Well, when you are running as good as we have been to close out the season, things just seem to break your way. That is what happened last night when we backed the Oakland Athletics against the Los Angeles Angels. We backed the A’s and they fell behind huge early and lost 8-5, so how did we manage to survive the game unscathed? By naming our starting pitchers.
I have preached this all season long. You need to always name your starters for any baseball bet, and that is what we did last night, and it saved us from losing a bet. I am still not completely sure what happened, as the A’s named Mike Fiers as their starter but decided to use an opener in bullpen arm Lou Trevino for the first inning. Trevino pitched a scoreless first and then turned the game over to Fiers in the second who then promptly got stomped as he gave up five runs in the next two innings.
I didn’t even realize that Fiers didn’t start the game until it was over, and my bet was refunded. It was a cherry on top of what was a very solid betting day. Feels good to run good! For today’s pick, we will head over to the National League and check in on the Colorado Rockies as they host the Washington Nationals in game two of a three-game set, with all sorts of playoff implications on the line.
The Washington Nationals are in Colorado Saturday for game two of a three-game series with the Rockies, trying to play spoiler for Colorado. The Rockies are playing for basically everything in the last two games of the season. Colorado holds a one-game lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League West Division crown. And they are tied with the Atlanta Braves for home-field advantage in the first round of the National League playoffs as well.
Winning or losing these last two games could mean the difference between being a division champion and hosting a first-round playoff series or being the second wild card and playing a one-game playoff game on the road. This game couldn’t mean much more for the Colorado Rockies.
Colorado will start Jon Gray (12-8 4.91 ERA), and for the Nationals, it will be Steven Strasburg (9-7 3.77 ERA). The Rockies are -125 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at nine and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 PM PST from Coors Field in Colorado.
We all know how much this game means to the Colorado Rockies. If they win out, they will be division champs, possibly with home field advantage. If they lose out, they could slip all the way to the second wild-card spot and be forced to play at Chicago, or Milwaukee, something they certainly don’t want to do. So, it is a bit surprising to me that they are starting Jon Gray in this one.
Gray has really struggled recently as he is 2-1 with a 5.78 ERA in September. In three out of his last four starts, he pitched four innings or fewer. In a game that means so much to Colorado, I would expect the Rockies to keep him on a very tight leash again tonight. They just can’t afford another blow up out of Gray. Gray has been prone to the blow-up start as fourteen different times this season he has allowed four runs or more in a start, he needs to be better than that tonight if the Rockies want to stay hot.
Washington will look to Steven Strasburg tonight to play spoiler. And I have reason to believe that Strasburg will pitch well in this one. Steven spent much of this season injured and has looked to get back on track late in the season and prove that he still has a lot left in the gas tank. And for the most part, he has done just that. In September, Strasburg has pitched well. He is 2-0 with a 2.51 ERA in five starts, and the Nats have gone 6-1 in games he has started since he rejoined the rotation in late August.
A lot of out of contention teams just give up towards the end of the season, paging the Philadelphia Phillies. But this Washington team continues to fight and play a decent brand of baseball despite the fact they are playing for noting. In fact, the Nats have a winning record in the month of September as they have gone 14-11 and they have won three out of their last four games.
I know how much this game means to the Rockies, but I see Jon Gray as struggling yet again, and the Nationals coming through with the big upset. This Rockies team has won eight straight games, and to be honest, they just aren’t that good. I am not Rockies hater, but I just think they are due to come back to earth at some point, and what better time than tonight facing a very game Steven Strasburg. I am going to go out on a limb and take the upset in this one. Give me the Washington Nationals in a big-time upset tonight from Coors Field at +115!