilities than their 2015 numbers suggest.