Johnny Cueto’s troubles continued, and our appropriate skepticism concerning Johnny Beisbol’s struggles were well-rewarded to the tune of a +182 winner yesterday backing the ChiSox. That makes two +180-plus winners in two days to cap off a pretty good weekend. We will try to make it another good week as we start fresh today.
Football is on many people’s minds this week, but it is also a fantastic week for Major League Baseball. The Nationals won their fifth straight yesterday while the Mets dropped another one to cut the division lead to just four games as they begin their massive series head-to-head today. The Nationals are a massive -200 favorite, which might be an interesting value play given some of Scherzer’s recent troubles… That game is a day game, as are about half today’s slate of action, so make sure to have any picks in nice and early.
In addition to the massive Mets/Nats series, the Cubs are in St. Louis, the Dodgers and Angels renew the battle for Los Angeles, and the Indians and White Sox meet in a “last gasp” series or sorts. It should be a great day of action, so let’s dive in.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Minnesota Twins +178 at Kansas City Royals -190 (Total: 7.5)
Tommy Milone (7-4, 3.60 ERA) vs. Yordano Ventura (10-7, 4.24 ERA)
On paper this is a pretty close pitching matchup, perhaps even a slight edge to the Twins. But in reality, this is a big-time mismatch. Ventura has finally been the pitcher the Royals and most baseball scouts though he could be; lights-out dominant. He is 4-0 with a 1.19 ERA in his last five starts and has won five straight decisions. He is aiming to have the longest winning streak by a Royals starting pitcher since Zack Greinke (remember that guy?). Ventura has notched 28 strikeouts in 19 innings and walked just six, something that has been a trouble-spot for him in the past.
Opposing Ventura is Tommy Milone who had posted a 7.37 ERA in his last four starts prior to a good outing in his last start. However, his team is miserable on the road, playing against one of the best teams in the league. The Twins are 28-40 on the road while the Royals are a dazzling 47-25 at Kauffman Stadium.
So the real question is, do we take the low-paying seemingly-easy winner, or do we amp it up a little bit and try to grab even money on the runline? I’m going with the latter. I think Ventura holds the Twins to two or less runs, leaving his squad, who is batting .279 and averaging 5.15 runs a game at home, needing just four to make the runline a nice payday.
I’ll take the Royals -1.5.