Next week, we have the All-Star Game. Unlike other professional sports, baseball’s All-Star contest isn’t just about scoring with no defensive effort whatsoever. We haven’t seen a double-digit combined outcome in a dozen years.
Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love the NFL, NBA, and NHL, but they treat their version of this game a little different than does the MLB. Next week’s column will be on the All-Star Game so get ready.
Something for you to prepare for was yet another sweep of my Best Bet plays right here in GamingToday for the fifth straight column last week, bringing my current season total up to 21-6. Here are this week’s Best Bets (all stats and trends are as of print and may change as can starting pitchers):
Take BREWERS over Marlins: With the Chicago Cubs hot on their heels in the Central, Milwaukee, with the best overall record in the NL (54-36), needs to keep its foot on the gas. This matchup is the second of a three-game series. Milwaukee has dominated Miami (who hasn’t), winning all four meetings and five straight going back to last season. The average margin of victory in the five games is 5.4 RPG.
Jhoulys Chacin takes the hill here. The RH is a very respectable, 7-3 with a 3.63 ERA and 83 K’s in 104.0 IP. The Brewers account for over 4.36 RPG on the road. Pablo Lopez gets the nod for Miami at home today. The RH is making just his third appearance (two starts) in 2018, donning a 1-0, 5.73 mark in his 11.0 IP. Overall, the Marlins rank 27th in both scoring (3.82 RPG) and Team ERA (4.84). Milwaukee is 20-8 in the last 28 vs. teams with a losing record, 13-5 facing the NL East, and 4-0 in Chacin’s past four starts vs. the NL East.
Take CARDS over White Sox: The Cardinals send in their best, the Lizard King, to the mound here. No, not Jim Morrison of the Doors fame, but St. Louis ace Miles Mikolas. The RH is 9-3 with a 2.63 ERA in 109.1 IP. Although the 29-year-old can throw heat, he has amazing control, walking just 17 against 75 strikeouts. Mikolas faces a White Sox team that is 30-60 overall, 20 GB, riding a five-game skid, and averaging only 3.95 RPG at Guaranteed Rate Field.
Chicago has Dylan Covey on the bump. The RH is 3-4 with a whopping, 5.54 ERA, yielding 56 hits and 24 BB’s, in 50.1 IP. St. Louis took both meetings this season and four straight overall over Chicago. The Cardinals are on a 38-17 run vs. teams with a winning percentage under .400 and stand 5-1 in Mikolas’ last six road starts. The White Sox are 13-42 in the last 55 vs. teams with a winning record and 0-4 in Covey’s past four overall starts.