I took a break from the baseball circuit to focus on the NFL opener last night, which came up golden with the over. That one wasn’t even close, and my last baseball night a couple of nights ago with the Tigers and Red Sox wasn’t remotely close either. The Red Sox hit 8 home runs en route to an absolute thrashing of the Tigers at Fenway, 20-4. It has been that kind of year for me, as winners have been coming in with ease. The best kind of wins are the no doubters, and I look to continue doing that going forward. With the NFL pick last night I am entering another weekend with a flawless record with no losses. Time for Friday where we jump right back into the thick of things with baseball.
Free MLB Pick:
Tampa Bay Rays -115 at Seattle Mariners +105 (Total: 7)
Alex Cobb (8-3, 2.82 ERA) vs. Hisashi Iwakuma (12-6, 2.92 ERA)
The Tampa Bay Rays once pegged as the hottest team in baseball have suddenly hit a wall and are searching for answers in September. It certainly is the nature of baseball, one day you’re being praised, and the next all you are is dog crap. With the amount of games in a baseball schedule this is easy to recognize, but if the Rays want to make any noise in October, when it matters, they better part picking of momentum soon. They’ll try and do just that Friday night in Seattle against the Mariners.
Greeting the Rays at the plate will be All-Star Hisashi Iwakuma. I was high on Iwakuma early in the season when he was on a massive tear, but hit a snag as his numbers tumbled for a couple of weeks midseason. Iwakuma has gotten back on the horse though and been excellent in his last ten outings. If he didn’t have those poor couple of weeks then his ERA would probably be flirting around 2.00 and not 2.92, which is still very good. There has been only one game in his last ten where he got hit pretty bad, where he allowed 6 runs against the Brewers on August 10th. Other than that game he has been fairly solid, however. Iwakuma has held steady in his last three starts posting a 2.70 ERA with a 1.20 WHIP. He’ll have the chance to repeat those performances against a Rays team that has been sleeping at the plate recently. They had the one good game against Angels, but have been pretty stagnant otherwise.
They may not need to score many runs with Alex Cobb backing them up. Of course Cobb is the pitcher that got reamed with a line off of his head, but has since come back from that nearly career ending injury and pitched quite well. In fact, since coming back he hasn’t allowed more than 2 runs in any of his four starts. Cobb actually gets better on the road as well, where he holds an ERA of 2.68 compared to 2.93 at home.
Two hot pitchers in Seattle usually always adds up to a low scoring game. Safeco isn’t a park that eats up many dingers. I don’t know what that shot to the head did to Cobb, but he is playing his baseball of the year at the moment. Conversely, Iwakuma was a cash cow for me earlier in the season, but ignored him of late, not tonight, though. I can see both Cobb and Iwakuma pitching superbly en route to a 3-2 final for either ball club.
Free Pick: UNDER 7