I took a push with last night’s MLB pick between the Angels and Mariners from Seattle.
This pick certainly did not look good early as both teams scored a pair of runs in the first inning, but luckily both starters settled down from there for the most part while the bullpens locked things down.
The score actually sat a 5-2 after four innings, just one run shy of the eight-run total. From there, a single run scored in the eighth by the Angels accounted for all of the damage for the remainder of the game and a 5-3 Mariners win had us push our pick.
For tonight’s pick, I’ll shift over to the National League where the St. Louis Cardinals host the San Diego Padres in the second game of a three-game set.
The Cardinals took the series opener by a 5-2 score last night to improve to 36-28 on the season, good for third spot in the NL Central and just 2.5 games back of the first place Cubs.
With the loss, the Padres dropped to 31-37 on the year, good for last place in the NL West, 6.5 games behind first place Arizona.
San Diego Padres vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Matt Strahm (3.07 ERA, 5.63 FIP, 1.30 WHIP) vs. Miles Mikolas (2.27 ERA, 3.08 FIP, 0.96 WHIP)
The Padres will send left-hander Matt Strahm to the mound tonight for his third start of the season, but don’t expect Strahm to last long. Although this is his second consecutive start in the rotation, Strahm pitched just 2.1 innings in his last start against the Braves. He pitched just two innings in his first start back on May 27th against the Dodgers.
While Strahm won’t be around overly long as his arm is not stretched out, I expect the Cardinals to get to him early. As evidenced by that 5.63 FIP number above and his 6.06 xFIP, Strahm has been extremely fortunate to have that nice 3.07 ERA. His .186 BABIP against is the main source of that good fortune and is almost 100 points lower than the normal .279 mark he posted last season a member of the Royals.
The Cardinals offense is a good one against lefties, ranking fourth league with a powerful .183 ISO against southpaws. They also rank seventh with a .338 wOBA over the last seven days, so it’s safe to say they are coming in hot.
Although the Padres bullpen has been a top-10 group this season, I expect the Cardinals to have already done damage before they see any bullpen arms.
Besides, I also expect Miles Mikolas to continue his excellent season against one of the league’s worst offenses against right-handed pitching, and on the road. Mikolas is coming off seven shutout innings over the Marlins his last time out, his second scoreless effort over his last four outings after a complete game shutout over the Royals.
Mikolas has made 12 starts this season, giving up two earned runs or less nine times. In fact, after giving up four runs in each of his first two starts of the season, both against the Brewers, Mikolas has allowed more than two earned runs in just one of 10 starts. He’s allowed one earned run or less in seven of this last 10 starts.
Mikolas has been especially dominant at home, sporting a 1.28 ERA and a 1.99 FIP across six starts and 42.1 innings.
The right-hander will face a poor Padres offense that ranks among the league’s worst against righties. Their .288 wOBA and .660 OPS against right-handed pitching both check in at 28th league-wide. Their 25.8% strikeout rate against righties is the third highest in the majors.
On the road, the Padres rank 29th with a team .277 wOBA while they also rank 29th with a team .641 OPS away from home.
Over the last seven days, the Padres’ offense ranks 24th with a team .273 wOBA, so we know they aren’t swinging the bats well coming in.
There is no reason to think Mikolas can’t dominate the Padres’ weak offense tonight. Throw in the Cardinals bats that are swinging it well against a subpar starter and I think we have another run line victory for the home side tonight.