The middle of the Week brings us a nice busy day of baseball, as 11 games take to the field. We have an early encounter in Washington before 10 games, stretching from 6:35 pm EST through to the traditional evening West Coast games.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Philadelphia Phillies @ Cincinnati Reds
To look at Trevor Bauer’s recent performances you would think that this is an easy selection for the Phillies. Here are three of his four most recent outings since joining the Reds, six earned, seven earned and nine earned. However, all of those starts have something in common, they were all on the road. Since Bauer has been with the Reds, he has started two games in Cincinnati, and the combined line of those two starts reads like this: 14 innings, three earned runs, eight hits, three walks and 22 strikeouts. It may only be a miniscule sample size, but Bauer has been superb in Cincinnati for some reason as a Red. As for Aaron Nola, well he is rolling, 11 earned runs in his last six starts, seven or more strikeouts in all but one of those and a total of 39 1/3 innings pitched. Nola feels like a pretty safe bet for a solid outing, and Bauer, well he is still a good pitcher despite his struggles, and seems to be succeeding in the Reds’ ballpark
1u – Under 8.5 Total Runs @ -104
San Francisco Giants @ St. Louis Cardinals
Well, this one blew up in my face yesterday so let’s attack it from a different angle today. The weather has turned more to the side of the pitchers in this game, and we have Madison Bumgarner on the mound, so the under is immediately in play. Bumgarner has a 3.62 ERA this season and has for the most part put up pretty good numbers usual this season. That leaves us looking at Michael Wacha, and the numbers I see are juicy. Yes, he has a 5.07 ERA, but since the All-Star break that ERA has been down at 4.01, and he has allowed seven earned runs over his last 20 2/3 innings, spanning four starts. This game looks like a close one, with not many runs being scored, and games in St. Louis have generally been low scoring with 23 of the 36 games with a line of 8-or-8.5 seeing the under hit.
1u –Under 8.5 Total Runs @ +110
San Diego Padres @ Arizona Diamondbacks
This is a very interesting matchup between two young pitchers. On the home side we have Zac Gallen, who has frankly been superb this season, with a 2.79 ERA and no more than three earned runs allowed in any single start dating back to the beginning of July. The other benefit is that he did not come up into the majors until a little bit late this year with the Marlins so the strain on hs arm is not as bad as we might expect on a young pitcher. However, his opponent does seem to be suffering from the young pitcher having thrown many innings issue. Chris Paddack came into August with a 2.78 ERA. That has risen as high as 3.84 and has settled a little back to 3.69. In his four August starts he allowed 20 earned runs in five starts and 24 innings. He salvaged that with his final start in San Francisco, but I am still hesitant to trust him right now. There are three potential plays in this game. Play it safe and take the Diamondbacks ML at -130, take them -1 at +113, or go the whole hog and take them -1.5 at +160. I am going to hedge my bets and take the middle one to just give me that insurance of a one run victory, but you can choose or yourself depending on how risk adverse you are feeling.
1u –Arizona Diamondbacks -1 @ +113
Colorado Rockies @ Los Angeles Dodgers
This one is a massive gut feel so only play this if you are looking to go a little against the grain today. The Dodgers have Hyun-Jin Ryu on the mound for this start, and things have not been going well for Ryu the last few times out. His last three stats have seen him allow a combined 18 earned runs in just 14 2/3 innings, and his ERA has risen from 1.45 to 2.35. Is this a slump or a blip? Today we might well find out. The Rockies are absolutely struggling right now, they are 0-4 in September, have a nine-game losing streak, and have not won back-to-back games since August 18th, when they swept the Marlins. In fact, they have won just nine games since the start of August, but they still have talent in their lineup and if Ryu is struggling, they could take advantage. Antonio Senzatela is not in great form either, with 33 earned runs allowed in his last five starts either side of injury, but he did pitch well last time out in Los Angeles, so maybe he can spring the upset here. As I said at the top, this is a gut feel, but it is a gut feel that could pay off very handsomely if it comes through as the Rockies are +310 underdogs in some places.
0.5u – Colorado Rockies ML @ +310