Baseball season is such a rollercoaster. It’s a roller coaster for the teams, fans, and people that regularly bet the sport. Each day and week brings a whole new wave of performances and results. One week a team may seem on top of the world, and then the next they couldn’t hit a ball off a T. With this many games in a season it’s bound to happen. I bring this up because the Pittsburgh Pirates couldn’t lose a game earlier in the season, but now they find themselves in a little bit of a funk. It shouldn’t take away from how good the Pirates are. Are they going to win the World Series? No, probably not, but they are still a pretty good team, and I don’t think this run is indicative of the team they are. Does it necessarily mean we should just jump right back on the Pirates? Well, that is what we have ascertain here today. The Pirates face the Washington Nationals. Or should I say, Max Scherzer and the Nationals. Scherzer has shown some signs of being human lately, but still has the Cy Young in view. The Pirates will counter with Jeff Locke, who is having a solid comeback season in Pittsburgh.
I noted how a lot of games that are close haven’t gone my way this season. Last night I finally was able to win one of those ones behind a standout performance from Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw pitched a 3-hitter en route to the 3-0 win, so it would have been a tough beat if the Dodgers weren’t able to pull out a win by more than a run. The Dodgers held a 1-0 lead for the majority of the contest, where in the 9th inning they were able to add a couple of insurance runs for a 3-0 win for the Dodgers. After a win let’s make it two in a row heading into the weekend.
Washington Nationals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates
Max Scherzer (10-8, 2.09 ERA) vs. Jeff Locke (9-8, 4.01 ERA)
Despite Locke’s ERA of 4.01, he has been turning it around for the last couple of months. Locke got off to one heck of a rough start, which for a lot of people signaled perhaps the end of success for him. However, Locke has turned back the clock to 2013 and showing why he earned an All-Star appearance back then. It is a complete 180 for him, as in each of his last two seasons, Locke looked good in the first halves, but fell apart in the second. This season Locke has done the opposite, a rough start then he has looked good lately. In fact, in his last three starts he posted a 1.77 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. Since about early June, Locke has looked really good. His last six starts at home are as follows: 0, 0, 2, 1, 0, and 1 run allowed. That is being on. And by looking at his 4.01 ERA you’re not going to see that part of the picture. Overall he has a 2.58 ERA in Pittsburgh, so he’s been improving there as well.
He has quite the opponent this evening. Scherzer is responsible for a no-hitter this season, and another game where he was a hitter away from earning another one. He had one of his worst starts of the season three games ago, allowing 5 runs against the Reds, but he bounced back nicely with a 2 run and 1 run showings against the Orioles and Dodgers. Scherzer has been unhittable on the road in 2015, sporting an ERA of 1.57 ERA and 0.76 WHIP. It appears to me that this matchup has the makings for a pitching duel between Scherzer and Locke. Thus, UNDER 6.5 is the play for me Friday night.
PICK: UNDER 6.5 RUNS (+102)