The wins just keep on coming! We picked up the win last night when we backed the Los Angeles Dodgers as road favorites against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Backing Clayton Kershaw is never that bad of an idea, and I liked his chances to shut down this struggling DBacks squad. I also suggested taking the under seven and a half runs, as this game felt like a lower scoring affair as the DBacks were starting the more than reliable Robbie Ray.
We were in a premium position to scoop both bets as this game hit the ninth inning with the Dodgers leading 4-3. Kershaw and Ray both lived up to the hype as they pitched well, and this game was just as tight as I expected it to be. But unfortunately for us, the Dodgers bats decided to finally wake up as soon as Ray left the game and they hammered the DBacks bullpen for five runs, three in the top of the ninth, to push the game over seven and a half runs.
So, we will have to settle with the split as we won the side bet but lost the total bet. What can you do, the game went exactly according to plan for the first eight innings, and we got bitten in the ninth, it’s going to happen. We will look to stay hot tonight as we break down the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the St. Louis Cardinals.
What a race we have in the National League right now! Not only is the Central Division the tightest race in baseball, but we also have a great race for the wild card as well. The St. Louis Cardinals will host the Milwaukee Brewers tonight in game two of a three-game series that is certain to have a major impact on both races. The Brewers have climbed to just a game and a half behind the Chicago Cubs for the Central Division crown, and the Cardinals are clinging to just a half of a game lead over the Colorado Rockies for the second wild-card spot in the NL.
Starting tonight for the Brewers is Austin Gomber (6-1 3.63 ERA), and for the Brewers, it is Gio Gonzalez (9-11 4.28 ERA). The Cardinals are -111 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 PM PST from Busch Stadium in St. Louis.
This series could not mean more to both teams tonight. The Brewers are looking to backdoor into the division title, and the Cardinals are playing for their playoff lives, trying to secure a wild-card spot in the National League. The Brewers managed to pick up the win last night in an exciting back and forth affair and would love to win again tonight to keep the heat on the Chicago Cubs for the divisional crown. For the Cards, they are trying to hold off a surging Rockies team and have zero room for error.
The Brewers will start the newly acquired Gio Gonzalez tonight in game two. And for those of you that have been daily readers on my picks, you know, I am a believer in Gio Gonzalez. I loved the move to bring him over from the Nationals, and I thought that a change of scenery would do him well as the culture in Washington had turned cancerous.
And Gio has responded. In three starts with the Brewers, Gonzalez is 2-0 with a 1.65 ERA. The guy looks refreshed and fired up to be in the midst of a pennant race and is producing stellar results. And this wasn’t all that hard to see coming, as Gio was really good early in the season, and only saw his results start to fall off when the Nationals started to implode. When the Brewers made the move to pick him up, I stated that I saw that move as one that would propel them to the division title, and now just a game and a half back, I am sticking with that prediction.
Austin Gomber has been a pleasant surprise for the St. Louis Cardinals this season. The rookie left-hander was being used out of the bullpen for most of the year and was thrown into the starting rotation in August and has more than impressed. Gomber has made ten starts for the Cardinals and has a 6-1 record to show for it. Gomber isn’t getting overly deep into games, but he has done more than enough to help his team win games.
Games like these are what baseball is all about. Two teams in contention late in the season that could very well end up being a playoff preview. If the season were to end today, this would be our wild card game in the National League. And when both teams are going to be playing their hardest to win, a lot of times there isn’t much to seperate them. So, where do I find the value today?
In Gio Gonzalez. I just feel like this guy is going to continue pitching strong and I love getting to back him as an underdog. He is highly motivated and happy to be out of Milwaukee, and I expect big things out of him. And I don’t want to come across as a St. Louis hater, what they did this year in the second half of the season when most people left them for dead was truly impressive. But if I had to make a prediction right now, I am going to say the Rockies will pass the Cardinals and take the last playoff spot in the NL.
The Cards finish up by playing what is likely the two best teams in the National League, the Cub, and Brewers, battling for a division title. While the Rockies get to play two out of contention teams in the Phillies and the Nationals. I think the Cards slip up just a bit, and the Rockies run the table to pass them by. That slip up started yesterday when the Brewers stole game one, and I see it continuing tonight as I see them stealing game two as well. Give me the Milwaukee Brewers as road underdogs tonight in game two at +101!