It has been a hectic few days for me, but I finally have time now to sit down and watch baseball religiously again. With hockey and basketball completely finished, baseball is the only sport around to get your gambling fix in. Of course I mean out of the major sports, there is still tennis, golf, and the CFL is right around the corner. I am not the biggest CFL fan, but I am a huge football fan in general so it will be nice to get a football fix. Last night the Blue Jays’ bats were silenced just at the wrong time, as Hellickson snapped their 11 game win streak fairly easily. Yesterday only had four games on the docket, but we are back tonight with a full slate of action.
Free MLB Pick:
Pittsburgh Pirates -116 at Seattle Mariners +106 (Total: 7)
Jeff Locke (6-1, 2.01 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (5-7, 4.48 ERA)
Mariners, Pirates, Locke vs. Saunders..this game has all the makings of an instant classic. Okay not quite, but I think it looks like money. Not too many people known the name Jeff Locke, but Locke has been the closes thing to a lock for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season. He is not only one of the biggest surprises for the Pirates this season, but he has been a surprise in all of MLB.
Locke’s ERA of 2.01 is just the tipping point, as his low point, if you want to call it that, was earlier in the season. Locke has been flawless in his last three starts, capping spectacular performances off with a 0.46 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. Even more impressive is his starts on the road, where he is even better. In away games he has an ERA of 1.64, and has not allowed a single homerun all season long. Locke will have the luxury of pitching in one of the most difficult parks to knock it out of.
Mariners’ starter Joe Saunders doesn’t have the numbers that Locke has, but he has been unhittable in home starts. Saunders holds a 2.53 at home compared to a whopping 6.46 on the road. His WHIP on the road is 1.72, conversely, it is 1.08 in Seattle. However, of late, it hasn’t mattered where Saunders has been dishing it, as he held the Angels and Athletics to only 1 run each in his last two road starts.
Locke to me is one of the most overlooked pitchers in all of baseball right now. It isn’t like he has been beating up on creampuff offenses either. He has shut the Tigers, Reds, Brewers, and Cubs right down to 1 or no runs. Saunders should hold his own at home where he feels most comfortable as well. All numbers point to a 3-2 or 4-1 finish.
Free Pick: UNDER 7
Colorado Rockies +158 at Boston Red Sox -173 (Total: 9.5)
Juan Nicasio (4-3, 4.78 ERA) vs. Ryan Dempster (4-8, 4.23)
I think I needed to throw a game in with a little more star appeal than the Pirates and Mariners so here it is. I don’t know if Juan Niasco vs. Ryan Dempster really gets anybody’s juices flowing, but it should make for a fun, high scoring affair at Fenway. After a drought for the Rockies, they scored 14 runs in their last two games against the Nationals. The Rockies are a team that catch fire, and then get real cold. I think we are exiting the cold phase and getting back into the swing of things.
There is no denying Troy Tulowitzki is the engine that keeps this operation running smoothly for the Rockies. However, Michael Cuddyer has tried his best to make up for his absence. Cuddyer has raised his batting average to .342 thanks to a 21-game hit streak. Cuddyer and the Rockies should be able to score often against Ryan Dempster, as they bat .268 against righties. The Red Sox are excellent against right-handed pitching as well, batting .277.
That number doesn’t bode well for Rockies’ starter Juan Nicasio, who has struggled mightily in his last three starts with an ERA of 4.86 in 16.2 innings pitched. I just can’t make a case for this being a low scoring game, so I feel comfortable with making the OVER 9.5 an official wager.
Free Pick: OVER 9.5