If I was ever to forgive a cheesy “Houston, we have a problem” pun, I think it’d be now. The allegations regarding the St. Louis Cardinals hacking the Houston Astros database and essentially committing corporate espionage is serious. Like “MLB is cooperating fully with the FBI” serious. It’s mind-boggling to consider the possible ramifications of one of the most pristine organizations in all of professional sports being guilty (and it’s hard to assume they aren’t) of this and the massive punishment and fallout that is sure to follow.
Making it even more interesting is the fact that right now they are the best team in baseball. They are so good that the Pirates have won 19 of 24 games and STILL can’t close the gap on the Redbirds. They are still six games back in the NL Central despite an epic run.
So will this scandal/distraction be an issue for St. Louis’s players? I doubt it. Unless it somehow trickles into an area where Mike Matheny’s job is in jeopardy, I assume it will be business as usual in St. Louie. But man, what a bizarre story…
Let’s get to today’s free pick and see if we can start a winning streak.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Pittsburgh Pirates -109 at Chicago White Sox +101 (Total: 8)
Jeff Locke vs. John Denks
The aforementioned Pirates are on a roll and it’s been more than just good offense and Andrew McCutchen. It’s been the starting pitching. They have shut out their opponent a staggering five of their last six games, including a 1-0 Jeff Locke win in his last start against the Phillies. In fact, the White Sox have yet to score a run THIS SERIES against Pittsburgh.
So is the today the massive regression to the mean? I think it very well could be. Locke has struggled this year but looked like a former All-Star in his last outing. However, he is still entering with an ERA just shy of 5.00 and despite a shutout in his last outing is STILL 0-1 with a 1.65 WHIP in his last three starts. The Sox offense has scuffled this series but is still a quality lineup and should be poised to enjoy a day not facing an ace.
Denks has been rough with a 1.74 WHIP in his last three outings. The Pirates have been winning a lot of games without help from their offense. I expect Cutch and crew to chip in a little more tonight.
This one has regression to the mean written all over it. I’ll take the over.