We picked up another win last night when we backed the Boston Red Sox as small favorites against the Atlanta Braves. I loved the idea of getting the best team in baseball at such a reasonable price. While his stats haven’t been great, Red Sox starter Rick Porcello has been racking up the wins, and I felt if there were ever a time to bet against Braves starter Sean Newcomb, it would be right now as he has had been very shaky recently.
Porcello dominated as he threw five innings and allowed just one run on only two hits and picked up his sixteenth win of the season for his efforts. Newcomb struggled again as he lasted just four and a third innings and allowed three runs. He really had issues finding the strike zone as he walked five guys in the loss. Steve Pierce provided the offense as he chipped in three hits and three RBIs in the win for Boston.
The Red Sox continue to just mow through the competition and should pick up their hundredth win next week, they will be the first team in the majors to reach a hundred wins this season. For Atlanta, the Braves will be happy to see Boston leave town as this series has been a struggle. For today’s pick, I will look at the game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Washington Nationals.
The St. Louis Cardinals are in the nation’s capital Wednesday for game three of a three-game series with the Nationals, looking for the series win. The series is tied up at one game apiece as the Nats took game one of the series and the Cards blasted their way to a win last night to tie things up. The Cardinals are looking to hang onto a playoff spot as they currently occupy the second wild-card slot in the National League, with a slim one game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers The Nationals, on the other hand, are still reeling after seeing several of their best players dumped in trades in the last couple of days.
Starting tonight for the Cardinals is Miles Mikolas (13-4 2.96 ERA), and for the Nationals, it is Tanner Roark (4-14 4.03 ERA). The Nationals are -119 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Nationals Park in Washington D.C.
Mile Mikolas has been doing a lot of winning this year for the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cards had won six straight starts from Mikolas before he picked up a hard-luck loss in his last start. On the season, St. Louis is 19-8 when Mikolas is on the mound. He has just one losing decision since June. Mikolas picked up a no-decision in his one start against the Nationals this season. In that game, he pitched seven innings and allowed four runs on four hits, and the Cards won the game.
Tanner Roark was really struggling in the season’s first half. At one point he had run his record to one of the worst in the National League, at just 3-12 with an ERA at nearly five runs. He picked things up after the All-Star break as he reeled off six straight wins. But he seems to be starting to slide back down that hill to mediocrity in his last two starts as he lost his last two decisions.
Roark has one start against the Cardinals this season, and he did pick up the win despite not pitching all that well. On August 6th, Roark pitched six innings against St. Louis and allowed four runs.
I was shocked to see the Nationals as favorites in this game. Outside of that little six-week run, Tanner Roark has been a garbage can fire of a starter this season. And the guy has lost his last two starts, so I think its safe to say he is at the bare minimum starting to cool back down from his second half hot streak. And when you look at Miles Mikolas, the guy has been great all season with an ERA that hasn’t gone above three runs since April.
To me, this starting pitching matchup strongly favors St. Louis. And when you look at the two teams themselves, I am not sure how you can like Washington in this one either. The Cardinals have been the hottest team in the National League since the trade deadline, and they surged up the standings and are very much in the National League playoff conversation.
The Nationals? They just traded away Daniel Murphy, Matt Adams, and Gio Gonzalez. They gutted themselves and threw up the proverbial white flag of surrender. The Nats management clearly has no aspirations of winning this season so why should the players? I think this game is a mismatch on just about every level. Yeah, the Cards looked a little lost without several of their big bats in the lineup recently, but they got Marcel Ozuna back last night and all the guy did is smash two home runs.
So, I will back what I feel is clearly the better team, with clearly the better starter on the mound tonight, the St. Louis Cardinals. Every once in a while, the books just post a bad number, and I love to take advantage of it. This is just a bad number, no ifs ands or buts about it. Give me the St. Louis Cardinals as road underdogs tonight in game three from Washington D.C.!