Today is your lucky day!!! I have never lost a First Five Game of the Millennium on Pregame.com!!!
(Sorry, I had to channel my inner Stu Feiner and Wayne Allyn Root. I'm branching out to sides because I couldn't find any totals today once CLE went from 4.5 TT to 3.5.)
SDG OVER SFO 1st FIVE INNINGS (-150) W
Chris Paddack (2.97 ERA, 3.69 FIP) has hit a bit of a rough patch recently. However, he still has a K/BB ratio of 5.5. The SFO lineup is going to have a tough time getting anything going against a tough pitcher who won't give them many free passes. On the other side, Tyler Beede has yet to prove that he is a major league pitcher. On the contrary, in his 8.15 ERA and 5.56 xFIP this season, following his 8.22 ERA and 5.63 xFIP last season seems to prove that he is NOT a major league pitcher. This seems like a great spot to take the better lineup and the MUCH better pitcher. I went with the first five because the price is the same or slightly better than the full game, the SFO bullpen is very good, and the SDG bridge guys to Kirby Yates have been unreliable, at best. I'll sacrifice smaller sample variance in order to not give away our greatest advantage.
ADDING AN EXTRA PLAY!!!! YOU'RE GETTING TWO FOR THE PRICE OF NONE!!!!!!
CIN OVER CLE 1st FIVE INNINGS (EVEN) P
You're going to have to explain to me why one of the best First 5 pitchers in baseball (Luis Castillo, 1.78 1st Five ERA) is an underdog to a guy (Trevor Bauer, 4.50 xFIP) who is consistently allowing runs (5, 6, 4, 4, 7, 2, 8, 4, runners crossed the plate in his last 8 starts). Castillo's ERA would even be better if you throw out the strange day game performance in MIL. Bauer is going to strike out Reds, but they are used to it. Progressive Field is the 10th most home run friendly park in baseball (according to it's HR ballpark factor). When Bauer starts walking people it's only a matter of time before he gets hurt by a long-ball in a nice night at The Jake.