“Cubs Love” be darned, the Cubbies cashed us another super easy winner last night. Jake Arrieta got back into the Cy Young mix with an eight-run, two-hit performance in a dominating effort against the Padres. The Cubs has the runs they needed to once again cover the runline by the third inning, and all was well in Petco West. And for the record, there is NO REASON not to jump on a third straight runline today with Kyle Hendricks facing off against Paul Clemens in an afternoon series denouement. The line is already -255 and widening, but the runline at -145 is fair and worth a crack.
Alas, I will head somewhere else today in an effort to make a little more juice, as well as get a game happening in the evening. There are lots of good games to choose from, but I am focusing on the BEST game on the slate – both wagering wise AND from a quality of play standpoint. The Cardinals have edged into a 1 ½ game lead for the second wildcard spot and are currently three games out in front of New York. They will look to tack on to that edge tonight with Jacob deGrom facing Carlos Martinez.
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets +105 vs. St. Louis Cardinals -115 (Total: 7.5)
Jacob deGrom (7-6, 2.73 ERA) vs. Carlos Martinez (11-7, 3.24 ERA)
The last outing was an abject disaster for deGrom, allowing eight runs to the Giants in just five innings. However, the four starts before that he only allowed two runs over 27 innings for a dazzling 0.67 ERA. He fanned 26 batters against just five walks and owns a WHIP under 1.00. If the last start was just a bad blip, then deGrom should look good again tonight.
It won’t be easy – the Cardinals offense has come back to the pack a little bit, with their run total down to third, OBP down to fifth, and average down to seventh after leading the NL in many categories over the course of the season. However, they are still a pretty potent squad capable of doing some damage.
Meanwhile, Carlos Martinez has been a little less fluctuating, but also rarely dominant. The Cards have lost three of his last four starts and six of his last ten. He has four quality starts in his last eight, but has only allowed more than three runs in an outing twice in his last ten starts. Steady, not dominant. I expect the same tonight.
It all adds up to a pretty tight, relatively low-scoring affair if deGrom holds up his end of the bargain. I imagine he will, and I’m willing to bet on it tonight. Look for a low scoring game that tucks under the 7.5 run total.