Sixteen games are on a crowded Tuesday betting board, including a doubleheader in St. Louis between the Cardinals and Pirates. More and more of these scheduled doubleheaders are popping up and are things that can put a strain on a pitching staff that has some longer-lasting effects, especially with how bullpens are being used and abused these days.
I’ve got a lot to discuss, so let’s jump right in.
Marlins/Phillies: The steam on the Marlins and Sandy Alcantara came up short, as Philly walked off Miami in a 3-2 pitcher’s duel. Alcantara was solid again, but so was Aaron Nola and the Phillies got two scoreless relief innings and the Marlins did not. Alcantara threw 113 pitches and got pushed an inning too long by Don Mattingly, as an inherited runner scored in the eighth and Anthony Bass lost it in the ninth. Alcantara does get an extra day off, otherwise I’d have faded him against the Mets for sure and still might anyway. Keep an eye on those pitchers that throw over 100 pitches and see when their next starts are and who they are against.
Braves/Nationals: After a rain delay, the Nationals erred on the side of caution with Josiah Gray and effectively punted the game with a Johnny Wholestaff bullpen day started by Erasmo Ramirez. More importantly, Ian Anderson struggled again for the Braves. He’s got a 4.81 ERA right now and cannot be trusted. The market hasn’t trusted him for a while, but I’ve had a longer leash. He walked four and gave up four runs on six hits in his four innings of work.
Pirates/Cardinals: Another case of a manager pushing his starter too far. Mitch Keller pitched into the sixth for Pittsburgh, but left a mess for Anthony Banda, who let both inherited runners score with one out and gave up three additional runs of his own. That third time through the order penalty is a killer and Derek Shelton, who was Kevin Cash’s bench coach in Tampa, let Keller face Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill for a third time. Goldy doubled, Arenado lined out on a 105.3 mph missile and O’Neill singled. Banda poured gasoline on the rest.
Padres/Cubs: A gnarly thunderstorm blew through the Chicagoland area and delayed this game. When the teams got on the field, it seemed like they were trying to play at a breakneck pace, as the game was 1-1 until the eighth when the Padres scored three runs to make yesterday’s only pick a winner. Yu Darvish and Justin Steele were both terrific, but Rowan Wick was not.
That can be an angle after rain delays or in games where rain is coming. Teams will try to play at a quickened pace. Nobody wants another delay or to be at the ballpark until after midnight. It’s another reason why checking the forecast is important.
Reds/Diamondbacks: Since their 3-21 start, the Reds are now 19-18 over the last 37 games. Bettors will continue to look down on teams with bad records, but some things aren’t as bad as they seem. Some also are, as teams like the Royals, Tigers and A’s have never really gotten on a run, but Cincinnati has been competent for well over a month now and we know about their hitting prowess at home. Look for spots to back this team, at least in a 1st 5 context since the bullpen stinks.