A late charge helped us get the push last night with the Chicago White Sox holding on to get the 5-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays. I had the game at OVER 9, though if some of you got the OVER placed late, you may have squeaked out the half-run win as the game closed at 8.5 in many books.
Either way, I’ll take the push over the loss to remain loss-less for the last four days and will be aiming to tack on some more winner this weekend. It’s a great sports day with tons of Wimbledon action, World Cup Knockout games beginning at noon EST and baseball scattered throughout the day from 1pm to likely after 1am. So enjoy a great Saturday of action, and let’s try to make it even better by notching a nice MLB winner.
Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +111 at San Francisco Giants -119 (Total: 7.5)
Alfredo Simon (10-3, 2.92 ERA) vs. Matt Cain (1-6, 5.17 ERA)
For some reason, Alfredo Simon, despite being among the league leaders in wins and ERA, continues to be an underdog or near-even money for the majority of his starts. Meanwhile, the name recognition of Matt Cain has seemingly kept this line inverted and has installed the Giants as healthy favorites. So is this one as clear-cut as it leaps off the page? Let’s dig inside the matchup a little further.
The Reds enter tonight as one of the hottest teams in baseball, winners of 12 of 16 games (all since Joey Votto, Jay Brice and Mat Latos returned from the DL). They’ve won the first two games of this series with a combination of great pitching (three total runs allowed) and solid offense, averaging 4.5 runs per game. In fact, over their last ten games they are 7-3 and six of their seven wins have come by more than one run, four of them by three or more runs for a total run differential of +22.
Meanwhile, it’s been the opposite story of late for the Giants. Just a month ago they had the best record on all of baseball at 42-21 and held a commanding 9 ½ game lead in the National League West. Now they’ve lost seven of ten, six by more than one run, and aside from the Tim Linceum no-no, have been pretty lousy.
Matt Cain is 0-3 with an 8.83 ERA over his last three starts. Alfredo Simon has been one of the best pitchers in baseball in one of the more surprising stories in baseball. But as we near the midpoint mark of the season, isn’t it prudent to start accepting that perhaps things are as they ARE over how they seemingly SHOULD BE?
When it comes to putting my money where my mouth is, I’ll go with the former strategy.
Give me the Reds to keep up their blistering pace, both hitting and pitching, and to hand Matt Cain yet another frustrating result.