Miami Marlins -104 at Philadelphia Phillies -101 (Total: 8.5)
Mark Buehrle vs Kyle Kendrick
It’s hard to believe it is already June and nearly two months of the baseball season has elapsed. At the one-third checkpoint, several fantastic and pleasant stories are still in full swing; the Orioles leading the AL East while the Nats lead the NL East, Josh Hamilton’s triple-crown bid still seems legitimate, and it is beginning to be evident that we are in store for some fantastic summer time pennant races.
We also got hit with a not-so-happy storyline yesterday when Dodger star Matt Kemp pulled his hamstring for the second time already in 2012 and will be going back to the Disabled List. Just a few weeks ago Kemp was in the same “can he win the triple-crown” conversation that Hamilton was in, however with his second extended trip to the DL, that possbility has vanished. It’s disappointing for fans as well as Kemp, but the biggest effect might be on the Dodgers, who dropped a four-game series against Milwaukee, their first prolonged losing streak of the season. It remains to be seen if it is just an inevitable blip on the radar of a long season, or if the effect of losing their star is finally taking its toll.
Meanwhile, two teams that both know injuries and playing solid baseball despite them square off tonight in Philly. Perhaps no tam in baseball has dealt (or is dealing with currently) more injuries than the Phillies. They were already missing Ryan Howard and Chase Utley to start the season, and now ace Roy Halliday has joined them on the DL. And despite it all, the Fightin’ Phils are STILL two games over .500 and only three games back (despite being in last place) in the hyper-competitive National League East.
One of the big reasons the Phillies have been able to stay on course is the recent pitching of Kyle Kendrick. His numbers for the season are far from pretty, but over his last three starts he has been fantastic. He has still only notched the one win, but his 1.13 ERA and 0.77 WHIP over 22 innings are certainly good enough to have notched a perfect 3-0.
Speaking of 3-0, the Marlins are a perfect 3-0, as is Mark Buehrle individually in his last three appearances. However, his ERA is a lofty 4.32. Being backed by a staggering 6.7 runs per start though will lead to a pretty nice record. The Marlins have been the best team in the National League in the month of May, winning 21 games.
However, when I have the opportunity to get a red-hot pitcher pitching in his home ballpark at near even money, I like to take advantage of it. Such is the case with Kendrick and the Phillies tonight (-101). I am also drawn to the UNDER 8.5, despite some hot bats by each team lately, but my official pick is the Phillies to WIN behind another solid outing from Kyle Kendrick.
Free Pick: Philadelphia Phillies to WIN (-101)