We swung for the fences yesterday. Unfortunately, so did Andrew McCutchen. His struggles against the Nationals are apparently well behind him as he and the Buccos slugged their way past the Nats and snapped a seven-game losing streak. Perhaps even more importantly for the Pirates, Liriano once again looked fantastic. If he can truly be an elite All-Star level pitcher the remainder of the season, they could have something special brewing with he, Burnett and Cole along with a shutdown bullpen.
Oh, and Clayton Kershaw threw a three-hit shutout last night. Just saying. And completely out of context. But that happened – and it could be a sign that the Cy Young/MVP is starting to lock in.
Speaking of lock in – it’s time for me to do the same thing. It’s been a winless start to half two (0-4, I took a few days off – but still, not good) We closed the first half on a blistering 17-5 streak with a bunch of underdogs littered in the mix, but so far haven’t carried it over to the second half. Let’s change that tonight.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds -101 at Colorado Rockies -109 (Total: 11)
Anthony DeSclafani vs. Eddie Butler
This one jumped off the page to me because of the sheer lunacy of the line. The run total is set tonight at ELEVEN. A normal game is between seven and eight. A pitcher’s duel might get as low as 6 with the occasional post-season Kershaw/Wainwright type game garnering a 5.5 (VERY rare). A game with lousy pitchers might get as high a nine.
But ELEVEN? I’m not positive, but I’d wager that is the highest run total on a game this 2015 regular season to date. So the big question is, can these two teams still get over it?
I lean towards NO. Not because it isn’t possible, but because statistically it is very unlikely.
It certainly could add up to some fun in an otherwise unwatchable late July matchup between two of the worst teams in the National League and two teams whose rosters are viewed as fertile picking grounds for contenders over the next three or four days. Both teams can score runs at times, and the ballpark is certainly a factor, but for this game to get OVER the total, one team will need to score at least seven runs tonight. That’s a LOT. Even for Coors Field with a pair of scuffling starting pitchers.
Oddly enough, Marlon Byrd, Todd Frazier and Joey Votto are all batting under .200 against Colorado, with Frazier going 3 for his last 28 in Coors. Just because it seems like a ton of runs could score doesn’t mean you should let this massive total reel you in. I’ll take the UNDER. I may very well have to sweat it out, but at least we have a lot of wiggle room to play with.