We took a one-day hiatus from MLB to try and break the negative momentum and start a clean winning week. Instead we cobbled together the beginnings of a two-day NBA winning streak, so hopefully the positive momentum will transfer over.
Meanwhile in MLB, the Royals rebounded from a series opening loss to finally take a series against the Tigers, concluding the series with a dramatic 2-1 extra inning win last night on ESPN. The win pushes the Royals to first place in the division, joining the surprising Yankees, Astros, and Mets as division leaders as we near the one-quarter mark of the season. The Yankees moved to 20-12 after another dominant performance from Pineda. They was he is going (yesterday he fanned 16 without issuing a walk) it’s pretty likely he will soon be known for more than last year’s awkward pine tar suspension.
Let’s dive into today’s free pick and start a week off with a winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Washington Nationals -152 at Arizona Diamondbacks +140 (Total: 8)
Max Scherzer (2-3, 2.11) vs. Josh Collmentor (3-3, 3.40 ERA)
Despite a pretty pedestrian record, the Arizona Diamondbacks have hit the ball really well so far this season. The team enters tonight batting .260 and averaging 4.61 runs per game. They will have their work cut out for them tonight against Scherzer. His season as a whole hasn’t been spectacular, but he has looked good overall; even if not quite the Scherzer that the Nats were expecting when they shelled out a gazillion dollars in the offseason. He has allowed a 3.43 ERA in his last three outings, despite a WHIP of just 1.05. He has been plagued by the long ball, but perhaps some of that is adjusting to a new ballpark.
Collmentor carries a much lower profile (obviously) but has been about the same as Scherzer this season. He is 2-1 with a 3.40 ERA in his last three starts with a 1.00 WHIP. Both teams are 3-3 in their respective starts, so there isn’t the seismic edge that this matchup first appears. Same thing with the Total of 8 – it seems at least a half-run high, but it’s probably about right given these two respective offenses; Arizona at home where they average 4.83 runs and the Nationals who have scored 29 runs in their last four games.
The Nats are on fire, but how often do we see a team catch fire, get on a plane to start a new series and all that “momentum” that was accumulated evaporates instantly. The lines swing wildly, and there can be some decent opportunities to take advantage of – and I’m gonna roll the dice on a nice value underdog.
Arizona might not have the flash of the Nats, but their offense has been statistically better across the board. I’ll take them at a nice robust +140 tonight and bank on a quality effort for Collmentor and the ‘Backs running into a Scherzer pitch or two for some long balls.