Young and Garza push earlier this week so we’ll go back to the under well once again with another interleague matchup on Thursday. The Pittsburgh Pirates visit the Windy City to take on the team from Chicago that isn’t a division rival. The Buccos are -140 favorites to topple the White Sox with their ace on the hill.
We’ll see a great pitching matchup in this one with Jeff Samardzjia set to take on Gerrit Cole. I know what those who have been tailing may be thinking. The last time we backed Samardzjia things went totally haywire on us. Down in Arlington, he was lit up by the Rangers and lost a laugher to Colby Lewis as a road pick’em. We aren’t backing Chicago to win this one, but we need some reassured faith in Samardzjia’s ability to throw us a good game. He’s still been more hittable this season than we’ve been used to and, at least I, still expect. But his last two starts have been better since that disaster in Texas. Samardzjia has gone at least seven innings in each of those two, though they include 16 hits allowed. Ten of those hits came against the Tigers when he pitched into the eighth inning. He bounced back with seven quality innings at Tropicana Field last weekend and I’m confident in his chances to do the same against the Pirates tonight.
The guy on the other side definitely helps make the under play a little easier, though. Gerrit Cole has been as good as any pitcher in baseball this season, 10-2 with a sub-2.00 ERA. Cole has surrendered more than two earned runs just once this season (he gave up three) and has gone six innings or more in all but that outing back in the first week of May. He’s riding a streak of six straight starts of at least seven strikeouts and has given up just one earned run in three June starts. Right now, he’s about as sure as bet as there is in baseball, even when he’s not going up against a weak White Sox lineup. So let’s go ahead and make it on Thursday.
Free Pick: Under 7.5 (-110)
YTD: 8-5-3 +2.32
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02