We grabbed an MLB winner with the Giants outslugging the Dodgers 9-6 in the rubber match of the weekend series, but it certainly wasn’t won in the manner I expected. Johnny Cueto DID earn the win, but he did so despite allowing all six of the Dodger runs, including a five-spot in the first inning. He obviously settled down from there, but his first home start certainly wasn’t his best effort.
Meanwhile, the story everyone is talking about is still Trevor Story. The Rockies shortstop belted his record-setting seventh homerun in his first six games and this has gone from “cute story” to absolute insanity. Did the Rockies have ANY IDEA what they had when they decided to let Tulo go via trade last Fall, or is this simply a David Freese/Daniel Murphy postseason with reverse timing? Obviously, the answer isn’t, “he’s the greatest player in the history of Earth.” But it will be fun to see if we are watching a future All Star, or if this is just the oddest of times to catch magic in a bottle…
Either way, I’ll take some of what Story is having – let’s start getting in the zone and making week two a big week of NL picks…
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Today’s Free Pick:
San Diego Padres +115 at Philadelphia Phillies -125 (Total: 7.5)
Andrew Cashner vs. Aaron Nola
Both teams were swept in humiliating fashion to open the season; the Phillies by the Reds who ownd the second-worst record in baseball last season, and the Padres in record-setting fashion by failing to score a single run against the visiting Dodgers. Yet both bounded back, reminding us once again, IT IS A LONG SEASON, by winning two of three over the weekend and taking series against the Mets and Rockies respectively. Now they send their best young hurlers to the mound to open a series both feel good about having a chance to win and get back towards .500.
Aaron Nola pitched well in his first start against the Reds and frankly deserved a win, but the bullpen let him down. Andrew Cashner, well, he earned his loss, but is still a potentially excellent big league pitcher. He was just 1-5 with a 5.51 ERA on the road last season in his final eleven starts, but is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA in three starts against the Phillies.
Cashner is a solid pitcher and I expect him to bounce back. Nola is showing the promise that led him to be the Phillies first pick a year ago. He hasn’t gotten the wins, thanks to the pen, but is sporting a 0.95 ERA over his last three starts. Both bullies could well blow this game, but I think both starters pitch well enough to keep it a low-scoring affair. Neither offense is particularly dynamic, so I’ll take the under tonight in Philly. The Padres offensive numbers look pretty good this season, but keep in mind their splits; ZERO runs against the Dodgers, 32 runs at Coors Field. Expect them to settle in closer to the former against Nola today in Philly.