We split our picks last night, with the Yankees winning easily but the run total coming up one run shy of covering. We will try to put a pair in the winning column with some great Saturday matchups across Major League Baseball.
Cincinnati Reds +112 at Arizona Diamondbacks -121 (Total: 7.5)
Mike Leake (7-2, 2.65 ERA) vs. Patrick Corbin (9-0, 2.28 ERA)
Paul Goldschmidt slugged a pair of homeruns last night to power the D’Backs to a huge 11-5 victory, knocking the Reds, who now have the third-best record in MLB down to third place in their own division. The loss went to Johnny Cueto in his first real rough outing since returning from the disabled list. Tonight the Reds try to rebound with their hottest pitcher, and one of the hottest pitchers in the National League – the underrated Mike Leake.
Leake has only allowed a run in each of his last two starts, and has pitched like an ace despite being the #5 starter in the Reds rotation. And he is going to NEED to pitch like an ace if the Reds are going to do something that no team in baseball has been able to do this season; beat Patrick Corbin.
Corbin enters the game a perfect 9-0 with the sixth-leading ERA in the NL at 2.28. He looked human in his last two starts, earning no decisions against the Marlins and Dodgers, and allowing eight runs in 13 innings (six against the Dodgers). The Reds are a good left-handed pitching hitting team, but expecting them to rough up Corbin might be asking a bit much.
Mike Leake was a star at near-by Arizona State before becoming just the 13th major leaguer in the modern era to go straight to the major leagues. However, homecomings haven’t been pretty. He has a 7.78 ERA in his three returns to Phoenix.
I like Leake to exercise some of his hometown demons and to pitch a good ball game tonight. Meanwhile, Corbin has never faced the Reds, but has shown some vulnerability in recent outings (or perhaps the inevitable “this game isn’t as easy as you’ve made it look” that hits many 22-year old rookies at some point in the season.)
Both teams enter swinging hot bats from last night and have the offensive potency to handle good pitching. I think Vegas knows something too, considering the line is at 8 or even 8.5 in some circles despite both pitchers combining for a 16-2 record and both entering with ERA’s under 3.00.
I’m going to take the more likely bet; the D’Backs at home with their ace. But it won’t be the boring 3-2 affair the pitching matchup portends.
Free Picks: Arizona Diamondbacks to WIN -121 & Run TOTAL OVER 8