The Mets weren’t able to keep their bats sizzling yesterday as the Marlins and Wei-Yin Chen (?) unexpectedly cooled them off. We took a longshot play on a big money runline winner and came up short, but at least we didn’t have the agonizing situation of losing on a late run. The Fish controlled the game early as Steven Matz wasn’t great and took the loss. We will try to start a new winning streak today with another longer-odds big money underdog pick.
All Star Rosters were announced yesterday, and there weren’t a ton of surprises. One could quibble with the rather one-dimensional Adam Duvall’s inclusion over more rounded players like Starling Marte and Christian Yelich, but when you factor in the fact a Red had to be included, that spot would have likely gone to Jay Bruce (a comparable selection) if Duvall had been omitted. Plus, there is something kind of satisfying about seeing a 27-year old journeyman finally get a shot and parlay it into being second in the NL in homeruns and making an All Star team. Other than that, it is hard to be too upset with the National League’s roster this season.
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Today’s Free Pick: AFTERNOON GAME – 2:20 EST START
Cincinnati Reds +164 at Chicago Cubs -174 (Total: Yet to be Posted)
Anthony DiSclafani (2-0, 1.78 ERA) vs. Adam Warren (3-1, 4.76 ERA)
The Cubs have owned the Reds in a major way this season. They had won 10 of 11 before yesterday, including the Jake Arrieta no-hitter and had outscored them by a combined tally of 83-31. That’s pretty ugly stuff. But the Reds did get a win yesterday; scoring nine runs in the process and have scored 28 runs in their last six games against the Cubbies.
The biggest difference today is that for the first time all season long, the Reds actually have a pitching ADVANTAGE in a game against Chicago. It isn’t that Adam Warren isn’t good, but he certainly isn’t on par with the top two of the Cubs scary rotation, and his season performance trails Hendricks, Lackey and Hamel by more than a run and half ERA-wise as well.
Anthony DiSclafani is a good MLB pitcher. He would have been the Reds Opening Day starter had he not been hurt, and he has been excellent since returning three weeks ago. He was the best pitcher on the team in 2015 as well, and granted, being the best Reds pitcher isn’t exactly a Cy Young candidacy claim, but he would be a starter on every team in the National League somewhere in the rotation.
The starting pitching edge at least gives the Reds a fighting chance today, and with +164 odds, that is saying a lot. The value is definitely on the side of the Redlegs today as long as DiSclafani holds up his end of the bargain. Adam Warren is making his first start in a Cubs uniform, being called up from Iowa for spot duty to give the rotation a little rest in this brutal span of 24 games in 24 days heading into the All Star Break (which is hardly a break for the Cubs who are basically sending their entire roster…)
I think the Reds take advantage of a rare glimmer of advantage against the rival who has dominated them mightily in 2016.