We narrowly missed out on a second straight plus-money MLB winner last night. Mike Leake did his job pretty well, but single runs in the sixth and seventh innings undid his bid for victory as the Cardinals offense – rarely their issue – let him down with just a single run of support. Instead it was Joe Ross and the Nationals getting the victory and pushing a full game back ahead of the Mets in the NL East standings.
It’s a fresh set of series tonight to kick off the Memorial Day weekend holiday, and there are some excellent matchups to enjoy, including the continuation of the Nats/Cards series and the Dodgers and Mets (as well as a few to avert your poor eyes from; Reds and Brewers anyone??)
So with all these nice matchups to choose from, why do I steer to a game no one, excluding friends and family members of the players, should watch (and even then, I’d consider just HOW good of a friend it really is…) for today’s pick? Because I like money, that’s why. I like money.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +122 at Milwaukee Brewers -130 (Total: 9)
Jonathon Lamb vs. Zach Davies
The Reds have lost eleven games in a row. They are 3-17 on the road this season. Their bullpen’s ERA is 1.92 higher than the next worst team in all of baseball (Atlanta, 4.57 ERA). The difference between the best in baseball and the Braves who are 29th, is just 2.21. So the Reds are almost a standard deviation WORSE than the gap between the best in the world and the second worst. That is simply put, insane.
Not that Milwaukee is ‘good’ by any stretch, but their 21-26 record seems even better when you consider they got off to a dreadful start, going 8-15 in April. Since the calendar turned to May, they are a nice 13-11 with a recent series win over the Cubs. This is a reasonably competitive baseball team playing in a brutally difficult division.
Jon Lamb has yet to win a game this season and his career five-plus ERA against the Brewers won’t help matters. Ryan Braun, the quietest and most uncomfortable MVP candidate in the league, has torched him for two homeruns and a double in just six at bats.
Zach Davies also has a plus-five ERA at home and has never won a game there in his young career. So a play on the OVER is reasonable, though nine runs makes a formidable hurdle. My play is instead on the more obvious; take the better team at home against a team that has been beyond words BAD in May. The Reds had a nice first week of the season. Since then, they are 10-31, and again, have only won THREE TIMES on the road ALL YEAR.