We notched a second straight MLB winner thanks to another ace delivering a solid, if not breathtaking, pitching performance. Two nights ago we banked on Johnny Cueto and last night it was Dallas Kuetchel. I flirted with the idea of taking the ‘Stros at +160 on the runline, but settled for the more conservative straight-up wager. If you had a little more gumption and laid the -1.5, congrats on a nice evening payout.
Can we find a third straight winner, and will it come once again on the back of a stud starting pitcher? Let’s comb through a bevy of opportunities today and see if we can keep a nice start to the weekend rolling.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Chicago Cubs -115 (Total: 7.5)
Yesterday’s 11-10 Cubs win was a wild ride, but is it possible that all the offense got used up yesterday? Forget the simple tendency for runfest to be bookended with more normal offensive outputs, and instead focus on the more practical matter of today’s starting pitchers. Both team’s will have their aces on the mound and both have been sharp lately.
Much was made about Lester’s early season struggles – particularly his odd inability to throw the ball to first base. But in his last three starts he has allowed just four runs over 20 innings and has struck out 16 batters. He is 3-0 with a 2.42 ERA in his last four outings combined. He seems to be getting comfortable in Chicago, though he did walk four batters in his last outing, I expect him to fare well against a medicore Pirate lineup today.
Gerritt Cole is an early NL Cy Young candidate. He doesn’t get the hype of Matt Harvey. He doesn’t have the track record of Clayton Kershaw. But heading into today he does have a 5-1 record with a 2.32 ERA and a nearly 4:1 K to BB ratio. He has been fantastic this season and I expect him to fare well today, even against the red-hot Cubs in Wrigley. He has owned the Cubs in his short career and is attempting to become the first pitcher EVER to beat the Cubs in his first seven starts. He fanned eight over six shutout innings in his only meeting this season with the Cubbies.
Yesterday belonged to the bats. Today should belong to the starting pitchers. As long as the bullpens don’t much it up, I love getting the extra half run on the UNDER 7.5. Both these starters have elite All-Star stuff. I expect them to show it in today’s mid-afternoon affair at Wrigley.