Another good start to a month with an under winner on Sunday to begin June. We’ve had hot starts to April and May, but the key will be sustaining success in June — something I failed to do last month. Tuesday’s play goes out to San Diego, where I’ll look at two teams I haven’t bet a whole lot this season. The Pirates are playing particularly well and will get the chance to go up against Jesse Hahn, who is making his Major League debut for San Diego. Couple that with the fact that Gerrit Cole takes the ball for Pittsburgh and I’m keen on the Buccos at just a -110 road price.
The Pirates have played with a bit of newfound energy in the last week or so. Perhaps it’s just an instance where things are beginning to come together about 35 percent of the way through the season. Or maybe it’s a feeling of urgency with both the Brewers and Cardinals really beginning to separate themselves in the NL Central. Either way, the Bucs took three out of four from the Dodgers over the weekend and won in San Diego last night. The offense looks better with Josh Harrison at the top of the lineup and Andrew McCutchen appears to be getting more aggressive after doing his best Joey Votto impression after he won his MVP in 2010. While ‘Cutch’s OBP is at an all-time high, he has just five home runs after hitting one on Sunday; and the Pirates offense hasn’t proven potent enough around McCutchen to just allow teams to walk the MVP.
But the offense should just have to be O.K. Tuesday night in Petco Park because I expect Gerrit Cole to deal against the Pads. Cole hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since May 2nd. And you have to go back to April 15 to find the time before that. I’ve been praising Cole a lot lately, but my only regret is not backing him more often. Pittsburgh has won his last three starts and five of his last six. He’s clearly the ace of a staff that desperately needs him to be without AJ Burnett or any remnants of Francisco Liriano’s 2013 version. Just a second-year player himself, there will be some sense of pride from Cole going up against a guy making his first Major League start. He’s the type of guy with that old school mentality that would hate to see a young(er) gun beat him tonight. Well, Hahn is actually older than Cole, but you get the idea.
I don’t think he’ll let him beat him, either.
Free Pick: Pittsburgh (-110)
YTD: 20-14 +3.88