How dare we defy the Cubbies?
I rolled the dice on a pair of pitchers being able to trump the offenses and paid for it with a loss yesterday. Under 7.5? Hrumph! We can handle that puny number by ourselves, said the mighty Cubs, en route to a third straight win over the Nationals – pushing their season record to 23-6. And to make things even happier in Wrigley, where happiness might legitimately be at an all-time high, Jake Arrieta gets the ball today. The game is way too close to starting to tab that as the official pick today, but the dude has been an ATM machine all season long. He’s won every game he pitched and the Cubs have won every single one of those games on the runline as well…
Instead, let’s head out West for a battle between talented pitchers with less-than-stellar 2016 numbers to start the season. Can either one, or both, get on track today?
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Today’s Free Pick:
New York Mets -148 at San Diego Padres +139 (Total: 7.5)
Matt Harvey (2-4, 4.76 ERA) vs. Andrew Cashner (2-2, 4.85 ERA)
Both of these starters have good stuff. In Harvey’s case, he has a big time reputation to boot. But the results this season for both have been really disappointing. For Harvey, the whole “Dark Knight” thing ratchets up the attention, but at this point, he isn’t even close to the top of his own rotation and has been poor enough than people are speculating as to if his arm is right after years of troubles. In Cashner’s case, the Padres hoped he would be an ace at some point, but to have an ERA approaching five when you pitch in Petco is very troubling.
However, there is some good reason to like both pitchers chances of faring well today. Cashner has posted quality starts in three of his last four outings. Harvey has a 1-1 record with a 3.50 ERA lifetime against San Diego. Both teams rank in the bottom third of the league in nearly every offensive category including the all-important “runs scored.”
So we get two talented pitchers who have fared better lately after some rough early outings pitching against mediocre offenses in a pitcher-friendly ballpark? That sounds like a good recipe to sneak UNDER the slightly-inflated run total today.
I’ll take both starters to pitch quality starts and for the total to tuck safely under 7.5 today.