There’s a reason why they play until the final out. You never quite know what might happen until that 27th out is in the glove. The Cincinnati Reds mustered just one-hit through 8 2/3 innings on a miserable, rainy, 44-degree afternoon against the Astros. For the two-thirds of the crowd who bundled up for the entire game, they received quite a treat.
After Drew Stubbs drew a two out walk, the Reds strung four straight hits together, including a game-winning double by Jay Bruce to steal a 3-2 victory and pull their record to an even .500.
It’s only May, but with so many teams hovering around .500, especially in the National League, nearly every night provides opportunities for fantastic, memorable moments.
Thursday is “get away day” for a lot of teams wrapping up series with a matinee before flying to the next city, so let’s focus on two of the evening games and start building early weekend momentum with a pair of winners.
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Today’s Free Major League Baseball Picks:
Washington Nationals +210 @ Philadelphia Phillies -250 (Total: 7)
John Lannan (2-3, 3.78 ERA) v. Roy Halliday (4-1, 2.14 ERA)
Betting against Roy Halliday isn’t generally a good way to make a living as a professional handicapper. The Phillies ace on a staff of aces has been sublime all season; never more so that in his last outing, a complete game gem that required only 107 pitches from Doc. Even more impressive? He didn’t throw a single ball until the third inning. Wow…
The Nationals will be sending John Lannan to the mound, who despite a decent ERA has failed to give the Nats a quality start in four of his six outings this season. Lannan is a miserable 0-9 against the Phillies lifetimes, with an ERA of 5.80 in his twelve starts. Contrast that with Roy Halliday, who is 7-0 with a 1.54 ERA against the Nationals in his career.
The Phillies are the best team in baseball (sorry Indians fans), and they have been playing like it from the beginning of the season. Today is a good day to take the -1.5 run line, and bank on Halliday’s continued dominance paired with Lannan’s continued struggles to get a nice winning wager.
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Colorado Rockies EVEN @ Arizona Diamondbacks -110 (Total: 9)
Jason Hammel (3-1, 3.23 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (3-1, 3.92 ERA)
The record raises no cause for concern in Colorado, but their vaunted offense has scuffled a little bit over the last week. The 2-3 record is fine, but scoring a combined 11 runs is a cause for some concern. Tonight they’ll try to get their offense cranked back up against Ian Kennedy who is seeking his third straight win.
Kennedy has been pitching well of late, posting a 2-0 record in 22 inning pitched over his last three starts. He has allowed only four runs in that span.
Colorado sends Jason Hammel to the hill, also seeking his third straight win, and they’ll need him to pitch well to snap their recent difficulties in Arizona. The Rockies have lost 8 of 11 in Phoenix, dating back to last season.
With an even pitching matchp and recent history on Arizona’s side, I like the D-Backs as a good value play with a relatively flat moneyline.