Stephen Strasburg came out uncharacteristically flat and allowed four runs in the top of the first to dig a big hole against the Reds. But in typical fashion, for both teams really, the Nats clawed their way back into the game, eventually winning on a Bryce Harper walkoff hit in the bottom of the tenth, 6-5. It left me a run short of a runline victory, though we did cash in on the alternate Nats OVER 5.5 play.
It is just a reminder that nothing is guaranteed in this great game of baseball. The Nationals were a whopping -260 or higher with Stras on the mound and for most of the game, it looked like a major upset payday was on the verge of cashing.
Elsewhere on the NL beat, the Marlins beat the Cubs 2-0 on the strength of a 458-foot Giancarlo Stanton blast and a dazzling pitching performance from Jose Urena, and the Dodgers opened up a little cushion with a win over the Rockies and Arizona taking a rare home loss to the struggling Phillies.
The schedule is loaded today; Homer Bailey makes his return after nearly two years against Washington and Joe Ross, Jon Lester will look to even the series in Miami, Gerrit Cole and Lance Lynn hook up in St. Louis, Jacob deGrom and Johnny Cueto duel in San Fran, and the evening highlight, Tyler Chatwood and Clayton Kershaw in L.A. It’s a day of aces, and it should be a fun day of baseball.
Today’s MLB Pick:
New York Mets -101 at San Francisco Giants -109
Jacob deGrom vs. Johnny Cueto
Both teams, and both pitchers to some extent, have failed to live up to expectations this season. On paper, Mets vs. Giants, deGrom vs. Cueto, FEELS like the second game of a playoff series. Or even a 2015 World Series game, when Cueto faced off against deGrom in the Royals World Series winning campaign. Instead, it is a matchup between two teams with double-digit deficits in their divisions and no realistic expectations of a wildcard berth. It’s only June and the season is legitimately OVER for both of these teams.
Cueto has really struggled this season. He enters with an ERA of 4.42 and a losing record. The Giants have lost five of his last seven starts, seven of ten overall, and batters are hitting .264 against him this season. He career averages of .242 and ERA of 3.32 seem like distant memories so far in 2017. However, three of his last five starts have been quality ones, so perhaps better days are ahead.
deGrom has been amazing in four of his last six starts, allowing just 2 runs in 32 innings with 31 strikeouts. The problem is the two starts in the middle, where he allowed 15 runs in 8 innings. That will wreak some havoc on the stats… In reality, deGrom still has dominating stuff, he has just been far more susceptible to the disastrous outing in 2017 than in years past. Working in his favor tonight is the fact that the Giants lineup is pretty anemic. It seems more like we get GOOD deGrom tonight than bad one.
I’ll take the Mets tonight at even money. Even Cueto’s good outings are far from dominant, while deGrom, when on, has been overpowering and completely lights-out for batters. The Giants are 1-10 in their last 11 games, and facing Jacob deGrom who has only allowed a single run over his last 16 innings in two starts, isn’t an easy way to get back on track.
Today’s MLB Pick: NEW YORK METS TO WIN -101