The Reds and Rockies held up their end of the bargain last night, cashing in on the OVER after an 8-3 Reds victory. However, I split my picks last night as Sonny Gray pitched a gem and shut down the Tampa Bay Rays for a 2-1 win. We’ll be heading out to a familiar locale today to try to end the week on a winning note.
Two teams will be going for enormous series-sweeps this afternoon; the Tigers who have continued their unabashed dominance over the Indians and the Pirates who added Justin Morneau in addition to their win over the Cardinals have their fan base absolutely delirious as the calendar turns to September with their beloved Buccos in first place. It should be a great afternoon of baseball (which makes up for the dreadful Mets v. Nats ESPN Sunday Night Game of the Week… I’ll be watching Colorado vs. Colorado State instead).
Today’s Free Pick:
Cincinnati Reds -118 at Colorado Rockies +110 (Total: 10)
Mike Leake (11-5, 3.27 ERA) vs. Tyler Chatwood (7-4, 3.15 ERA)
We are headed back to Coors for a second consecutive day because, frankly, this game is beckoning me on two wagering levels. On paper, this looks like a decent pitching matchup – and on some days in some parks, perhaps it could be. But for today, I see a long afternoon full of relief pitchers and fireworks. Both have been subpar in their last three outings, and both of these respective offenses seem to have found a nice rhythm. Add in the warm afternoon in Denver with the ball carrying, and some runs should dent the plate.
Leake is still having his best season since going straight from college to the Majors in 2010, but of late, it’s been rough going. He has a 6.77 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP in his last three outings, lowlighted by blowing a four-run lead against St. Louis en route to a stomach-punch 8-6 loss.
Meanwhile, the Rockies are excited about the return of Tyler Chatwood, who will make his first start since going on the disabled list on July 31st. The 23-year old has had a very solid season, but could find today rough going trying to get back in the groove against a Reds offense that has tallied 31 runs in their last five games.
I like Leake on the road today, especially with both Carlos Gonzalez and Deter Fowler likely out of the lineup today. But even more, I like the OVER. Both teams have lit up the scoreboard all weekend, and for good measure, the OVER is 4-1 in Leake’s last five starts, and 5-0 in the Rockies last five games against a team with a winning record. I like the fireworks to continue today.
Free Picks: Cincinnati Reds to WIN -118 & Run TOTAL OVER 10