Last night we enjoyed another winner on the NFL card, but dropped a MLB pick with the Arizona Diamondbacks RL. I said during my writeup for the All-Star game that you won’t need to worry about Heath Bell in this game, well, you need to worry about him in Diamondback games. The DBacks had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the 8th, but Bell was his regular self and coughed up the lead. The Diamondbacks ultimately won the contest, 5-4, thanks to a Paul Goldschimdt solo shot. If it wasn’t for Bell the RL most likely would have hit, but I hope some of you cash in on the ML, or hit a nice parlay with it.
Free MLB Pick
Texas Rangers -220 at Houston Astros +180
David Holland (9-6, 3.02 ERA) vs. Brad Peacock (1-4, 7.25)
It has been a while since I have done a Houston Astros game, which I have made a fortune off of fading them earlier in the season. The Astros offensively actually haven’t been that bad lately. In fact, they have put up excellent numbers in their last three games, amassing a total of 20 runs in that span. If a team scores 20 runs in three games you would at least think they would take two out of three, wrong. The Astros scored 10 runs against the Red Sox three games ago, but still lost 15-10! That has been the story of the Astros lately. Before they couldn’t score a run, now they can’t prevent anyone from scoring less than 5 a game on average.
It doesn’t look very promising for the Astros in that regard, as they send the ultra-unreliable Brad Peacock to the mound at home. It has been an absolute mess of a season for Peacock, that shouldn’t be seeing MLB starts at this point in his career. The Astros are unfortunately very shorthanded and have no other choice but to send him out. Along with Peacocks very pedestrian ERA of 7.25, he has been embarrassingly bad in his last three starts. In that stretch Peacock has tossed a 9.20 ERA with a 1.84 WHIP. With only his last game being a start, the two prior games he came out of the bullpen and got beat up for a few runs. He would also prefer to not be pitching at home, where he holds a 9.35 ERA in this respect.
David Holland is everything the Astros want out of Peacock. Holland is actually, in my opinion, one of the more undervalued pitchers in baseball. I have watched him pitch magnificently against some of the best offenses in the league. He has also shown he can do that on the road as well, where he is in fact better, with a 2.61 ERA and 7-1 record. Holland was extra stout in his last start on the road against the Angels, where he allowed no runs in 8 innings pitched. I expect a similar performance here against the Astros. Maybe not a shutout, but he should be excellent nonetheless.
There were groans and concerns about the absent of Nelson Cruz in the lineup, but I think with the distraction behind them they are playing better baseball now. They have gone 10-1 in their last eleven games, and show no signs of any hitches in the offense. I like the Rangers to dispatch of the Astros on the road to bring that to 11-1. I also like the Rangers team total OVER, but I will take the RL as my official play for Saturday.
Free Pick: Texas Rangers -1.5