There’s no better place to start today than with one of the best pitching performances in the history of major league baseball. According to Game Score, which measures pitching performances statistically, Kershaw’s 15 strikeout, no walk, one error, no-hitter was the second best pitched game EVER. It trailed only Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout, one-hitter for the top score.
Kershaw was obviously brilliant last night; against the Rockies, the top hitting team in the National League nonetheless, but the bigger story might be what his return to dominance means for the rest of the National League and specifically the National League West. The Giants have dropped five straight games and the Dodgers have surged to just four games back of the division lead. Looks like we will have some fun in both divisions that seemed to be runaways just three weeks ago; the NL West and the AL Central.
Meanwhile, we will look to get back in the winner’s column tonight with our free pick.
Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets +108 at Miami Marlins -114 (Total: 7)
Zack Wheeler (2-7, 4.38 ERA) vs. Andrew Heaney (first appearance – major league debut)
The Marlins have been searching for some top-line pitching to smooth over the significant absence of Jose Fernandez, and will turn to another top young pitching prospect tonight in Andrew Heaney. Heaney has been excellent in his rapid ascent through the minor leagues, and less than two years removed from his Oklahoma State playing days the young lefty gets the ball tonight at Marlins Stadium.
His opposition is a similarly touted young prospect, only one whose shine has faded a bit with this season’s struggles, Zack Wheeler. He will have his work cut out for him against one of the more prolific offenses in the National League, especially Giancarlo Stanton who leads the NL with 20 homeruns.
The Marlins have been excellent at home this season posting a 24-15 record. They are posting nearly four and a half runs per game as opposed to the Mets just over three and a half. That gives the Marlins a large offensive advantage tonight, as well as a pitching wildcard. I expect Heaney to give up a few runs – expecting more than that would be a little unfair in his MLB debut, but I think Wheeler will get touched up a little bit as well.
I like the Fish at home to keep doing what they’ve been doing all year – playing good baseball at home in Miami. It’s a pretty fair money line tonight and I’ll take a chance on the young lefty in his MLB debut given all the other factors in the Marlins favor.