The wins just keep rolling in as we have been scorching hot in September. We picked up another win last night when we backed the Seattle Mariners as a pick ‘em against the Los Angeles Angels. I noted in my pick yesterday that I saw this line moving towards the Halos and that if you liked Seattle, you should wait it out for a better price, and that is exactly what happened. The Angels ended up closing out as -118 home favorites, so depending on when you made your bet, this could have ended up being a nice underdog winner for you.
This was more of a bet against Angels starter Odrisamer Despaigne than it was a bet backing the struggling Mariners. And Despaigne did not disappoint. The Mariners ran him from the game after just one inning of work as they pounded him for three runs in the first. It just got worse from there for L.A. as the Mariners played add-on all afternoon long and ended up scoring eight-run against this depleted Angels pitching staff and we easily won our bet.
We see a lot of these situations down the stretch where out of contention teams are giving guys chances to prove themselves at the big-league level that teams in the playoff hunt would never be using. This was a perfect example. Despaigne should not be starting games in the American League right now and if he makes another start, I will likely be right there looking to fade him, especially if he is favored again. For today’s pick, I will take a look at the game between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The Milwaukee Brewers look to continue their march up the standings as they host the Pittsburg Pirates tonight in game one of a three-game series. The Brewers have used a hot start to the month to win eight out of their last ten games and cut the Chicago Cubs lead to just a game and a half for first place in the National League Central race. The Brewers will play six out of their next nine games against this Pirates team, and the Pirates would love nothing else more than to play spoiler to a division rival.
Starting for the Brewers tonight in game one is the newly acquired Gio Gonzalez (8-11 4.40 ERA), and for the Pirates, it is their newly acquired starter, Chris Archer (4-7 4.56 ERA). The Brewers are -136 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PST from Miller Park in Milwaukee.
Sometimes all it takes is a little change of scenery to turn a guy’s season around. We saw that last year when Justin Verlander looked washed up pitching for the Detroit Tigers only to regain his Cy Young Award-winning status as soon as he was traded to the Houston Astros. We have seen that this year as well when Kevin Gausman was able to go from barely in the rotation for the Baltimore Orioles to one of the best pitchers in the Nationals League for the Atlanta Braves.
Gio Gonzalez is hoping that he can get the ship righted as well as he was recently moved from the cancerous Washington Nationals to the Milwaukee Brewers. If his first start is any indication, it is looking like a great move. Gonzalez has the pedigree of an elite starter and pitched really well in the first half of the year for Washington. But as things started to fall apart for the Nationals, Gio’s production fell off a cliff.
But in his first start with the Brewers, he looked like vintage Gonzalez. Gio pitched five and two-thirds of an inning and allowed just one run on only three hits while striking out seven. Gio had only one winning decision since May, but is 1-0 for the Brewers.
Chris Archer hasn’t enjoyed a lot of success for the Pirates since they brought him over in a shocking last-minute trade deadline deal. Archer was downright terrible for his first several starts but has seemingly settled in somewhat in his last couple outings. In seven starts with the Pirates, Archer is 1-2 with a 5.24 ERA. Certainly not what the Pirates hoped they were getting when they unloaded a bunch of prospects to get him.
I believe in Gio Gonzalez. When the Brewers made the move to acquire him, I saw it as a game changer. This guy has some great stuff but was always buried behind Steven Strasburg and Max Scherzer in Washington. He very quietly was a solid arm for many years without much fanfare. Yeah, he sucked for the last two months, but Washington was imploding, and tearing apart at the seams, so it is hard to blame him.
Now that he is out of that bad environment and is thrown right into a pennant chase, I expect big things out of Gonzalez. I don’t think he is going to magically turn into an ace for Milwaukee, but he should be a guy that the Brewers can ride into the postseason. That push starts right now with these two upcoming series against the Pirates.
I see Gonzalez being solid, Archer getting roughed up and the Brewers finding a way to win this game with relative ease. They need to win four or five of these next six games against the Pirates if they want to catch the Cubs, and they know it, so they are going to be pulling out all the stops tonight at home. Give me the Milwaukee Brewers as small home favorites tonight at -136!