2014 MLB Record (2-1-1, +2.85 units) *Each wager is graded from 1 to 5 units*
It took almost six hours and 16 innings of baseball for me to basically kiss my sister - metaphorically speaking of course. Yes, if you read my column yesterday and tailed my MLB pick of Under 7 in the Cubs/Pirates game then you were pretty much counting your cash on more than one occasion.
But alas it was not to be as the Cubs rallied in the eighth and ninth innings to knot the game at two and give us that sinking feeling that our lock was being broken. Okay, so we were still in decent shape to cash until our boys from the Windy City went up 3-2 in the 12th inning but couldn't hold the friggin lead! The Pirates went on to win the game 4-3 and we got stuck with a push that should have been an easy cover. Let's analyze the MLB odds in the rematch tonight and hope for a better result.
Starter - Jason Hammel
Jason Hammel is that guy at work that keeps screwin' it up but somehow manages to either hold on to his job or get promoted. Then when your company eventually sees what you see, he moves onto another company who buys his rap and gives him a healthy paycheck. And to my point I submit into evidence his 2013 body of work where he tallied a 7-8 record with a 4.97 ERA to complement his career mark of 49-59 and a 4.80 ERA to go along with a 1.44 WHIP.
Those dazzling stats seduced the brain trust of the Cubs organization into outbidding...no one. Yet they handed Mr. Hammel $6 million just in case another club - oh I dunno - made him an offer to be their minor league pitching coach. The Chicago Cubs motto should be - "We Do Dumb Right." Today we shall see their six-million dollar man (the old dudes will no doubt recall that 70's show and yes, Lee Majors is still alive. I just Googled him.) toe the slab without the benefit of being rescued early due to the bullpen burnout from last night. Cubs fans better hope that the Pirates hitters are still groggy from their early wake up after last night's marathon.
While I had a little fun at Jason Hammel's expense the Pirates are not exactly trotting out the second coming of Pedro Martinez in Wandy Rodriguez. But to be fair to Rodriguez, he can be a deceptively good pitcher and his 2013 campaign was going pretty well until he was felled with chronic left forearm pain. It precluded him from pitching the remainder of the season but he registered a 6-4 record with a 3.59 ERA before he went on the DL. This spring the southpaw looked refreshed and posted a 3.09 ERA in 11 2/3 innings of work.
So once again we have the dilemma of laying the heavy number in MLB odds and hoping a mediocre pitcher like Rodriguez and a slumbering offense like Pittsburgh's is better than a train wreck like Hammel who will be left out to fend for himself unless he completely implodes on the mound and a Mayday call is placed to the pen. Is it really worth laying -165 to back Rodriguez and his merry band of Pirates? Well what other choices do we have other than backing Hammel or rolling the C-note(s) that you would bet on the Cubs and smoking it up Floyd Mayweather style.
Fade Hammel and the Cubs. Play Pittsburgh -165 at WilliamHill.com for 3 units in your MLB picks.