Never in doubt yesterday! Well, until the 9th inning it was never in doubt. After 1 run baseball with only 4 hits over 8 innings, the Pirates and Nationals combined for 5 runs in the 9th to make it a 4-2 final. I capped that one perfectly, though, as Francisco Liriano and Stephen Strasburg were nearly untouchable. In fact, Strasburg is the first NL pitcher since the 1900’s to go 8+ innings, with 12 strikeouts, while allowing 2 or fewer hits and 0 walks to pick up a loss. It’s all money to us, though, and that’s the only thing that counts. Let’s look for another winner on Thursday to keep our perfect week going.
Free MLB Pick:
Baltimore Orioles -135 at Kansas City Royals +126 (Total: 8)
Miguel Gonzalez (8-3, 3.34 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie (9-7, 4.41 ERA)
The Baltimore Orioles send their unlikely ace to the mound to try and bounce back after dropping the first two of the four game series. The Royals will counter with average right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, who has actually been less than average of late. The Royals can already chalk this season up as a failure, again. There is no way the Royals, or anyone in the AL Central for that matter, is going to catch the Detroit Tigers. It’s a reoccurring theme for the Royals season after season, but I think it’s time to look towards the future. The Orioles on the other hand want bigger things in 2013, they want to make a big push into October and make some noise against the best MLB has to offer. First, they’ll have to finish the season strong, as I can’t say they’re a definite lock at making the postseason. While it is likely, things can turn in a hurry in this league.
To shake off some porous play lately, Gonzalez will bring his 3.34 ERA and reliable right-hand to Kansas City to try and buck this trend. In particular, Gonzalez has been lights out recently, and when looking at pitchers, the last few games are the greatest indicator of success. In Gonzalez’s last three starts, he has an ERA of only 1.40. He also posts an impressive WHIP of 1.19 in those starts. The last time Gonzalez has allowed more than 4 runs was all the way back on May 31st against a very good Detroit Tigers’ offense. Gonzalez is also spectacular on the road, with a 2.93 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. In addition, he given up only 3 home runs away from home.
Royals’ starter Guthrie has been a little bit of a loose cannon. He is your prototypical average to below average hurler. The Royals may get a solid outing from him one game, but he can come back and pitch miserably. Lately it has been more on the miserable side, with a shoddy ERA of 5.03 and 1.53 WHIP, Guthrie may have his work cut out against him against a hungry Orioles’ team. The Orioles love to hit righties, as they smash them for a .273 batting average, compared to a .245 against left-handers.
This is about the highest price you’ll see me play this season, or about around it. But, I think it is justified in this spot. I actually see it as a little bit of value, as I think the line should be a tad higher above the -140 mark. The Orioles should comeback in convincing fashion, and show the rest of the league that they are here to stay for the long run.
Free Pick: Baltimore Orioles -135