The Marlins scratched a run across in the eighth winning to secure a 2-1 victory over the Mets in Citi Field last night and sending me to the loss. It was a brilliantly pitched game between Jose Fernandez and Noah Syndergaard, so perhaps we should have just stuck with the original inclination and gone UNDER but when the line dipped to 5.5 it got a little too rich for my blood.
Let’s see if we can get it back today in a major way with a nice value long shot play tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +195 at Chicago Cubs -210 (Total: 7)
Alfredo Simon vs. John Lackey
The Reds are a surprising 5-2 and are two lousy first-pitches thrown by relievers away from 7-0. The latest bullie nightmare was Monday’s Wrigley opener. Brandon Finnegan had a no-hitter in the seventh. One inning later, Jumbo Diaz came into the game with two runners on base and allowed a JUMBO homerun to Addison Russell that sealed the Cubs 5-3 victory.
The Cubbies are 6-1 and all the wild preseason expectations are only getting amplified. And for good reason. The Cubbies are loaded, and to this point, that success has been on both sides of the ball – pitching it and hitting it. They are averaging a league- second best 6.7 runs per game. They are hitting just .263 but are hitting with power and when runners are on base. Their pitching has been excellent as well, with a staff ERA of 2.59 – lowest in the National League and opponents are hitting a staggeringly low .188. No one else is lower than .207 (Phillies, of all teams).
But tonight could still pose a far bigger challenge than the Vegas line suggests. John Lackey had a rough opener, allowing six runs in six innings. Historically he has struggled in Wrigley – which isn’t a great omen since he now calls The Friendly Confines home. He is just 5-9 with a 4.78 ERA there, so perhaps the Reds, who have been solid offensively, averaging just under 5 runs a game and failing to score more than two runs only once (in a 2-1 win).
Alfredo Simon had a rough year in Detroit, but he is back in Cincinnati where he has been an All Star and is fresh off a nice opening start. He is 3-0 with a 1.10 ERA lifetime in five starts at Wrigley and Jason Hayward, the Cubs new addition is 1 for 18 lifetime against Simon.
It all adds up to a nice long shot value tonight at nearly two to one money on the Reds. Yes, the Cubs are the better team, but two to one odds when they aren’t throwing Arietta or Lester?? Seems pretty steep to me…