Season Results: Man, that was close. It was nearly bad beat city at Busch last night. With the score 3-0 for most of the night, the Brewers scored two runs in the top of the eighth inning before the Cards tacked on two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. One more base hit with runners on second and third and the under 8 would have been spoiled by some shoddy bullpen work on both sides. Instead, the Cards’ 5-2 victory stayed under the number and led to yet another 3-0 night. The Cubs-Pirates under 8 never threatened in Chicago’s 1-0 victory and the Nationals and Marlins combined for 10 runs to push the score over the total of 8. That makes three consecutive days of perfect 3-0 predictions to run my season record to 17-5.
Here’s what I like on Saturday…
965 Toronto Blue Jays at 966 New York Yankees, 12:05 p.m. CT
Looking for one game that could produce some offensive fireworks? This is your matchup. Sean Reid-Foley made his major league debut against the Royals earlier this week and surrendered three earned runs over five innings. If he struggled against a light-hitting Kansas City offense, what are the Yankees going to do to him in New York? On the other side, the Bombers are throwing their ace but something is up with Luis Severino. He struck out six and walked only one in his start against the Mets on Monday but he lasted just four innings because he got touched up for four runs. He says fatigue hasn’t contributed to his struggles of late but he’s allowed at least four earned runs in five of his last six outings. His strikeout rate has also dipped to 20.8% over his last six starts. He rebound into form at any moment but the over is worth the risk today, especially with David Rackley behind home plate. In Rackley’s 17 games behind the dish this season, the over is 13-4.
Prediction: Blue Jays/Yankees over 9
961 Milwaukee Brewers at 962 St. Louis Cardinals, 6:15 p.m. CT
This Milwaukee team is in the midst of a free fall. Losers of seven of their last 10 games, the Brewers are well on their way to being that team that races off to a nice first half only to collapse in the second. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have won nine of their last 10 games and have played with a renewed sense of energy thanks to Mike Shildt and the young guns that have come in and produced. The Cards are are a perfect 4-0 in Miles Mikolas’ last four starts, are 4-0 in his last four home outings and they’ve won five of his last seven starts against the rest of the National League Central. I think the only reason why the Cards aren’t a bigger favorite is because this is a divisional matchup with wild card implications. Nevertheless, I like the price on the Redbirds.
Prediction: Cardinals -140
955 Chicago Cubs at 956 Pittsburgh Pirates, 6:05 p.m. CT
I’m going back to the well again in this matchup. These two teams have combined for a whopping two runs in the last 18 innings against each other. Tyler Chatwood makes me nervous. He actually has a higher walk rate (19.3%) than strikeout rate (18.2%) this season but he does generate a fair amount of ground balls (53.4%) and he has a knack of dancing out of trouble. Joe Musgrove, meanwhile, hasn’t been as good as his 3.49 ERA would suggest but he’s another pitcher that generates ground balls. This pick for me is more about the two offenses struggling than the starting pitching matchup. The under is now 8-2 in the Cubs’ last 10 games and 6-2 in the last eight meetings between these two teams. Also, as of this writing, 65% of the betting tickets are on the over but 65% of the money wagered on this matchup is on the under. That signals that sharp bettors also like the under.
Prediction: Cubs/Pirates under 8.5
MLB: 17-5 (+1,150.00)
*Based on projected $100.00 wagers