It was a strange day in MLB with four different teams getting blanked and six of nine games being decided by five or more runs. Blowouts were the theme of the day, and for the most part struggling teams were on the short-end of the result. The Pirates, Red Sox and Cubs threw another burning log on their dumpster fire of a season, while teams like the Royals, Cardinals, Blue Jays and Reds started important series off on a good note.
Easily the most personally disappointing game of the day was watching my UNDER play evaporate on a three-run Baltimore walkoff homerun in the ninth, spoiling another good pitching effort from Chris Sale and sending the White Sox to a difficult defeat. It’s part of the magic of baseball, but it’s no fun to be on the wrong side of a blown save.
Hopefully we can make up for it today and get back on the winning side of things. Let’s dive in.
Today’s Free Pick:
Washington Nationals +104 at Milwaukee Brewers -114 (Total: 8)
Jordan Zimmermann (5-4, 2.95 ERA) vs. Yovani Gallardo (5-4, 3.34 ERA)
Tonight has the potential to be an excellent pitcher’s duel, despite some good offenses and the general increase in runs being scored as the weather has warmed up. Zimmermann has been the Nats best pitcher most of the season and he has been particularly sharp in June, posting a 0.84 ERA and holding batters to a .153 batting average.
Gallardo has been excellent lately as well, going 0-2 with a 0.86 ERA in his last three starts to rebound nicely from a slight mid-season swoon. He has had difficulties with Washington historically in his career posting a 3-3 lifetime record with a gaudy 6.15 ERA.
If both starters can turn in quality outings, this one could tuck easily under the run total. Both bullpens have been solid this year, especially the Nationals who have a relief corps ERA of just 2.42 so far in 2014. Milwaukee’s has been solid as well at 3.47 – not “lights out” like Washington, but still a solid mark.
Last night the Brewers were blanked in a low-scoring 3-0 affair. I don’t expect Milwaukee to remain quite that silent tonight, but I think they will find runs difficult to come by tonight against Zimmermann and the Nationals bullpen. Likewise, don’t be surprised if Gallardo, who is in a nice groove, finds a way to overcome some of the woes that have historically plagued him against Washington.