Our three game winning streak was snapped yesterday, but it wasn’t all the fault of Zack Greinke busting out his first really dominant effort in an Arizona uniform. It was more a complication of Jaime Garcia busting out his WORST. He allowed a staggering 11 hits in just two innings and by the time Mike Matheney came out with the hook, five runs had dented the plate and it was too late. Greinke settled into a groove with some of the pressure off, and that, as they say, was that.
The Cardinals will look to bounce back tonight with an absolute huge series hosting the Cubs. The reason this series is so enormous – no pennants aren’t won in May – but they can be LOST. If the Cubs were to sweep, they’d leave town with a double-digit lead, essentially burying the Cardinals or at least forcing them into a historically good second half of the season to get back in the race.
They might be catching the Cubbies at the right time. They have dropped seven of eleven and were shut out for the second time in a two weeks last night. Will their bats wake up tonight as they head back home from the West Coast?
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets +131 at Washington Nationals -141 (Total: 7.5)
Bartolo Colon (3-3, 3.75 ERA) vs. Gio Gonzalez (3-1, 1.86 ERA)
I like the Nats today, and I am all for a -141 wager, but I’m getting greedy and laying the extra run on the runline to get some plus money. And the reason for the confidence is one Gio Gonzalez. Scherzer gets the headlines with his strikeouts. Strasburg gets the headlines with his contract and success. But the best pitcher this season for the Nationals has been Gio. He has one rough outing two weeks ago against the Cubs where he allowed five runs. Aside from that, all but one of his starts has lasted at least to the seventh inning and seven of the eight of them he has allowed ONE or ZERO runs. He has been flat-out dominant, including his most recent start, also against the Mets.
Bartolo Colon struggled with his control in his last start against the Nationals. He allowed five walks – his most since 2005 – in just 4 2/3 innings. He will likely not have those same issues, but he is still likely to surrender some runs. The Nationals are getting sizzling hitting from Daniel Murphy and Anthony Rendon – not to mention the always-present threat of Bryce Harper in the lineup.
Gio has fared exceptionally well against the Mets, going 10-4 in his career. In his last 15 starts against division foes he owns a 1.38 ERA.
It’s a little greedy, but I’m going for the nice payout tonight. I think the Nats score some runs and Gio continues to dominate. You can get the Nats at a nice robust +150 on the runline. I think there is some good value there with Gonzalez on the hill tonight.