We snapped our brief losing skid last night with an easy Chicago Cubs winner that played out exactly as advertised. The Cubs hit Jimmy Nelson early and often and Jon Lester strung up a bunch of zeros. The game was 6-0 in the blink of an eye, and ended in non-dramatic fashion, easily covering the -1.5 runline. We will try to keep the momentum rolling today, and will be grateful we weren’t on the side of Steven Strasburg yesterday who endured the single WORST start of his career, allowing nine earned runs in less than two miserable innings in Colorado. It was a fun day if you had the OVER in a wild 12-10 Rox victory, but a lousy day if you swallowed the huge line to back the previously 16-3 Strasburg.
The biggest game tonight as well as the most glamorous pitching matchup happens tonight in the Bay as the Mets begin a ‘last-stand’ series at the Giants, pitting Jacob deGrom vs. Madison Bumgarner. The Mets have fallen back to .500 and are six games back of the Giants in the wildcard race. Anything short of three of four will likely spell the end of the Mets bid to repeat as NL Champs…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Miami Marlins -172 at Cincinnati Reds +160 (Total: 7.5)
Jose Fernandez (12-6, 2.81 ERA) vs. Dan Strailly (8-6, 3.75 ERA)
On paper, today is quite a mismatch. One of the best pitchers in baseball against a journeyman taking the mound for a team 19 games under .500 and with one of the worst run differentials in all of baseball. But not so fast… in Dan Strailly’s last six starts he hasn’t been OK, he has been GREAT. He has allowed a total on nine runs in six outings and the Reds are a perfect 6-0 in those games. He has struck out 37 batters and walked just six, and three of them came in one less-than-sharp outing.
So Strailly gives the Reds a chance.
But Fernandez makes it a slimmer chance. The Marlins ace is second in the league in strikeouts and has a 2.15 career ERA against the Reds. He has the potential to be dominant, despite the Reds scorching team batting average since the All Star Break.
The best play tonight is the UNDER 7.5. Strailly isn’t getting nearly the respect he deserves with this line. This game has 3-2 written all over it, and don’t be surprised if either pitcher keeps it even lower than that.