We notched a second straight easy winner last night with the Mets 4-0 win over the Padres. The total was well under the seven run threshold for a stress-free winner, and more importantly, the Mets got yet ANOTHER fantastic start from yet another fantastic starting pitcher. If they could only hit just a little bit, they’d be a scary potential playoff foe in a short series with deGrom, Harvey and Syndergaard all dealing. Can the catch the Nats? Not without some help in the lineup, but if they DO somehow sneak into the postseason they could be a frustrating matchup.
Meanwhile, the second blockbuster National League move happened yesterday with the Nationals acquiring Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies. Call me skeptical, but I think this move might be a bit overrated. Papelbon and existing Nationals closer Drew Storen have nearly identical numbers this season. Add in the disappointment and frustration Storen will feel with the demotion and Papelbon’s less-than-great history as a teammate and clubhouse guy… It’s never a bad thing to have two top tier closers, but I’m not sure this is the move that gets the Nats past the Dodgers or Cardinals.
Let’s make it three straight today.
Today’s Free Pick:
New York Yankees -145 at Texas Rangers -135 (Total: 7.5)
Masahiro Tanaka vs. Colby Lewis
I am pretty sure the Yankees just stopped batting from last night’s game. Assuming they aren’t exhausted from scoring a staggering 21 runs against Texas, they should be ready to get back at ‘em tonight and have a definite starting pitching edge in Tanaka. They have won five straight games when he has started and are gunning for a half dozen tonight. Opponents are batting just .151 with 20 strikeouts in his last three starts; all wins.
Opposing Tanaka and trying to slow down the Yankee offense with be Colby Lewis. He enters with an ERA near five, but has been a solid 2.87 ERA in his last three starts with a very good 0.77 WHIP. However, the Yankees are averaging nearly nine runs a game in their last six games, and even aside from the 21 run outburst last night have scored 6,7,8,1,9 runs respectively in the five games prior. Say what you will about A-Rod and the aging Yankees but this team can hit. They are averaging nearly five runs a game this season. Colby Lewis is allowing nearly five runs per nine innings this season.
Seems like a big Yankee edge to me. I am taking them to win for my official pick, but also like the Yankees on the runline at a nice, juicy +120 tonight as I think Tanaka will give them a solid start and the bats will keep doing what the Yankees do, score runs.
Free Pick: New York Yankees to WIN -145