Swinging Johnson – MLB Record (10-8, +0.68 units)
*Games assigned 1 to 5 units.
I haven't been perusing the MLB odds because my esteemed editor has me focusing on the NHL Stanley Cup Finals. And after my last dalliance in major league baseball I think it's a much needed break.
For those who are counting, I dropped 4 units when I tapped Jon Lester and the Red Sox to salvage a split in their four-game series with Baltimore last Saturday night. It was not to be as the Orioles did nasty things to Lester and my bankroll.
We are now a click above break-even in our MLB picks but let's see if we can jump back into the black after tonight's game.
LA Dodgers (30-42, -21.3 units)
Good God what has happened to the LA Dodgers?! Dead last in the NL West and absolutely murdering their backers. The list of excuses is mind-boggling (much like their payroll) and this afternoon (or evening if you're an East Coast kinda guy) they will try to rebound from their second consecutive loss to their divisional rivals, the San Diego Padres.
Zack Greinke (3-2, 4.23 ERA) will take the hill for the Dodgers and he hopes to avoid the same fate that befell him in Pittsburgh last week when he got rocked for five runs in as many innings en route to a 6-3 loss as a +115 road dog. The Dodgers are 1-3 when Greinke starts on the highway this season.
San Diego Padres (38-36, +9.2 units)
The Padres are building up a head of steam as the All-Star break approaches. They swept consecutive series against the Braves and Diamondbacks but took to the highway and stumbled a bit against the Giants, dropping two of three. But that didn't deter their love for the home cooking at Petco as they have now defeated the Dodgers in their first two games, looking to make it three this afternoon.
Edinson Volquez (5-5, 5.84 ERA) gets the ball for the Padres and he will try to improve upon a rather pedestrian outing when last he took the bump. Volquez was tagged for three runs and lasted only five innings in what proved to be a 13 inning win by San Diego over the World Champion San Francisco Giants.
Volquez has been an enigmatic pitcher at Petco this season. He is currently 3-3 with a 4.95 ERA at home but his last outing against the Braves was one of his finest when he allowed only one run on six hits in seven innings en route to a 5-3 victory as +115 home dogs in MLB odds.
So, which Edinson Volquez are we going to see this afternoon? It's like watching Sybil pitch. You never know what you're going to get from him at Petco. But here's what I do know. Volquez still has an ERA closer to five at home and that's not particularly good. The Padres may be rolling right now but they are merely returning to the .500 team that they truly are while the Dodgers have woefully underperformed and should begin a climb to the mean.
While that may eventually pan out, what does it say for this one game? Could this be a microcosm for what's to come? Well I sure as hell hope so because in my MLB picks today my money is on the better pitcher and the guy whose team is 2-0 in his career starts when facing today's opponent, Zack Greinke.
In the what have you done for me lately department, Greinke is 1-1 with a 3.32 ERA while Volquez is 1-0 with an 8.16 ERA. Let's watch the trend continue as the Dodgers catch fire against Volquez.