It's a good thing I already was a big fan of Budweiser before I got into this business seriously. Some of the things that happen would certainly lead me to the demon alcohol. I mean, I got exactly what I wanted out of Lance Lynn last night. I understand that 1 pitch can make all the difference, but there are so many other things that can happen in a game that make that 1 pitch so important. And while I do my due diligence and am sure of what I want when I want it, I can't cover everything. No one can.
The case in point from last night's game had to be Yadier Molina's bonehead move in the top of the 8th. Molina is probably the best catcher in the game and is usually very impressive with his baseball IQ. That's why what happened is such a head scratcher.
In case you missed it, Molina was at 2nd base carrying the tying run on his back with 2 outs in the 8th inning. For some unknown reason, Yadi decided he was going to channel his inner Lou Brock, and he took off for 3rd while the pitcher was in the set position of his stretch. Molina, of course, was dead meat in making the 3rd out at 3rd base, and that's one of the cardinal (no pun intended) rules of baseball. I hope someone reminds Yadi that if he were to race a one-legged man, the outcome would be too close to call. Laughter is the best medicine, but so are wins, and I'm seeking the latter to get back on track today.
THE SHOW (1-2 last night and 2-9 so far for the week)
BUTTA (0-1 last night and 0-5 so far for the week)
1. GIANTS (ZITO -165) over Phillies (Pettibone) - I just don't see The Champs getting swept at home. Certainly, the Phils have the talent to do just that, but Zito is 16-6 at home over the last 2 seasons. The fact that his team is facing the broom only enhances that number for me.
2. RAYS (MOORE -190) over Blue Jays (Romero) - The Rays pen is a mess right now, but they do have a couple of things working in their favor: Matt Moore is next to unhittable at home, so he should take the game deep enough where Maddon might only have to cobble together an 8th inning from that bullpen before turning things over to Rodney. Also, the Jays are unaccustomed to the success they've had lately, and Ricky Romero has really struggled. He's won only once in his last 15 decisions dating back to last season.
ON THE CUTTING ROOM FLOOR
1. REDS (LEAKE -120) over Braves (Minor) - Mike Leake isn't exactly the guy I'd want to bank on in the rubber game of a series, but it is what it is. I expect the Bravos are still reeling a bit after O'Flaherty and Kimbrel combined to blow their 2nd game in less than a week. In an afternoon game, those 2 are probably unavailable for this game, and that gives the Red a big edge. Also, Mike Minor is a totally different pitcher on the road than when he's on his home mound. I expect this might be a squeaker, but the Reds should prevail.
2. Marlins (Nolasco +135) over PADRES (MARQUIS) - The Fish toss their best out their today in an attempt to avoid the Padres broom. The Friars have played good ball the last week or so, and the Marlins don't have much going on. So, I can't jump at this game when it comes to siding with a winner, but I seriously considered hitting the Fish as the dog on the run line.
3. Rangers (Holland -105) over BREWERS (LOHSE) - You can be pretty sure that you're going to get a solid effort from Kyle Lohse, but simply put, the Rangers are better than the Crew. And with Holland sporting a 15-3 record off a Rangers loss the last 2 seasons, the lean has to go toward Texas. In fact, if Zito works his magic against the Phils this afternoon, I'll be pushing the envelope and jumping on the Rangers tonight.
BROOMOLOGY (5-3 ATS & 3-5 SU so far for the week)
Road Dog (4-0 ATS & 2-2 so far for the week)
Marlins (+1 1/2) at PADRES
Home Favorites (1-1 ATS & SU so far for the week)
DODGERS (-1 1/2) over D-Backs
GIANTS (-1 1/2) over Phillies
RUN-(NING) LINES (7-7 ATS/7-7 SU/8-6 TOTALS last night and 16-22/17-19/16-22 so far for the week)
1. INDIANS (-1 1/2, U 8) over Athletics
2. Twins (+1 1/2, O9 1/2) at RED SOX
3. RAYS (-1 1/2, O7 1/2) over Blue Jays
4. ORIOLES (-1 1/2, U8 1/2) over Royals
5. ASTROS (+1 1/2, O9 1/2) vs. Angels
6. REDS (-1 1/2, U8 1/2) over Braves
7. PADRES (-1 1/2, U7) over Marlins
8. D-Backs (+1 1/2, O6) over DODGERS
9. Phillies (+1 1/2, U7 1/2) at GIANTS
10. Cardinals (-1 1/2, U7 1/2) over CUBS
11. White Sox (-1 1/2, U7) over METS
12. Rangers (+1 1/2, O8) at BREWERS
13. PIRATES (+1 1/2, U6 1/2) vs. Mariners
14. Yankees (+1 1/2, U10) at ROCKIES *
15. Tigers (-1 1/2, U7) over NATIONALS
* - Stats break down into a tie.
THE NBA (1-1 ATS/1-1 SU/0-2 TOTALS last night and 3-3/3-3/0-6 so far for the week)
1. HEAT 93, Bulls (+12 1/2, U187) 83 - Even though they lost Game 1, it's no surprise to me that this number is higher. The Heat are the best team with the best player in the league, and they will win this game. The question is by how much? I don't think the Bulls will fall into the trap it looked like the Pacers fell prey to last night in New York when Indiana played as though they were satisfied with their Game 1 win on the road. The Bulls are a lunch pail team that plays a blue collar brand of basketball. They know their odds are long for winning this series, so they'll give all they have tonight. And from what we've seen out of this Chicago team in the postseason, there's no reason to think that their slow down, get down in the mud and muck things up style won't keep the score low and close again tonight.
2. SPURS (-7, O205) 107, Warriors 103 - You can see that I'm going against my own numbers for this game. I just don't see how the Warriors bounce back after choking away a 16-point lead in the last 4 minutes of Game 1. Of course, a lot of that is contingent on the fact that Duncan is good to go from his little illness and Splitter also goes.
It's an especially important Hump Day as I'm still looking for my first wins of the week. Have a great day, and I'll see you tomorrow.