We had a nice 2-0 MLB day yesterday with a pair of relatively easy winners on total runs. The Cubs and Cardinals took care of their 7.5 total in less than four innings en route to a 10-4 Cardinals win, while the Brewers and Pirates played a tight, low-scoring affair that was won by a single run when the Brewers took a 3-2 lead in the 8th inning. The Brew Crew moved to 9-2 with the win and has the best record in baseball heading into this afternoon’s finale with Pittsburgh.
Keep in mind that most of today’s games are 1pm EST starts, so be sure to check lines early if you are looking at any MLB action besides the Yankees vs. Red Sox ESPN Sunday Night game.
Let’s wrap up a second good week in style with another pair of winners.
Today’s Free Picks:
Washington Nationals -118 at Atlanta Braves +108 (Total: 7.5)
Gio Gonzalez (2-0, 0.75 ERA) vs. Aaron Harang (1-1, 0.71 ERA)
Aaron Harang has been excellent for the Braves so far this season. I know I bet against him in his second start (a winning wager by the way) but it doesn’t mean I think he is terrible. I just think there is a reason why he is on his sixth team in six years. And it isn’t because he is going to finish the year with an ERA under one. He will be serviceable in the Braves rotation if he stays healthy, but his ace days are well behind him.
Meanwhile, the Nationals throw one of their many aces, Gio Gonzalez, today in the series finale to try and stave off a damaging Braves sweep. I’d give the significant edge to Gio today. The Nationals lineup will be a bit patchwork with Zimmerman getting injured yesterday and now joining Denard Span in the disabled list, but I think Gio will hold the Braves in check enough to get the win.
Kansas City Royals -120 at Minnesota Twins +110 (Total: 8.5)
Justin Vargas (1-0, 1.20 ERA) vs. Kevin Correia (0-1, 6.17 ERA)
Like most teams in MLB, the Royals and Twins are hovering within a game or two of .500. For Twins fans, that’s probably about as much as they could have hoped for. For Royals fans, this season is one of enormous expectations and hopes of a long-awaited return to the playoffs. If that’s going to happen, they are going to need a ton more offense. They are averaging less than three runs per game and allowing 4.23 runs. That’s a tough margin.
But I think they’ll balance those numbers a bit tonight against the struggling Kevin Correia. Look for the Royals to generate a few runs today and get the win behind another good pitching outing from Justin Vargas.