A sweep, eh? Last Saturday did a great job of evaporating any progress we’ve made three months into our handicapping season. The disaster has left me with nothing better to do than toss a dart at another one of those sucker road favorites. You might want to close your eyes.
Max Scherzer is the best pitcher in baseball. The Nats gave him a ridiculous amount of money to be just that and while he probably won’t be for the tail end of the contract, when he’s paid the most dollars, their investment has at least performed in the short term. He gets a chance to throw against the Pittsburgh Pirates – one of the very best teams in the league and a possible playoff villain for the Nats if they’re able to eventually capture the NL East. A thing I know about Mad Max is that he loves pitching in any sort of game he can get up for and often the starts he struggles in are the ones where he can’t get any of that adrenaline pumping. On the road against the Pirates should get that heart beat going and bring out the best in Scherzer. The guy’s WHIP is 0.80 and yet is record is just 10-8. There’s the school of thought that perhaps his offense relaxes on days he starts, knowing they won’t need many to win. But I tend to think this record should begin to move closer to what you expect for a pitcher with his type of numbers.
A mis-match with Jeff Locke should be a start. Locke is about as average as they get. An ERA around 4.00 with a WHIP in the 1.40 range. That said, he’s only given up more than two runs in one of his last seven starts (last time out when he surrendered three) but he doesn’t has the stuff to shutout the Nats – which he may just have to do. Scherzer applies too much pressure to a young starter who shouldn’t be able to get nearly as deep as his counterpart. Let’s play Washington for half.
Free Pick: Nats -120
YTD: 14-11-4 +0.37
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02