We hit on yet another big plus-money winner last night having gone all-in on the Giants in the home matchup with AL East co-leader Baltimore. Madison Bumgarner delivered as promised, leading the Giants to an easy 6-2 victory and cashing in the +145 -1.5 runline wager. MadBum didn’t do any damage with the bat, striking out in two of his three plate appearances, but he did exit after seven shutout innings and with a well-deserved win safely preserved.
In other BIG NL news, it appears Giancarlo Stanton is heading to the DL, placing the wild wildcard race into even more turmoil. The Marlins were surprise holders of spot number two over the more highly preseason regarded Cards, Pirates and Mets, but if Stanton is out for an extended period of time (which seems really likely) this race is fully ON.
We are on a nice three game run with some even and plus money winners in the mix, so lets see if we can cap off an excellent weekend in style…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +110 vs. Milwaukee Brewers -120 (Total: 9.5)
Cody Reed (0-6, 6.36 ERA) vs Wily Peralta (4-8, 6.38 ERA)
Taking the OVER on a game in August between two pretty poor teams each starting a guy with an ERA over SIX seems like a pretty obvious play. But sometimes “obvious” is exactly what gets us into trouble in this wagering and handicapping business. Vegas is daring you – double dog daring you – to take the OVER. They kept it single digits despite the gaudy ERA’s on a pair of guys who frankly, usually aren’t in the majors with numbers like this after a solid sample size. Add in the fact that Joey Votto is once again the second half MVP of the world, hitting .442 with four HR and 15 RBI since the All Star Break, and the OVER is so, so inviting.
Yet I am taking us the other direction. Peralta has a good track record against the Reds in his career with a 3.14 ERA, hence the likely reason he is making his return to the Major Leagues this afternoon. And Cody Reed has two starts without allowing a run in his last four. Of course, we are running a bit of a risk, as he also has a bundle of disasters in his last ten starts; a whopping four outings with five or more runs allowed. But the trend has improved for the youngster who should have a little confidence today against a Milwaukee offense that no longer has one of its key cogs in Jonathon Lucroy.
Neither team has a ton to play for, but neither has played like it – if that makes sense. Both have continued to compete and both have been plenty competent baseball teams after the break and even after trading away key cogs for prospects. The Reds have lost TEN IN ROW with Reed on the mound, so if you’d like to go Milwaukee -120, that is a pretty good value as well. In fact, the numbers all but demand it. But something about Reed’s recent outing makes me think today could be the day he gets off the schneid. Either way, I like the total to stay well below the lofty 9.5 threshold and think that is the safest play on today’s game.