It’ll be baseball and hockey only for a few days, as the NBA Finals are now set. The Spurs pulled out brilliant road overtime win without Tony Parker on the floor to set up a rematch against the Heat. The downside is there won’t be any hoops until Thursday, giving us four nights to wait – good news for the Spurs who will be very concerned about the health of their star point guard.
We will be back with plenty of NBA Finals coverage – but in the interim, let’s focus 100% on baseball and try to shake off the stink of a really rough month of May. I’m ready for the calendar to flip today and hopefully start fresh along with the new month.
Let’s get it rolling again. Here’s today’s free pick:
Pittsburgh Pirates ++160 at Los Angeles Dodgers -167 (Total: 7.5)
Edinson Volquez (2-4, 4.30) vs. Zack Greinke (8-1, 2.18 ERA)
The Dodgers have been frequent guests on Sunday Night Baseball this season, and they will once again get the national spotlight as they host Andrew McCutchen and the Pirates who will be looking to cap off a surprising winning series in Los Angeles. They were blown out yesterday 12-2, but took the first two games of the series behind some brilliant pitching.
“Brilliant” would definitely not be the word to describe Volquez this season. He just 2-4 with an ERA well over four, and the Pirates have a losing 4-6 mark in games he has started. Even more troubling, all six of the games the Pirates lost they lost by more than one run. Could they be in store for another blowout loss today?
Well, facing Zack Greinke sure doesn’t help. Greinke will be going for his ninth win today against just one defeat. The Dodgers are 8-3 in games he has started this season and all eight of his wins have been by two or more runs. Not only does the pitching matchup favor the Dodgers heavily, it also screams of a good opportunity to double-up on the -1.5 runline.
The Dodgers offense is a big advantage as well. They are averaging 4.80 runs per game against right handed pitching this season, while the Pirates are averaging just 3.64. And Greinke is no ordinary righty. He’s one of the best in the bigs with an ERA right around two.
I like the Dodgers to win tonight, and all the metrics and stats say it should be a multiple run margin. I’ll take the conservative wager of the Dodgers winning the game, but am also going to double up with the -1.5 runline and trust the numbers.