I love Bryce Harper and his ridiculous sound-byte spouting swag. Not that I am a particular fan of either him or the Nationals as a whole (I’m indifferent), but I love his willingness to try and make the game of baseball more interesting by donning the black hat. I can’t think of another player in the game who would willingly volunteer after getting blanked by Greinke in a rapidly-approaching record-breaking streak of excellence, that Greinke was getting “a lot of help from the umpire” and that he “wasn’t that tough.”
That is some laugh-out-loud WWF-1980’s villainry type of quotabillity and, while it may be ridiculous in premise, it IS excellent in its entertainment value. I’m already hoping the Nats and Dodgers link up in the playoffs do Harper can get six or seven at bats to put his money where his prodigious mouth is…
Meanwhile, we didn’t explode out of the blocks the way we hoped post All Star Break, so let’s see if we can resume our first half winning ways with a winner tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets at Washington Nationals (Total: 7)
Jacob deGrom (9-6, 2.14 ERA) vs. Joe Ross (2-1, 2.66 ERA)
Jacob deGrom has followed up his Rookie of the Year season by becoming the Cy Young contender in the Mets rotation. The attention goes to Matt Harvey. The results have been tilted more towards his less-known younger teammate. deGrom stole the stage at the All Star Game and has posted a dazzling 1.27 ERA with a 0.75 WHIP over his last three starts. I expect him to be sharp in a very important game for his Mets tonight.
Washington enters with a three-game lead in the division after roughing up Matt Harvey tonight. I don’t think they’ll have similar results against deGrom, but Joe Ross might still keep them in the game. He has been very good since joining the rotation, going 2-1 with 2.66 ERA. Add in the fact that the Mets are 4 for 72 with runners in scoring position over their last ten games, and things bode well for young Joe Ross.
Can he edge out deGrom? It isn’t a terrible value wager at just -115 given how much better his offense if than the Mets. But I’ll still stay away from picking winner. I like deGrom but don’t trust the Mets offense. Even with how great he has thrown the ball in 2015, they are still just 10-7 in games he has started this season. Considering his 0.92 WHIP and near-two ERA, his offense has really let them down.
I like a low-scoring affair tonight and I’ll take the UNDER 7.