Nationals vs. Giants Pick MLB – July 30th

We notched another winner last night, keeping a solid week (and really nice three months overall) running strong.  This time we cashed in with the even-money Cardinals in an offensive shootout in Miami, winning 11-6 despite starter Mike Leake failing to live up to his prior performances in Miami (3-0, 0.43 ERA in his career).

But the biggest news in baseball yesterday might have been the relative lack of bigger news.  No major moves were announced yesterday with rumors still weighing heavier than action as the trade deadline looms ever closer.  Perhaps we will see a flurry of moves today, but it is looking like the usual massive unload isn’t coming.  Aside from Chapman to the Cubs and Upton to the Jays, nothing massive has really happened yet… Of course, my tune could still be massively different Monday morning…

Meanwhile, let’s see if we can keep the weekend rolling by continuing to build on our winning ways.

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Today’s Free Pick:

Washington Nationals +116 at San Francisco Giants -125 (Total: 8)

Reynaldo Lopez (0-1, 11.57 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (5-9, 5.42 ERA)

Don’t hold 22-year old Reynaldo Lopez’s stats against him.  His double digit ERA encompasses all of four and two-thirds innings.   His stuff is good, and don’t be the least bit surprised to see him excel against a struggling Giants team in his second outing without some of the butterflies.  His opponent shouldn’t have any trouble with nerves; afterall Peavy has been doing this at a high level for nearly a long as Lopez has been alive.  Unfortunately, for the past few years, he hasn’t been doing it very well.  We’ve made some decent money fading Peavy, including getting a plus-money winner with the Reds earlier this week, and I’m heading back to the well again this afternoon for the FOX national showdown.

Peavy has seen his ERA decline over the past few months, and in fairness, he has been a reasonable MLB pitcher over the past few months.  The Giants will have an interesting decision to make regarding their postseason roster (assuming they hold on to a playoff spot, and I think they will), as Peavy isn’t an automatic DNI.  The Giants have won five of Peavy’s last eight starts, though it is worth noting he has only delivered quality starts in three occasions – and none in the losses.

Here’s the big problem.  In the loss to the Reds Monday, Peavy’s fastball averaged just 88.8 mph.  That’s problematic as it removes nearly any room for error pitching against a good lineup in Washington.  He has to be precise and nibble – and that has never been the wheelhouse for the aggressive former Cy Young winner.  I like Washington to hit Peavy hard and early and to establish a solid lead they don’t relinquish.  I also like Lopez to be more calm in his second big league outing and display why the front office had faith in promoting the 22-year old so quickly.  The Nats are a great buy at plus-money today against Peavy and the scuffling Giants.

Free Pick:  Washington Nationals to WIN +116