(963) ST. LOUIS CARDINALS VS (964) KANSAS CITY ROYALS.
Take: UNDER THE TOTAL.
Reason: Your free play for Monday, August 7, 2017 comes in baseball as St. Louis heads to Kansas City to face the Royals. St. Louis is on a 17-6-4 run under the total with better pitching than offense. Carlos Martinez (3.59 ERA) takes the mound throwing well, but has a losing record. St. Louis is 37-16-6 under the total against the AL Central division. Kansas City has a hot and cold offense, 7-1 under against losing teams. The Under is 12-3-1 when starter Ian Kennedy gets 5 days of rest. And the Under is 10-2-5 in the last 17 meetings. Play St. Louis/Kansas City Under the total.
We look for these veteran hurlers to battle into the latter frames and we expect this one to sneak UNDER the number once it’s all said and done.
Jake Arrieta: He’s 10-8 with a 3.88 ERA. Arrieta gave up two runs (just one earned) off three hits and two walks in a loss to Arizona on Wednesdsay (also striking out eight.) Over his last six starts Arrieta has posted a tiny 2.08 ERA and 31:11 K:BB spanning 39 innings of work.
Matt Moore: He’s 3-11 with a 5.80 ERA. Moore gave up four runs over five frames in a loss to Oakland on Wednesday. Moore is enduring the worst season of his career and clearly he’ll be eager to try and finish up strong.
The bottom line: This pick is based primarily on Arrieta’s recent form, which the Giants’ anemic offense could have issues with tonight. Consider the UNDER.
My free winner for tonight is on the San Diego Padres over the Cincinnati Reds, as I like Jhoulys Chacin over Tim Adleman.
The Padres started off good against the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday, but fell short in their rally. Tonight I like them against a Cincinnati team that was battered by the St. Louis Cardinals yesterday.
Rumored to be a trade candidate before last week’s deadline, Chacin made his first start after the deadline versus the Twins, and looked fantastic. He shut out Minnesota across seven, three-hit innings. Since registering a 5.77 ERA in his first 11 starts, the right-hander has a 2.49 ERA in his past 11 outings.
He will outshine Adleman, who was pulled from the rotation following his July 29 start after going 0-5 with a 7.34 ERA in the month. He will struggle in this one.
Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach Free Pick for Monday MLB Kansas City Royals Money Line (+) vs St Louis Cardinals @ 8:15 ET – Though the Royals only got a split of their double header they scored 16 runs in the two games and have now scored 6 runs or more in 3 of their last 4 games. Although the Cardinals finally exploded for a big game at the plate in their win at Cincinnati yesterday, St Louis had previously averaged just 2.1 runs per game in their last 9 games! As you can see, the Cards had been cold at the plate and I look for those struggles to resume against the Royals Ian Kennedy. The right-hander struck out 10 in 6 shutout innings the last time he faced St Louis. Though Kennedy is off of a tough start in his most recent outing, he had produced a quality start in 5 of his 6 prior outings. In fact, in those 5 quality starts Kennedy gave up only 9 earned runs in 32 and 1/3 innings. The Royals, before losing his most recent start, were on an 8-1 run in Kennedy’s starts! Look for KC to bounce right back with him on the mound tonight. Kennedy will be opposed by the Cardinals Carlos Martinez in this one. Although the St Louis right-hander has good numbers on the season, he has a 1.71 WHIP in his last 3 starts as too many walks and hits have caused him to be constantly trying to work out of jams in recent starts. The Cards are 3-8 in the 11 road starts Martinez has made this season. St Louis is only 3-8 in inter-league action this season. The Royals are 41-22 in August games the past 3 seasons combined. Free Pick on Kansas City on the money line Monday evening. Best of luck, Scott “The Bulldog” Rickenbach
My free winner for Monday night is on the Minnesota Twins over the Milwaukee Brewers, and in this one I want you to list the scheduled starting pitchers: Ervin Santana and Brent Suter.
Suter is making just his seventh start in place of the injured Chase Anderson, and I’m not sure he will be able to keep Minnesota’s bats in line. He started last Wednesday against the St. Louis Cardinals, who tagged him for a career-high five earned runs over 5.1 innings.
I’d rather have the veteran Santana, who threw his Major-League-leading fifth complete game in his last outing, against the San Diego Padres. Santana has a 16-13 record with a 3.80 ERA during Interleague play, so he’ll be comfortable against the Brewers lineup.
On the surface, this looks like a good spot for San Diego. While he’s been much stronger at home overall, Jhoulys Chacin is on a roll for the Padres. Tim Adleman is on what amounts to a reverse roll for Cincinnati.
However, the key for me in this game is an angle that has been highly profitable this baseball season. I’ve mentioned this before, but sweep revenge is a good little system as it has a logical rationale as to why it should work, and in fact it usually does.
There are exceptions, of course, and we just saw one, assuming the Mets end up losing their game with the Dodgers that is in progress as I’m writing this. The Mets were swept by the Dodgers in the previous series this season between the two teams. They’re about to get swept again.
But that is clearly the exception to the rule. Teams that are swept by an opponent will mostly be able to win at least one game in the return series. That applies to this Padres-Reds series. Cincinnati was swept at Petco earlier this season by the Padres. I’m banking on them winning at least once in this set at GAB.
Note however, that I will be playing tonight’s series opener for just a half unit. As this is what amines to a mini-chase system, I don’t want to set myself up for a monster loss if things don’t go well. The fact this is a four-game series enhances that risk, so I’m starting off small. That would also seem to be a decent train of thought considering tonight’s pitching matchup. But in any case, I will be playing the Reds on Monday evening and Cincinnati is the daily free play as well.
Both of these teams put up 10+ runs on Sunday. Only one of them was victorious, however. That would be Baltimore, who beat Detroit by a score of 12-3. The Angels (who scored 10 runs exactly), unfortunately gave up 11 and lost to the A’s. But let’s not let yesterday’s or even the last two days’ results fool us into thinking the O’s are the better ballclub here. They’re not. They’d in fact dropped the first two games of the Detroit series and now hit the road where they’ve gone an awful 20-33 this season while getting outscored by an average of 1.2 rpg. That record and performance are the primary contributors to a YTD run diff of -53, one of the American League’s worst. As for the Angels, I still view them as a legit threat to capture that second Wild Card spot. The home team is being grossly undervalued here.
JC Ramirez leads the Angels’ staff in victories w/ 12. I played on him the last time he pitched, which was last Wednesday as he tossed eight scoreless innings of three-hit ball against the Phillies. He again gets to pitch at home tonight. He’s gone at least six innings in five consecutive starts and allowed 2 ER or fewer in four of those (1.31 ERA L3 starts).
Dylan Bundy goes for Baltimore. He’s struggled on the road w/ a 4.80 ERA and 1.344 WHIP, mirroring his team’s overall play. Here he’ll have to deal with a LA team that is 31-24 at home this year. Bundy was great his last time out (I had ’em!), allowing only an unearned run in 8 IP. But that was at Camden Yards. Two starts ago, also at home, he allowed seven runs. His last road start saw him allow six runs in five innings. Also, Bundy has not delivered B2B quality starts since late May.