Adrian Gonzalez’s grand slam gave Scott Kazmir an early and provingly insurmountable lead, and gave us a nice easy win in the process although the Cards even though their powerful offense did tack on some late runs to make the score more respectable. You do have to feel a bit for rookie pitcher Mike Mayers who lasted only 1.1 innings and was charged with ALL NINE runs, leaving him with a mind-boggling career ERA of 60.75. I have a feeling it will come back down a bit over time, but certainly not a fun way to make one’s major league debut…
Alas, we got a nice winner at a pretty ridiculous price of -127, so let’s take it and run into a new week with some momentum.
Let’s see if we can notch a winner today on a west coast underdog late night play.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +128 at San Francisco Giants -138 (Total: 8)
Anthony DiSclafani (5-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (5-8, 5.15 ERA)
This game is a fantastic cocktail of some of my most favorite baseball wagering principles. The first; ignore records and look at starting pitchers first. Pitchers make the difference in the line and teams are slightly less relevant, particularly when compared to football and basketball and other team sports. The second is to not get too too hung up on team’s records. Bad teams win 60 or more games, good teams lose more than 60; the difference between “great” and “bad” isn’t as wide a chasm as in all other major North American sports.
All this comes together tonight with the lowly Reds visiting the mighty Giants and taking the underdog role along with them. But Anthony DiSclafani is a perfect 5-0 with a sparkling ERA since returning from injury while Jake Peavy continues to languish with an ERA over five. His ERA has steadily gone down over the last two months, but again, it is STILL over five. He has one quality start over his last five outings.
The Giants are the better team; obviously. But the Reds are competent lately, especially with Jay Bruce and Joey Votto hitting at production levels closer to the playoff run of 2010-2013 over the last month. Their pitching is disastrous, but DiSclafani is the shining light of hope, and if he can be what he has been in every start so far this season, they have a good chance to get the better of Jake Peavy. That makes +128 a pretty good price.