The Royals are in first place. The Red Sox and Rangers are in last place. Welcome to the final six weeks of the baseball season. At least the Cubs still suck, so we can keep a few bearings, but it’s been largely a topsy-turvy season in MLB.
Both league wildcard races are huge logjams, and much of the pennant race won’t be decided by aces and stars, but by the bottom of the rotation guys who will need to earn valuable wins down the stretch. There are a ton of said guys on the hill tonight – with the exception of Chris Sale and Adam Wainwright and Jon Lester, most teams are throwing non-aces tonight, which can make for an interesting Tuesday night of action. There are plenty of good pitchers throwing; Mat Latos, Doug Fister and Jeremy Hellickson might have designs on moving into the first category, but the bulk of today’s starters are guys like Mike Minor, Dan Haren, CJ Wilson, Edinson Volquez, and Chris Young; guys who have HAD success previously, but are going to have to recapture some magic to get their teams through the finish line.
I took it on the chin last night with my big underdog pick laying a big egg – let’s get back on track today.
Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago White Sox -113 at San Francisco Giants +103 (Total: 6)
Chris Sale (10-2, 2.14 ERA) vs. Ryan Vogelsong(7-8, 3.77 ERA)
The Giants are still a playoff team as of today, but let’s be honest, this team doesn’t scare anyone right now. After blistering the league with a 42-21 start, they are just 20-35 since; one of the worst teams in all of baseball. They are the only team in playoff position with a losing home record and have scored just seven runs in their last four games –all losses.
So tonight, they get to face… Chris Sale. Have fun Giants.
Granted, Chris Sale hasn’t been as sharp in his last two outings (it’s a relative term – he’s still been very good) and has struggled a bit to control his fastball, but he still sports a WHIP of 0.91 on the season and his 6-1 road mark with a 1.85 ERA is dominating stuff.
Ryan Vogelsong has been good lately, allowing just one run in his last 15 innings (one complete game), but in his six starts prior to that he went 0-5 with a 4.01 ERA. He might need to throw another shutout to have a shot tonight. I don’t see his offense giving him a ton of support.
Chris Sale against a slumping offense and one of the worst teams in baseball over the past two months at just -113? Sounds like a steal to me.