It was an interesting night in the National League as the two prohibitive pennant favorites both got bombed early and saw their aces saddled with a loss. Max Scherzer gave up five runs in six innings to the Mets (we took the loss there), a team he generally OWNS, and Jake Arrieta gave up five runs in the first inning to the Red Sox as the Cubs fell 5-4 in the series opener. It was just another reminder there are no sure things on any given day during the six-month marathon of Major League Baseball.
There are a few more massive favorites today with both the Dodgers and Nationals entering at -200 or steeper. Does that mean there is some big payday potential brewing today, or was yesterday just a blip on the radar?
Some of the top matchups today feature the Phillies trying to bounce back from their first loss of the week yesterday against Brandon McCarthy and the Dodgers, Matt Cain trying to keep partying like it is 2009 putting his 2-0 record on the line at home against the Padres, and of course Game Two of the Dream Series between the Cubbies and BoSox.
Let’s get back on the winning side of the ledger today with a nice winner.
Today’s MLB Pick:
Pittsburgh Pirates +112 at Miami Marlins -117 (Total: 7.5)
Ivan Nova (2-2, 2.00 ERA) vs. Dan Straily (1-1, 3.92 ERA)
The Pittsburgh Pirates are quietly in some real trouble. The window of opportunity for the resurgent franchise may have closed last year and given their market size and payroll constraints, might be headed back towards some grim seasons. Yes, they have some talented young arms, but this far this season, they aren’t living up to the hype. And that leaves them with just a piddling offense, a suspended drug-cheat best player and an Andrew McCutchen edging over his MVP prime. The Pirates have mustered just 83 runs so far this season, ahead of only San Francisco and behind such offensive juggernauts as the Padres and Braves.
They have a shot tonight if they can get another top-notch outing from Ivan Nova, who enters tonight with an ERA of two flat and has lasted six innings in every one of his starts so far this season. He will likely need to be on his game tonight with the Pirates offense backing him up.
Miami will send off-season acquisition Dan Straily to the mound fresh off his best outing of the season. He became just the third player in MLB history to strike out 14 batters in less than 100 pitches. I expect him to fare well again tonight against the Pirates lineup. They notched 12 runs yesterday, showing some signs of life, but I’m going to bank on the regression to the mean tonight.
Today’s MLB Pick: MIAMI MARLINS TO WIN -117