Wednesday features 16 games with a double dip in D.C. because Mother Nature didn’t want the surging Mariners and the slumping Nationals to play last night. Either that or Juan Soto pulled a Crash Davis and turned the sprinklers on. In any event, we’ve got a few day games and a lot of night games on Hump Day.
Briefly, I wanted to mention the VSiN Baseball Betting Pentathlon. Yesterday, I split the picks with the only favorite I really liked and also used the Mets + 181. I didn’t expect the Mets to win, but in a small sample of five picks with a loss on the totals play on Monday, the only way to win is to take some big plus-money prices to get back in it. My strategy is to try and win, not just have a positive number, so I’ll be on some kind of reverse run line today because that’s the only way to really gain ground. It’s more about the tournament format and it required some additional gamble after Monday’s loss.
Lastly, some breaking news this morning as the Blue Jays fired Charlie Montoyo. The timing is a little odd a few days prior to the All-Star Break, as he’s the scapegoat for Toronto’s struggles during a brutal part of the schedule. We’ll see how it affects them moving forward.
Pirates/Marlins: I wish I had been on the Pirates one of the last two nights. This type of lower-scoring environment against the Marlins is more conducive for their style of play. Yesterday’s Johnny Wholestaff game led to a 3-2 win, as five pitchers combined on a five-hitter. The Pirates aren’t on the Orioles level, but you can see improvements with their pitchers and the team across the board. Plus, the Marlins were overachieving against RHP and they managed one run on three hits against RHP yesterday.
Pittsburgh is 38-41 outside of a nine-game losing streak in mid-June and has won four in a row. They’re not that bad of a team.
Mets/Braves: The aforementioned Hail Mary on the Mets against Spencer Strider was almost answered. It was a 2-1 game before Seth Lugo surrendered two insurance runs. David Peterson actually had a higher Whiff% than Strider (33% to 24%) and did everything he could to keep his team in the game. The Braves struck out 13 times in the game, so their concerns against strikeout pitchers continued. This is something that would make me hesitate to bet any kind of playoff future because you don’t see bad pitching staffs in the postseason.
Dodgers/Cardinals: St. Louis went double opener with Jordan Hicks and Johan Oviedo to try and limit the exposure of Matthew Liberatore to the Dodgers offense. It still didn’t really work, as Liberatore gave up three runs on four hits in 2.1 innings, but the six that the Redbirds got off of Mitch White held up.
Cardinals manager Oliver Marmol used Ryan Helsley in the eighth against Gavin Lux, Trea Turner and Mookie Betts instead of saving him for the ninth, warming my cold, dead sabermetrician heart. Use your best relievers when you feel it’s necessary. Giovanny Gallegos made it interesting in the ninth, but I liked the creativity and the offense rewarded him with a much needed insurance run in the eighth.
Padres/Rockies: The Rockies got six strong from Austin Gomber and four runs in the middle innings off of Mike Clevinger to secure a 5-3 win at Coors. Clevinger’s spin rates looked fine, but his velocity was down across the board in his 83 pitches and he couldn’t spot his slider at all. Coors Field is a different beast, so I’ll chalk it up to that for now, but the oft-injured right-hander is always on my radar.
Diamondbacks/Giants: Logan Webb got to cruise through six shutout innings because his offense put up eight runs by the third inning against Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel gave up three homers and has now allowed 20 earned runs in four starts with Arizona. It seems like the reunion with Brent Strom hasn’t really helped. The former Cy Young winner is only 34, but he hasn’t been effective for quite a while now.
Let’s see if this offensive explosion gets the Giants going. They’ve been in a pretty prolonged funk and just haven’t played terribly well most of the year. They’re too smart and too talented for what we’ve seen.