The Rockies bats stalled for the first time in a quite a while last night as Kenta Maeda and the Dodgers prevailed 4-2, snapping the Rockies winning streak and avoiding a damaging series sweep. More importantly, the total stayed well under the 10.5 total, handing us a defeat in the process.
The MLB schedule ramps back up today after a quiet Thursday night with everyone back in action. There are some really interesting and important matchups this weekend, starting with the Nationals and Giants squaring off in the Beltway in a matchup of division leaders. The games could have a big impact on who is hosting whom (if either) in the NLDS. Of course, both have their sights set in taking the top record in the National League and overtaking the Cubs. Those Cubs have a pretty favorable weekend set in Oakland, especially with Lester getting the ball tonight. And if you want some interleague intrigue, the Red Sox are in LA this weekend in a matchup of two good teams battling for postseason positions.
It should be a nice weekend in MLB, so let’s start it off well with a winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds +135 at Pittsburgh Pirates -144 (Total: 7.5)
Anthony DeSclafani (6-0, 2.93 ERA) vs. Jameson Tallion (2-2, 3.52 ERA)
Tonight features a matchup of two of the more unheralded young pitching talents in the league pitching for two teams heading in dramatically different directions. The Reds have won every series since the All Star Break while the Pirates are floundering at .500, now have a negative run differential and are slipping behind the Marlins and Rockies in the wildcard pursuit.
The Reds have won six straight series for the first time since 1999. The Pirates were swept by the Brewers and just lost a series to the woeful Atlanta Braves. But Jameson Tallion is a nice answer tonight. The young rookie has four straight quality starts and has looked like he is ready to step into a staff leadership role.
There is no doubt that Anthony DeSclafani is the leader of the revamped young Reds staff. He is a perfect 6-0 since returning from a season-long injury, and it is no coincidence the Reds have been more successful since he returned to action.
This game has the makings of a fine pitcher’s duel this evening. Neither pitcher is a household name outside of baseball fan circles, but both are excellent. Look for both to pitch well tonight and for runs to be at a premium.