The Giants picked up an enormous win last night, beating the Padres 2-1 and snapping their odd losing streak against their low-performing division rival. The win was made even more important with the Mets dramatic eleventh-inning win over the Phillies. The game was far different in tone with the 9-8 scoreline, but equal in drama and importance. The Cardinals now enter tonight a half game back of those two aforementioned winners as they took the night off before gearing up for a massively important series with the Cubs (and Jake Arrieta is on the mound tonight…)
Unfortunately for us, the Giants win wasn’t enough to cash a winner as I loaded up on the value of the runline and came up one run short. If you played it a little safer at the -150 moneyline, you got in with a winner. We will try to make it up today as the new weekend series get rolling.
Today’s Free Pick:
Philadelphia Phillies +155 at New York Mets -163 (Total: 7.5)
Jeremy Hellickson (12-9, 3.57 ERA) vs. Gabriel Ynoa (1-0, 9.00 ERA)
The Mets are still hanging in the playoff picture despite losing pitcher after pitcher after pitcher; the backbone of their team and their 2-15 World Series run. Somehow, they keep winning enough (or at least managing not to lose more than the Giants) to remain in the picture. They have their work cut out for the tonight as Ynoa gets the ball as a starter for just the second time in his career as a starter, this coming fresh off a 4.2 inning outing where he allowed just one run, but appeared to lack starting pitcher stamina. He has allowed 10 runs in 10 innings as a big leaguer in mostly scattered relief appearances.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Hellickson hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, a scoreless inning streak that now sits at over 16 innings. The former rookie of the year appears to be getting the form back that made him one of the cornerstones of the promising Rays staff of 2010. I know the Mets have a TON more to play for, and that Hellickson doesn’t have a great career ERA against the Mets, but I am surprised to see him a +155 underdog against a rookie starter tonight.
Let’s face it, none of the NL Wildcard contenders are thundering to the finish line. Sure, the Phillies season is done and the Mets has promise, but the 12 games that separates them in the standings is less than a 10% margin of differential when you look at the huge, long sample size of the season. My point is simply, I can get a hot pitcher and a HUGE underdog line, I am going to take a shot, throw the records out the window. Even with little on the line, the Phillies are playing with youthful enthusiasm and a vision for next season. They are 6-4 in their last ten, and can play the fun role of spoiler tonight. I think they just might behind another solid effort from Hellickson.