The Josh Hamilton bliss in Arlington was relatively short lived. The prodigal outfielder’s return was glorious, but less than a week later has already resulted in yet another trip to the disabled list. Hamilton is expected to miss four weeks just as the Rangers crossed north of .500 and were beginning to look like a legitimate wild card candidate. It’s a tough blow, but it’s hardly an unexpected one given his track record…
It’s a combination of getaways days and off days today, so it’s a slightly reduced slate of MLB action. So let’s sift through and focus on tonight’s hopeful winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks (Total: 8.5)
Matt Harvey vs. Jeremy Hellickson
Remember when Jeremy Hellickson was the next big thing? The Tampa Bay Ray was the newly minted rookie of the year and things were looking bright in the Bay with him on a staff with David Price, James Shields and Matt Moore. Flash forward to today and none of the four are in the Rays rotation and Hellickson has a plus-five ERA in the purgatory that is Arizona. His last thre starts have been encouraging though, lowering his ERA to 3.38 and his WHIP to a dazzling 0.86. I expect him to be sharp tonight against a Mets lineup that is less than terrifying.
Meanwhile, Matt Harvey is looking for his first win in a month. I wrote about how his hype wasn’t quite equal to his performance about a month ago, and subsequently got burned by his best outing of the year. However, since then, I’ve been closer to right. He still has aawesome stuff and is a very very good pitcher, but he is nowhere near automatic dominance. He has a 4.95 ERA and is 0-2 in his last three outings, but I take some strength from his 24:4 K to BB ratio that indicates better things are likely in store for Harvey. He has allowed 11 runs in 12 innings with 3 homeruns, prompting some fear of dead arm, but his K’s are still there, so I am not quite as worried about banking on him to be fine tonight.
The last two games have been run scoring insanity. Look for tonight to regress to the mean with a pair of quality starters getting the ball. No 9-7 or 7-6 stuff tonight. I like a reasonable game in the 4-2, 5-2, 4-3 kind of range.