Reds vs. Indians Pick MLB – August 4th

The Yankees held on in a wild one in Boston to earn an 8-7 victory and cash a nice plus-money winner. We will try to keep it going tonight with a very limited slate of action to pick from with only seven games taking place.

Meanwhile, things got predictably interesting in Pittsburgh yesterday as the unwritten rules of baseball once again reared their dangerous teeth. Two days after Paul Goldschmidt was lost for the season after sustaining an injury being hit by a pitch; one that was almost certainly unintentional, the D’Backs responded by plunking Andrew McCutchen in the ninth inning. McCutchen, to his credit, took out his frustration on his bat rather than the opposing pitcher, which avoided a bench-clearing brawl, but the result is yet another MLB superstar is now listed as day-to-day after sustaining an entirely preventable injury. I’m all for honor and getting a teammates back, but just not sure that intentionally injuring players with 99-mph projectiles makes a ton of sense in 2014. When every other sport is moving heaven and earth to AVOID injuries, baseball seems a little silly hurting each other on purpose…

Let’s try to hit em where they count today and notch another winner.

Today’s Free Pick:

Cincinnati Reds +180 at Cleveland Indians -200 (Total: 7)

Alfredo Simon (12-6, 2.84 ERA) vs. Corey Kluber (11-6, 2.61 ERA)

Tonight’s pick is predicated solely on value of the line. Cleveland’s Corey Kluber has pitched much better than Alfredo Simon since the All-Star Break. Simon has lost three straight entering tonight (after, ironically, BEING an All-Star) and Kluber is 4-0 with a 1.54 ERA in his last five starts.

But -200 for Cleveland, a team that enters tonight with an identical record to their instate rivals? It feels a bit steep. Simon has struggled a bit, but he hasn’t been awful. He has lost three straight starts but largely because he has gotten a mere two runs in support. His 3.86 ERA isn’t great, but it isn’t pitiful either. He may be fatigued as he has already thrown a career-high number of innings, but I don’t think he is totally spent just yet.

The Reds seem to have snapped out of their offensive funk a little bit, winning three of four in Miami and tallying 16 runs in the series and scoring four or more in three of the four games. It’s ain’t masterful, but it is markedly better than two weeks ago.

Cleveland enters similarly hot, having won four of five and finishing off a sweep of the listless Rangers over the weekend. Like Cincinnati they are fringe playoff contenders who are looking for a nice run to get back into the thick of things. There’s a lot to like about Cleveland tonight, but at -200, I’m taking the huge plus-money on the Reds. Simon only needs to give the Reds seven to get to Broxton/Chapman. I’ll take a flyer on him reverting back to first-half form tonight and back the Reds in a close game.

Free Pick: Cincinnati Reds to WIN +180