10/4/2011 12:00:00 AM
The Diamondbacks are trying to avoid the sweep at the hands of the Brewers today after losing the first two games in Milwaukee, but it will not be easy vs. Shaun Marcum. Go ‘under’ in the desert.
One of the participants in the upcoming NLCS series can be decided today when Shaun Marcum and the Milwaukee Brewers go for the three-game sweep as the scene shifts out West when they pay a visit to Josh Collmenter and the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix, AZ at 9:37 ET in a game televised nationally on TNT.
It is a bit disconcerting that the Diamondbacks have lost the first two games of this series with their two best pitchers on the mound in Ian Kennedy and Daniel Hudson, as the general consensus is that there is a huge drop-off from their two frontline starters and the rest of the rotation. Collmenter has proven to be quite capable however and Arizona went 51-30 at home this year, so all hope is not lost.
The Brewers beat Kenney with their own ace Yovani Gallardo in Game 1 and they then muscled up in Game 2 to outslug the Diamondbacks 9-4 in support of Zack Greinke. Milwaukee has the deeper of these two rotations as their Game 3 starter Marcum would be a frontline starter for a lot of teams.
That does not guarantee a series-sweeping win today though, as we are looking for a well-pitched game on both sides and for these teams to go ‘under’ the total on the MLB odds.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports for this contest is 9, with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -110.
Marcum finished at 13-7 in his first season in the National League with a nice 3.54 ERA and 1.18 WHIP while limiting opposing batters to just a .232 batting average. Most remarkable though was the fact that he was one of the best road pitchers in the National League, so he should feel right at “home” on the Arizona mound tonight.
Marcum went 8-3 in 16 road starts with a fantastic 2.21 ERA and a miniscule 0.97 WHIP, holding the opposition to a putrid .202 average! He had 12 official Quality Starts in 16 road starts and allowed three earned runs or less in 15 of those outings and only a reasonable four earned runs on the other one.
Collmenter did not make his first Major League start until May 14 of this season, but he had a fine rookie campaign despite a deceptive 10-10 record overall, as he had a solid 3.38 ERA and 1.07 WHIP with the league hitting just .237 off of him. He also showed nice command for a rookie, finishing up with an even 100 strikeouts overall compared to just 28 walks.
Furthermore, Collmenter did his best pitching here at home, where he went 9-4 with a 3.30 ERA and a very impressive 0.95 WHIP while permitting just a .220 batting average against. His command may have been very good overall, but it was downright remarkable when he pitched here in the desert, where he finished with 51 strikeouts against only 12 free passes!
So with Marcum being a great Road Warrior and Collmenter pitching so well at home this year, look for a low-scoring game this evening.
MLB Pick: Brewers, Diamondbacks ‘under’ 9 (-110)