We had a nice 2-1 night last night with the Reds winning easily behind a complete game from Homer Bailey (as predicted – the guy is always exceptional when facing a non-elite lineup), but the perfect night eluded us with Kansas City’s 6-2 loss at the Angels.
We will look for a nice perfect 2-0 night tonight with a pair of picks tonight; one on the runline and one a good value underdog.
Boston Red Sox +116 at Tampa Bay Rays -125 (Total: 7)
John Lester (5-0) 2.73 ERA vs. David Price (1-3, 4.76 ERA)
This game is a prime example of how baseball, over its glorious and painfully long season, tends to revert back to the norm. Two weeks ago, the Red Sox were the best team in baseball and the Rays were floundering well under .500. Today? They are separated by just a game and a half in the standings as the Rays got hot to move over .500 and the Sox came back to Earth to regress back to the norm.
Similarly I view David Price and his 1-3 record and 4.76 ERA. He is the reigning AL Cy Young winner and is fresh of his best outing of the season. He is getting back to the norm. I expect him to pitch well tonight against a scuffling Red Sox lineup.
John Lester has been brilliant this season, compiling a perfect 5-0 record and sporting a 2.73 ERA. He has faced Price three times in his career. The scores have been 3-1, 3-2, and 2-1. Expect another low scoring affair tonight at the Trop.
The Red Sox seem like a decent value at plus-money, though I am not ready to bet against David Price pitching at home. Instead, I’d rather bet on BOTH of them and take the UNDER on tonight’s slim runline.
Free Pick: Total Runs UNDER 7
Colorado Rockies +122 at Chicago Cubs -130
John Garland (3-3, 4.83 ERA) vs. Jeff Samardzjia (1-5, 3.70 ERA)
Poor Jeff Samardzjia, he deserves better than his 1-5 record. His ERA was tiny until a recent poor outing, and through his first six starts he deserved three or four wins. But such is life when you pitch for the hapless Chicago Cubbies. Things won’t be easier for him tonight with the potent Rockies bringing their bats to Wrigley.
Neither team has played particularly well of late, but top to bottom, I’ll take Colorado’s lineup. Even more importantly, I’ll take Colorado’s defense. The Cubs still have trouble catching and throwing. That’s not a good thing for a major league team.
John Garland isn’t having a great year by any stretch, but I’ll take him and the Rockies bats to continue Samardzjia’s bad luck tonight, and are a good value at +122.
Free Pick: Colorado Rockies to WIN +122