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Royals vs. Orioles Pick MLB – Sept. 11th

The game doesn’t always make a ton of sense. I’m not saying that to bemoan a losing pick. Let’s face it, if you are only wrong four of ten times, you are a Rainman-like savant and easily one of the best handicappers in the world. Losses happen. But you don’t often get a team with a massive starting pitching advantage, a historical record of dominance against an opponent and a 30-plus game lead in the standings to LOSE 11-0. Weird night in Cincy for the Cards and my gimme-winner turned quickly into gimme-another-channel. It was over early, and one of the few times this season I’ve been genuinely surprised by a result.

Alas, we are getting back on the grind tonight with a full slate of MLB action and new series to choose from. There are some good weekend matchups, though with the Mets decimation of the Nationals and the Giants falling way too far back to be a challenger to the Cubs or Dodgers, the NL playoffs are basically set. We are just juggling for seeding. It makes the fact that none of the contenders are facing each other right now interesting only for the varied scoreboard watching – there’s no go to game.

Except in the AL East. Yankees v. Blue Jays. Let’s get it on! This weekend will go a long way to determining which team will skate into the divisional round of the playoffs with home field advantage and which team is going to have to host a pressure packed one-game playoff (which could be especially problematic for a team like the Yankees without a front line ace starting pitcher)

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Today’s Free Pick:

Kansas City Royals -105 at Baltimore Orioles +105 (Total: 8.5)

Danny Duffy (7-7, 4.17 ERA) vs. Mike Wright (2-4, 5.17 ERA)

Somewhat lost in the rotting season of the Washington Nationals is the freshly exhumed corpse of their neighboring Orioles. The Nationals has the burden of expectations but the O’s have been an even more spectacular collapse from contender to bottom-feeder.

Things won’t get any easier tonight with the AL-best Royals in town. Kansas City’s offense has been sputtering lately, but they are still a vastly superior team and have a reasonable pitching advantage tonight. Duffy hasn’t been great, going 1-1 with a 4.08 ERA over his last three starts, but Wright has been wrong, with a 0-3 record and an 11.57 ERA. Add in the WHIP of 2.57, which is insane, and it bodes well for the Royals to get off the offensive schnide tonight. This is his second start after making his return from the DL for a month, but I’m not convinced he has cured all his ails. It isn’t like Wright was lighting it up prior to the injury either…

Kansas City also enters with the confidence of sweeping these O’s out of the postseason last year, and Lorenzo Cain in particular has to be licking his chops. He enters this series red-hot overall, and went 8 for 12 last postseason against this club.

I like scenarios where I can get a pitching edge, the better team, better momentum AND a good price. All those criteria are met by the Royals tonight, so I’ll happily take them at just -105.

Free Pick: Kansas City Royals to WIN -105