We notched a second straight winner last night despite a pair of ninth inning runs from the Phillies in their 4-3 comeback victory in Arizona. The total tucked one run safely under the number, but the big story from the game was Zack Greinke leaving early with a “tight oblique.” If you are scoring at home, that makes five high profile pitchers this week with varying levels of injury concerns ranging from “might miss a start” (Kershaw) to “uh oh” (Strasburg). Add in both Stephen Matz and Noah Syndergaard having bone spurs, and it has been a brutal week for stud starting pitchers in the National League.
We shall see how serious any and all of these concerns are, but if all are worst case scenario, the most star-studded pitching All Star roster in history could look very different in just a few weeks than expected. Get well soon everyone – it’s been a brutal week!
Fortunately, it hasn’t been a brutal week for us as we have two winners including a sizeable underdog heading into today. Let’s keep it rolling.
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets +180 at Washington Nationals -192 (Total: 7.5)
Logan Verrett (3-4, 4.14 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (8-5, 3.52 ERA)
The Nationals entered this series on a seven game losing streak and in danger of giving away their season-long NL East lead. The can leave today with a commanding sweep of the Mets, who are in disarray over their sudden rash of pitching injuries, and a five game lead in the division if they can win one game behind their ace, Max Scherzer.
Scherzer threw a no-hitter last October against these Mets and will be looking forward to getting a chance to face them again today. Logan Verrett has made twenty appearances this season and has pitched well, but is not normally who the Mets would hand the ball too in a game like today under perfectly healthy conditions.
I like Scherzer to be BIG today. He has a tendency to give up some homeruns, but also pile up a ton of strikeouts. I am going to bank on him keeping it in the yard today and doing his usual bat-missing. I think the Nats cap off the sweep in relatively easy fashion today and while there isn’t great value at -190, but I like the value of the runline at +105. The Mets are one of the worst offenses in the league facing one of the more overpowering pitchers in baseball. It’s a good recipe for the Nats to cruise.