After a rocky start by Nationals’ starter Taylor Jordan yesterday, the Pirates and Nationals struggled to find any consistency swinging the bat Tuesday night. Gerrit Cole put together a terrific start for the Pirates, as they cruised to an easy 5-1 win. The 5-1 gave us an easy when with the UNDER 8.5. I also posted a lean on the Red Sox TT OVER 4.5 on my Twitter account, @NFLSportsGeek, which I ended up playing. I received late inning heroics in the bottom of the 8th to cash that after needing 2 runs to cash the bet. We are nearly at the end of July, so let’s string together a nice run entering August.
Free MLB Pick:
Pittsburgh Pirates +125 at Washington Nationals -145 (Total: 7)
Francisco Liriano (9-4, 2.44 ERA) vs. Stephen Strasburg (5-7, 2.97 ERA)
Yes, this isn’t a typo, I am making a play on the same game as last night. As I alluded to above, that wager came in with ease, and I’m going to go back to the water well looking for more. While last night’s game featured two unheralded young pitchers, I imagine you are more familiar with the two on the mound tonight. Francisco Liriano comes in as the wily veteran, and Stephen Strasburg is of course one of the best baseball has to offer.
Liriano is no stranger to how things work around Major League Baseball. He has been around since 2005, entering the league with the Minnesota Twins. With the Twins, Liriano was a solid member of their rotation for the greater part of his career. A rough year with the Twins and White Sox in 2012 appeared to spell doom for the left-hander, but he has found a resurgence of sorts with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Much like the other Pirates’ starters, Liriano has been as solid as they come today. Prior to a shellacking against the Reds in his last start, Liriano was nearly untouchable, tossing shutdown ball for five straight games. Liriano during that stretch allowed less than 3 runs in all of his starts. He hit his apex against the A’s on the 10th, where he didn’t allow a single run in 7 innings pitched.
If you look at Strasburg’s numbers from recently, it is bound to raise some questions to if it is the same guy. After all, in his last three starts, Strasburg posts a miserable ERA of 7.80. Yes, 7.80! To go along with that 7.80 ERA is an un-Strasburg like WHIP of 1.73 and .397 OBP. The brunt of these horrid numbers comes in his two starts prior to his last. Strasburg bounced back against the new look Dodgers, surrendering only 2 runs in 7 innings pitched at home. Home is where Strasburg is a magician with the ball, where he holds a 1.75 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, and .266 OBP.
I expect Strasburg to put together a couple of excellent starts in a row at home. I do not foresee the Pirates being able to do much offensively. However, the Nationals offense has been in flux this season, and they should struggle against Francisco Liriano as well. I still think the Nationals will come out on top, but I like the UNDER 7 catching a pretty nice price even more.
Free Pick: UNDER 7