Handicapping the final day of the baseball season is more difficult than handicapping a 5-year-old soccer game. You don’t know who is going to be on the field, or for how long. Nor do you know if those who do play are going to give a shit. On top of that, because start times are staggered today, a team that woke up with something to play for might be spinning their wheels the time their game starts (for instance, if the Nationals, whose game started at 1:05 p.m., beat the Phillies, they secure the No. 1 seed in the National League over the Reds; subsequently, the Reds’ game at St. Louis that starts at 5:15 p.m. becomes completely
So now that I’ve got you all fired up to risk your money on what amounts to a crapshoot, here’s my logic for playing this Angels-Mariners finale under the total. First, the Angels are going with ace Jered Weaver, who I have to believe will pitch for at least five innings, which would put him in position to become the American League’s only 21-game winner. Weaver is 20-4 with a 2.73 ERA, and he’s been dominant of late, going 4-0 with a 1.98 ERA in his last four starts. He’s also given up just 13 runs (12 earned) in his last 10 starts against Seattle covering 74 2/3 innings (1.45 ERA). The last nine of those games ended in scores of 2-1, 4-1, 1-0, 5-1, 4-0, 3-0, 4-3, 3-2 and 5-1, with the under going 7-0-2.
As for Seattle starter Blake Beavan, he’s been solid in his last three starts, posting a 2.41 ERA (five earned runs in 18 2/3 innings). And while Beavan has struggled against the Angels in two games this year (nine runs in 12 innings), he probably won’t have to face the Angels’ “A” lineup—or at least not for the entire game. Then again, it won’t concern me if guys like Pujols, Trout and Hunter do go the entire nine innings; after all, after getting eliminated from playoff contention Monday, the Angels fielded their everyday lineup last night and managed just one ninth-inning run.
Finally, Bob Davidson is calling balls and strikes in this one, which is notable because the under cashed each of the last four times Davidson went behind the plate (3-0, 3-2, 3-2 and 6-1).
Rating: ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
Tuesday’s Result: Cardinals (-125) vs. Reds (Loss)