It’s been a good week for me. Well, perfect actually. We ran the winning streak to seven straight games last night thanks to the Dodgers narrow 3-2 win over ex-teammate Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks. Both Maeda and Greinke were good, but Maeda was just a little better and cashed in a winning wager. The Dodgers win coupled with the Giants second straight win over St. Louis keeps the Dodgers four games ahead of San Fran in the West but the Giants are still on good footing with their now-three game lead over the Cards. It makes today’s matchup between Mike Leake and Jeff Samardzija a virtual must-win for the Redbirds.
Elsewhere, the Cubs clinched the outright division title in style yesterday with a tenth inning Miguel Montero walkoff against Milwaukee. The top two seeds are all but locked; Chicago and Washington. The remaining two weeks will be all about determining who will be playing where for a chance to knock off these two juggernauts.
Let’s keep the good times rolling today and see if we can stack up a few more winners.
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Today’s Free Pick:
*** GAME TWO *** Pittsburgh Pirates +107 at Cincinnati Reds -117 (Total: 9)
*** GAME TWO OF DOUBLEHEADER 6:10 EST****
Jameson Taillon (3-4, 3.27 ERA) vs. Anthony DiSclafani (8-3, 2.93 ERA)
If DiSclafani in on the mound, I am usually closely investigating the line and loving the value. However, Vegas has FINALLY caught up to Disco, and he is actually the favorite against another dynamite young pitcher in Jameson Taillon. This line reflects some of the resignation in Pittsburgh that the season is over, as generally, the Buccos would be a favorite with Taillon going.
There will be some watchful eyes in Taillon, who was controversially left in the game a week ago after being struck by a line drive. He was skipped in the rotation last start as a precaution, but it is expected to pitch with no lingering effects tonight. If he IS back to full strength, nine of his last ten non-beaned starts have been quality outings with two or less runs allowed in eight of them.
Meanwhile, DiSclafani is a quality start machine as well. He has eight in his last ten outings as well, and despite pitching in a tough hitters ballpark, his ERA is under 3.00 for the season. His home ERA is in fact BETTER at 2.67 with a WHIP of just 1.13. Look for him to be sharp again tonight and to keep the Pirates in check.
This game is a pitcher-friendly matchup, both in terms of quality and in terms of lineups they will be facing. Both teams have some injuries, both teams expect to play a LOT of unfamiliar faces in the second game of a double header, so expect both starting pitchers to shine. I would have been on the UNDER at 8. At 9, it is a no-brainer.