MLB betting trends, odds and predictions for Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017 from various handicappers and websites
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Marlins @ Phillies
Nicolino is 2-0, 2.61 in his last two starts; his last three starts stayed under. Miami split his two road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 3-4
Leiter is 1-2, 5.91 in four starts this year (under 2-1-1). Phillies lost his only home start— their first 5-inning record with him: 1-3
Marlins won nine of last 11 games; over is 3-0 in their last three games. Philly is 3-9 in its last 12 games; over is 7-2 in their last nine.
Dodgers @ Pirates
Hill is 4-0, 3.27 in his last six starts; under is 5-3-1 in his last nine. Dodgers are 5-2 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 9-6-3
Williams is 0-2, 12.00 in his last two starts; under is 9-2 in his last 11 starts. Pirates are 4-6 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 9-8-2
Dodgers won eight of last nine games; under is 11-6-1 in their last 18 road games. Pittsburgh lost eight of its last ten games; their last seven games went over.
Diamondbacks @ Mets
Godley is 0-2, 4.58 in his last three starts; under is 7-3-2 in his last 12 starts. Arizona is 6-4 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 8-7-3
Flexen is 2-1, 4.50 in his last three starts (under 2-0-1). Mets split his two home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 2-3
Arizona lost five of its last eight games; over is 6-3 in their last nine road games. Mets lost eight of their last nine games; under is 8-4-1 in their last 13 home games.
Cubs @ Reds
Montgomery is 1-1, 8.53 in his last three starts (over 3-0). Cubs are 2-3 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 4-3-1
Stephenson is 1-2, 4.87 in four starts this year (under 3-1). Reds lost his only home start — their first 5-inning record with him: 2-1-1
Cubs won seven of last nine games; over is 6-2 in their last eight. Cincinnati won three of last five games; their last six home games went over.
Padres @ Cardinals
Chacin is 1-1, 2.74 in his last four stars; over is 4-2-1 in his last seven. San Diego is 5-7 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 9-12-4
Weaver is 1-1, 4.76 in his first two MLB starts (over 1-1). St Louis lost his only home start— their first 5-inning record with him: 1-1
San Diego lost six of last nine road games; over is 7-1 in their last eight. Cardinals lost six of last eight games; over is 11-1-1 in their last 13 games.
Brewers @ Giants
Garza is 1-2, 13.85 in his last three starts (over 2-0-1). Milwaukee is 2-6 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 9-8-2
Moore is 1-0, 2.51 in his last two starts; under is 5-3-1 in his last nine starts. Giants are 4-9 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 3-17-5
Brewers won seven of last eight games; under is 6-1-2 in their last nine. Giants won six of last ten home games; five of last eight Giant games went over the total.
A’s @ Orioles
Manaea is 0-3, 9.95 in his last six starts; over is 7-1 in his last eight. A’s are 5-7 in his road starts— their 1st 5-inning record with him: 8-10-4
Bundy is 4-0, 3.90 in his last five starts; over is 9-2 in his last 11. Orioles are 8-4 n his home starts— their 1st 5-inning record with him: 13-8-2
A’s lost nine of last 14 games; their last five games stayed under. Baltimore lost nine of last 14 games; under is 9-3 in their last 12 home games.
Red Sox @ Indians
Pomeranz is 2-0, 2.20 in his last three starts; over is 9-4-1 in his last 14 starts. Boston is 5-4 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 15-9
Kluber is 4-0, 1.78 in his last four starts (under 3-1). Indians are 8-4 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 11-8-2
Red Sox are 15-4 in last 19 games; under is 4-2 in their last six games. Cleveland is 9-3 in its last 12 games; under is 7-2 in their last nine home games.
New York @ Detroit
Severino is 5-1, 3.72 in his last six starts, last five of which went over. New York is 7-6 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 12-9-3
Zimmerman is 0-2, 9.77 in his last three starts; over is 6-2 in his last eight. Detroit is 6-5 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 11-13
New York won six of last eight games; under is 8-5 in their last 13 road games. Detroit lost 9 of last 11 games; over is 7-2-1 in their last ten home games.
Blue Jays @ Rays
Stroman is 2-1, 4.13 in his last four starts; under is 6-3-1 in his last ten. Toronto is 7-5 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 13-11-1
Pruitt is 0-2, 4.74 in his last three starts (under 6-0). Rays are 0-3 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 1-4-1
Toronto lost its last five road games; under is 8-4 in their last 12 games. Tampa Bay is 4-12 in its last 16 games; under is 14-4-1 in their last 19 home games.
Twins @ White Sox
Santana is 2-0, 4.50 in his last four starts; under is 4-2-2 in his last eight. Minnesota is 9-3 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 13-7-5
Shields is 0-3, 7.65 in his last eight starts, last three of which went over. White Sox are 3-4 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 3-9-2
Twins are 13-4 in last 17 games; over is 7-3-2 in their last 12. Chicago lost eight of last eleven games; under is 6-2 in their last eight home games.
Rangers @ Angels
Cashner is 3-1, 2.84 in his last five starts; his last eight starts stayed under. Texas is 3-7 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 11-6-3
Heaney allowed five runs in five IP (82 PT) in his first ’17 start, a 9-7 loss in Baltimore. Orioles’ 5-inning record with him: 1-0
Texas won eight of last 12 games; over is 5-2 in their last seven games. Angels won ten of last 12 games; six of their last eight games stayed under.
Mariners @ Braves
Ramirez is 1-0, 1.50 in his last two starts (over 2-2). Seattle is 2-1 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 3-1
Dickey is 2-1, 3.12 in his last four starts (under 4-0). Braves are 9-4 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 12-8-4
Mariners won five of last seven games; over is 3-2 in their last five games. Atlanta lost six of last eight home games; under is 7-3 in their last ten.
Nationals @ Astros
Jackson is 2-0, 1.38 in his last two starts (under 5-1). Washington is 2-1 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 2-2-2
Fiers is 0-4, 8.06 in his last five starts; over is 4-1-1 in his last six. Houston is 5-7 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 10-11-3
Nationals won six of last eight games; under is 10-0-1 in their last 11. Houston won four of last seven games; their last five games stayed under.
Rockies @ Royals
Senzatela is 1-2, 6.63 in his last four starts; over is 6-1 in his last seven. Colorado is 4-4 in his road starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 11-5-2
Kennedy is 0-3, 9.47 in his last four starts; over is 4-2 in his last six. Royals are 4-7 in his home starts— their first 5-inning record with him: 7-13-3
Rockies are 3-8 in last 11 games; under is 6-0-1 in their last seven road games. Royals are 6-3 in last nine games; over is 7-4 in their last 11 home games.
Record with this pitcher starting
Mia-Phil: Nicolino 5-2; Leiter 2-2
LA-Pitt: Hill 12-6; Williams 8-11
Az-NY: Godley 11-7; Flexen 3-2
Chi-Cin: Montgomery 3-5; Stephenson 2-2
SD-StL: Chacin 13-12; Weaver 1-1
Mil-SF: Garza 9-10; Moore 7-18
A’s-Balt: Manaea 10-13; Bundy 15-8
Bos-Clev: Pomeranz 16-8; Kluber 14-7
NY-Det: Severino 14-10; Zimmerman 9-15
Tor-TB: Stroman 15-10; Pruitt 2-4
Min-Chi: Santana Shields 5-9
Tex-LA: Cashner 9-11; Heaney 0-1
Sea-Atl: Ramirez 2-2; Dickey 13-11
Wsh-Hst: Jackson 4-2; Fiers 14-11
Col-KC: Senzatela 12-6; Kennedy 11-12
Pitchers allowing a run in first inning
Mia-Phil: Nicolino 4-7; Leiter 2-4
LA-Pitt: Hill 5-18; Williams 7-19
Az-NY: Godley 3-18; Flexen 2-5
Chi-Cin: Montgomery 2-8; Stephenson 1-4
SD-StL: Chacin 10-23; Weaver 1-2
Mil-SF: Garza 5-19; Moore 8-25
A’s-Balt: Manaea 7-23; Bundy 4-23
Bos-Clev: Pomeranz 7-24; Kluber 4-21
NY-Det: Severino 5-24; Zimmerman 8-24
Tor-TB: Stroman 5-25; Pruitt 2-6
Min-Chi: Santana Shields 5-12
Tex-LA: Cashner 6-20; Heaney 0-1
Sea-Atl: Ramirez 0-4; Dickey 6-24
Wsh-Hst: Jackson 3-6; Fiers 7-25
Col-KC: Senzatela 8-18; Kennedy 5-23
Mia-Phil: Over is 4-0-1 in last five Woodring games.
LA-Pitt: Three of last four O’Nora games went over.
Az-NY: Favorites won four of last five Additon games.
Chi-Cin: Four of last six Tichenor games went over.
SD-StL: Last three Kulpa games went over the total.
Mil-SF: Four of last five Culbreth games stayed under.
A’s-Balt: Last nine Hernandez games stayed under the total.
Bos-Clev: Under is 5-1-1 in last seven Porter games.
NY-Det: Over is 5-0-1 in last six May games.
Tor-TB: Under is 8-2 in last ten LBarrett games.
Min-Chi: Four of last five Guccione games went over.
Tex-LA: Six of last eight Morales games stayed under.
Sea-Atl: Six of last eight DeJesus games stayed under.
Wsh-Hst: Seven of last nine Kellogg games went over.
Col-KC: Over is 5-2-1 in last eight Cooper games.
NL @ AL– 74-53 AL, favorites +$157
AL @ NL– 68-61 NL, favorites +$196
Total: 135-121 AL, favorites +$353
Totals in interleague games
NL @ AL: Over 63-63-3
AL @ NL: Over 68-55-7
Total: Over 131-118-10
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Wednesday's Diamond Notes
By Kevin Rogers
Hottest team: Cubs (7-2 last nine) vs. Reds
Chicago pulled off an exciting home sweep over Toronto this past weekend, as the Cubs rallied once again on Tuesday to beat the Reds, 13-9. The defending champions overcame a pair of three-run deficits to win their fourth in a row, while staying a step ahead of Milwaukee and St. Louis in the NL Central race. Since dropping the final two games at San Francisco earlier this month, the Cubs have scored at least six runs eight times, while improving to 9-5 against the Reds this season.
Mike Montgomery heads to the mound for Chicago as the southpaw makes his first start since July 19 at Atlanta in an 8-2 victory. Montgomery lost the last time he started at Cincinnati on June 30, allowing four earned runs in 6.2 innings of a 5-0 defeat, as the Cubs are 3-5 in his eight starts this season.
Coldest team: Mets (1-8 last nine) vs. Diamondbacks
Things continue to unravel for the “other” New York team after losing the first two games to Arizona. Following an extra-innings loss on Monday, the Mets fell short in a 7-4 defeat on Tuesday to drop to 2-11 in the last 13 games at Citi Field. The Mets have yet to knock off the D-Backs this season by going 0-5 against Arizona, while being held to four runs or fewer in all five losses.
Rookie Chris Flexen looks to give New York its first victory over Arizona as the right-hander had his short two-game winning streak snapped in a 3-1 defeat to Miami in his previous trip to the mound. Flexen has walked more batters than he has struck out (16 to 14), while allowing at least three earned runs in four of his first five starts.
Hottest pitcher: Dylan Bundy, Orioles (12-8, 4.17 ERA)
Baltimore remains under the .500 mark, but Bundy has been on fire since the All-Star break. In his last five starts, the Orioles are 5-0, while Bundy has struck out 10 batters in each of his past two appearances. Bundy dominated the A’s in his previous trip to the mound on August 12 in a 12-5 victory as he tossed six innings and allowed three earned runs. Bundy has benefited from terrific run support during this five-game stretch as the O’s have averaged 9.2 runs per contest, while scoring at least six runs in each of his last seven starts that Baltimore won.
Coldest pitcher: Trevor Williams, Pirates (5-6, 4.71 ERA)
Pittsburgh fell to 0-5 against Los Angeles this season after dropping an 8-5 decision at home on Tuesday. Williams is winless in four of his past five starts, while allowing a season-high eight earned runs in three innings of an 11-10 setback to St. Louis his last time out. The right-hander looks to avenge a 12-1 defeat to the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine in early May as he gave up eight runs (six earned) in three innings, as the Pirates look to beat the Dodgers for the first time since August 2016.
Biggest OVER run: Phillies (7-2 last nine)
Philadelphia may be going nowhere at this point of the season, but the Phillies are playing exciting games. On Tuesday, the Phillies lost both games of a double-header to the Marlins, but eclipsed the OVER in each contest, while allowing 19 runs to Miami. In four of the past five contests, Philadelphia’s pitching staff has given up at least seven runs, while losing five of its previous six games at Citizens Bank Park.
Biggest UNDER run: Athletics (5-0 last five)
Oakland held off Baltimore on Tuesday, 6-4, but still cashed the UNDER on the high total of 11. In fact, both games between the A’s and Orioles have reached 10 runs, but the inflated total of 11 kept Oakland’s UNDER streak going. Oakland reached the six-run mark on Tuesday after scoring a total of six runs in its previous three games combined. Sean Manaea will look for a better showing against Baltimore after not escaping the first inning in a 12-5 defeat on August 12, while the Oakland southpaw is 8-2 to the OVER in his last 10 outings.
Matchup to watch: Nationals vs. Astros
Washington and Houston continue its three-game series on Wednesday as these two elite squads may see each other again in the World Series. The Nationals edged the Astros in the opener, 4-3 to cash as +160 underdogs, as Washington owns one fewer victory (75) than Houston (76). Washington improved to 7-0 in its previous seven series openers, while looking to build on a 7-4 record in its past 11 Game 2’s of a road series.
Edwin Jackson takes the mound for Washington as the right-hander owns a solid 4-2 mark in his six starts since coming over from Baltimore in July. Jackson has allowed one earned run in three of his past four starts, while picking up road victories over the Angels and Padres.
Mike Fiers counters for Houston, as the right-hander is going backwards of late with the Astros dropping four of his past five starts. The Astros are 1-2 in his last three home outings as Houston rallied for a 7-6 walk-off victory in the lone win in this stretch as Fiers yielded five runs in that victory. Houston is looking to avoid its fifth losing streak of at least three games at Minute Maid Park this season.
Betcha didn’t know: The Padres blasted the Cardinals in their series opener at Busch Stadium on Tuesday to snap a six-game losing streak to St. Louis dating back to last April. San Diego is worth a look on Wednesday as a +155 underdog as the Padres have compiled a solid 6-3 record in its past nine Game 2’s of a road series.
Biggest public favorite: Yankees (-210) at Tigers
Biggest public underdog: Rockies (+110) at Royals
Biggest line move: Cardinals (-160 to -170) vs. Padres
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MLB Picks & Analysis
By Adam Burke
Milwaukee at San Francisco (-120); Total 9
We’ll start in the Bay Area, where the Brewers and Giants wrap things up at AT&T Park. Milwaukee eked out a 4-3 win last night to gain another game in the wild card chase on the Rockies and keep pace with the Diamondbacks. Today, they’ll send Matt Garza to the bump against Matt Moore.
After looking competent for a while, Matt Garza’s fortunes have reversed. Not only that, they’ve run him over, backed up, and then have run him over again. Garza now has a 4.81 ERA with a 5.09 FIP and a 5.04 xFIP. Over his last three starts, Garza has allowed eight, four, and eight runs on a whopping total of 22 hits. After his August 3 start, Garza had a 3.68 ERA with a 4.02 FIP and a 4.78 xFIP. It certainly seems like the regression in his statistics has come to fruition. He has allowed eight home runs over his last three starts.
We’ve actually seen Garza and the Brewers as the preferred side this morning, as this line has dropped a few cents. I’m certainly not interested. He has an 8/9 K/BB ratio in his last three outings to go along with that awful command. He did make his last start at Coors Field, but his two previous starts came against Cincinnati and Minnesota, so we’re not exactly talking about premier offenses.
Matt Moore has a 5.54 ERA with a 4.62 FIP and a 5.03 xFIP on the season. He’s been at or near the top of the league throughout the season in high exit velocity contact allowed. He leads the league in barrels, which are batted balls with a projected batting average of .500 or higher and a projected slugging percentage of 1.500 or higher. His percentage of balls in play at 95+ mph is also the fourth-highest among all pitchers with at least 190 batted ball events. That’s how you get a .323 BABIP against with a fairly high FB% and a lot of home runs allowed. The Brewers have fared better against lefties than righties this season.
The Giants are a pretty bad team and they probably won’t be all that motivated to play an early one today after another disappointing defeat yesterday. The Brewers offense has a great matchup. I obviously don’t like backing Garza given how he has pitched lately, but I’ll be looking to play the Brewers this afternoon.
Toronto (-115) at Tampa Bay; Total: 8.5
Much to the chagrin of Tampa Bay fans, Austin Pruitt gets another start today while Brent Honeywell sits at Triple-A. Pruitt has a tough counterpart in Marcus Stroman as the Jays and Rays both look to hang on in the AL Wild Card chase. The Jays are now six out and the Rays are 4.5 out, so it looks like both teams will spend the playoffs on the sidelines.
Stroman heads to the mound with a 2.99 ERA, a 3.69 FIP, and a 3.59 xFIP. He’s a very extreme ground ball pitcher and any pitcher with an extreme batted ball distribution isn’t going to get a whole lot of love from the advanced metrics. Stroman has a 62.6 percent GB% and has ridden at 77.6 percent LOB% to a sub-3.00 ERA. He’s allowed the sixth-highest exit velocity on ground balls this season, which is a contributing factor to his .312 BABIP against. Overall, he’s been really good and has a pretty good K/BB ratio as well. The Rays will send a lot of lefties at Stroman, who actually has reverse splits this season. Twelve of the 14 homers he has allowed have been hit by righties. Righties are slugging 70 points higher. That means that this is a pretty decent matchup for him.
Austin Pruitt now has a 5.37 ERA with a 3.80 FIP and a 4.39 xFIP. He’s made six starts and 17 relief appearances. It’s certainly understandable why the Rays fans want to see Honeywell, but Pruitt has been solid in three of his five starts since joining the rotation full-time. He is coming off of a start in which he allowed six runs on 11 hits to the Mariners, but he managed to battle through seven innings to spare the bullpen. In his five starts as a steady member of the rotation, Pruitt only has 20 strikeouts in 30.1 innings of work. He’s got a 4.45/4.32/4.74 pitcher slash. One thing that does worry me about guys like this is how they bounce back every five days. He made four starts and five relief appearances in Triple-A earlier this season. He worked 162.2 innings in Triple-A last year, so workload isn’t a concern. It’s just tough to gauge guys that spent the majority of the season relieving and then suddenly hit the rotation.
Either way, this is a bad matchup for a Tampa Bay lineup that hasn’t been very good for a while anyway. If you don’t want to lay the road price on Stroman, the under TB team total works as well. I think the price on Stroman is perfectly reasonable, though, and that’s the direction I’d go.
Seattle (-115) at Atlanta; Total: 9.5
The Mariners were shut out by Lucas Sims and the Braves bullpen on Tuesday night and now take their swings against knuckleballer RA Dickey. The Mariners will send Erasmo Ramirez to the hill as they look to get one back in the Wild Card chase. Ramirez came over from Tampa Bay to help the beleaguered Mariners rotation out because they have had trouble finding viable arms all year long. In four starts, Ramirez has a 3.54 ERA, but his 5.59 FIP and 4.96 xFIP don’t suggest good things in the future. Ramirez has done a good job of not walking batters this season and throughout his career, but he’s a BABIP-dependent starter with an extremely low strikeout rate and a lot of home runs. In those four starts, he’s already allowed five home runs.
Ramirez makes it all work, though. He’s pretty much a league average pitcher by a lot of metrics. Is that enough to be a road favorite against the Braves? It very well could be. But, RA Dickey’s ERA is down under 4.00. His peripherals are bad, with a 5.00 FIP and a 4.88 xFIP, but he’s also a knuckleballer and the advanced metrics aren’t really prepared to account for outliers like those guys. Dickey has induced a lot more ground ball contact this season, which is good with the league-wide elevation craze. He’s still allowed 22 home runs in 147 innings, but he allowed 28 in 169.2 innings last season.
Former Indians shortstop and potential Hall of Famer (he’s not in for me, IMO) Omar Vizquel used to bat right-handed against right-handed knuckleballers. He said he picked the ball up better and didn’t want to mess up his timing left-handed. Well, righties are batting .268/.356/.473 this season and lefties are batting .240/.313/.411. Righties have fared better overall against Dickey. The Mariners have decent lineup balance, but several key pieces in the middle of the order are left-handed.
I think I’m actually going to look at the under here. It’s a tough bet to make with two guys that show regression in the advanced metrics, but Ramirez is pretty good at allowing weak contact and Dickey is a tough matchup for teams that don’t see knuckleballs very often.
Colorado at Kansas City (-120); Total: 9.5
There aren’t a lot of great betting lines out there for us today, as there are a lot of big favorites in the market. One line that is intriguing is this one between the Rockies and the Royals. Antonio Senzatela is just a slight dog on the road against Ian Kenndy. Senzatela is a guy that hit the Regression Train hard. He has a 4.56 ERA with a 4.72 FIP and a 4.34 xFIP. He’ll be making his first start since August 9, when he allowed two runs on five hits in five innings. He hasn’t been a regular starter since June 22, when he allowed nine runs and got bumped from the rotation.
Senzatela remains a fade guy for me. He was living off of a really good BABIP with a lot of hard contact against and was the league leader in run support for a while. His 10-4 record means nothing to me. He’s struggled in two of his three spot starts since leaving the rotation. I don’t have high hopes for him in this spot or if he sticks around in the rotation.
That being said, I don’t have much faith in Ian Kennedy either. Kennedy was a fade candidate for me coming into the season. He posted a 3.68 ERA with a 4.67 FIP and xFIP last season. This season, he has a 5.06 ERA with a 5.26 FIP and a 5.14 xFIP. He’s allowed 24 home runs in 122.2 innings of work and is on pace to allow 30+ for the third straight season. A decline in strikeouts and an increase in walks have hurt, along with regression in his LOB%. Kennedy had an 83.1 percent LOB% last season. He’s at 68 percent this season.
I’m looking for runs in this one. I think these are two very hittable pitchers and the numbers would seem to back me up. After yesterday’s low-scoring game with two quality arms, runs are in the forecast at Kauffman Stadium.
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Red Sox, Indians battle in Cleveland
Two of the American League’s best teams meet on Wednesday, when the Indians host the Red Sox.
Boston has been one of the best teams in baseball since the All-Star break, and this team is currently doing what it can to pull away in the AL East. The Yankees are still trying to hang around, but they’ll need to find a way to put together a winning streak. If they can’t do that then the Red Sox will coast to a division title. But that doesn’t mean that the Sox can afford to just start losing now. This game against the Indians is an important one, but it’s also going to be one of the toughest for them to win. That is because RHP Corey Kluber (12-3, 2.67 ERA, 196 K) will be on the mound for Cleveland. Kluber is one of the best pitchers in the league, but it’s not like Boston will have a slouch out there. The Red Sox will be sending LHP Drew Pomeranz (12-4, 3.31 ERA, 136 K) to the mound on Wednesday. Pomeranz isn’t the pitcher that Kluber is, but he has been very good for Boston this year and is more than capable of holding his own out there. He also happens to be in a groove right now, and confidence is obviously of the upmost importance.
Drew Pomeranz is going to be starting for Boston in this game and that has been a good omen for the Red Sox lately. The Sox have won in eight of Pomeranz’s past 10 starts, and the lefty has allowed one or fewer earned runs in six of those 10 starts. Pomeranz did have to leave a start against the Yankees on Aug. 18 with back spasms, but he insists that he is feeling fine now. If that is the case then it’s very possible that he’ll shut the Indians down in this one. His last start against Cleveland was on Aug. 15, 2016, and Pomeranz pitched 7.2 innings of two-run ball in that game. Another outing like that would be huge for the Sox here. As for the offense, OF Mookie Betts is somebody that might be able to spark Boston in this game. Betts is 4-for-10 with a double, a homer, and two RBI against Kluber in his career. It is not easy to hit the righty, so it’s very impressive that Betts has had that type of success against him. It’d be big if he can keep it up on Wednesday.
Corey Kluber has been absolutely ridiculous as of late, as he has allowed only one run in seven of his past 10 starts. Kluber has also racked up double digits in strikeouts in seven of his past 10. He’s in a groove and the Indians have won in each of his past six outings. They’ll be expecting nothing but a victory when he gets back out there on Wednesday. Kluber’s most recent start against the Red Sox was in the postseason last year, when he shut them out for seven innings in a 6-0 victory for the Indians. On offense, DH Edwin Encarnacion is a player to keep an eye on in this game. Encarnacion has only had two at-bats against Pomeranz in his career, but he homered in one of those. It’d be huge for the Indians if he can go yard here and it’s certainly possible with the way he has been swinging the bat lately.
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MLB Daily Line Drive
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds (+130, 10)
The Cubs and Reds collide in Cincinnati this evening for Game 2 of their three-game series.
These two offensive-minded teams met last week for four games at Wrigley Field and it was a fireworks display, with three of the four games going over the total and an average combined score of 14.75 runs per game. And last night the two teams combined for 22 runs (a winner on the Over for us) in a 13-9 win for the Cubs.
That means the Cubs and Reds are averaging 16.2 total combined runs in their last five head-to-head meetings.
Today at the Great American Ball Park should be no different. The wind is expected to be blowing out to right-center (7-9 miles per hour) and the ball will be flying once again.
The Cubs are averaging 7.78 runs per game over their last nine contests and will send left-hander Mike Montgomery to the mound tonight. Monty will be making his first start since July 19. He's been pretty good out of the bullpen, but over his last four starting assignments his ERA is a lofty 7.45.
Montgomery's only career start against the Reds came earlier this season when he allowed four earned runs over 6.2 innings of work, including nine hits and a home run, in an eventual 5-0 loss in Cincinnati.
The Reds will send young right-hander Asher Wojciechowski to the hill to attempt to slow down the streaking World Champions. Asher started against the Cubs last Monday and was absolutely destroyed to the tune of seven earned runs, 10 hits, and two home runs allowed in just 3.2 innings of work at Wrigley Field.
Over Woj's last three appearances he has worked 11.1 innings, owns an ERA of 9.53, owns a WHIP of 1.853, and has allowed five home runs to opposing hitters.
Two offensive-minded teams, two struggling pitchers, a hitter's ballpark, and a slight hitter's wind. Gimme, gimme, gimme.
Pick: Over 10
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (+101, 8.5)
Both the Blue Jays and Rays are quickly falling out of contention for the second wildcard spot in the American League, but luckily for Toronto they send a guy to the mound for Wednesday’s matchup in Tampa Bay who gives his all on every pitch, no matter the score, count or standings.
That’s right, Marcus Stroman will be toeing the rubber for Game 2 of this American League East battle, and the “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart” right-hander has been one of the lone bright spots in this Blue Jays’ season and has been light’s out in his last three starts.
Stroman has complied a 11-6 record with a 2.99 ERA (third best in the American League) and a 1.30 WHIP this season and despite a 1-1 record in his last three starts, he has pitched to a 1.71 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP. In fact, his last start was against the Rays, where he scattered two runs on six hits over 6.1 innings pitched in a 3-2 win.
The Rays counter with 27-year-old rookie Austin Pruitt, who is 1-3 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP in six starts since joining the Tampa Bay rotation.
Yes, the Blue Jays have lost four straight, but Stroman thrives in being able to help his team out of a slump. Plus, he is 4-1 with a 2.62 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in five career starts at Tropicana Field.
Pick: Blue Jays -111
Yesterday's Picks: 2-0
Season To Date: 122-112-13
Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
Streaking: Corey Kluber, Cleveland Indians (12-3, 2.67 ERA, $-49)
It was a bit of a roller coaster start to the season for the Indians, but they have used the dog days of summer to round into form and starter Corey Kluber has been no different.
In his first five starts this season he pitched to a 5.06 ERA, but since then he has turned it on. In fact, of Kluber’s last 15 starts, 12 have been quality ones. In his last four starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.78 ERA and a 0.659 WHIP, while racking up 35 strikeouts to just four walks.
Kluber and the Indians are big -180 home favorites against the visiting Red Sox.
Slumping: Jordan Zimmermann, Detroit Tigers (7-10, 5.87 ERA, $-479)
Oh boy. The Tigers owe Jordan Zimmermann a lot of money for a lot more seasons and, right now, they are not getting their money’s worth.
Zimmermann has struggled mightily in his second season in Detroit, going 7-10 with a 5.87 ERA (the worst of his career) and a 1.519 WHIP. In his last two starts, Zimmermann has allowed 14 earned runs on 18 hits in just 8.2 innings pitched.
Zimmermann and the Tigers are big +180 home dogs today when they host the Yankees.
Wednesday's Top Trends
* The Los Angeles Dodgers are 54-10 in their last 64 overall. -160 today at Pirates.
* Under is 9-0 in the Washington Nationals' last nine interleague games. Nats/Astros Total: 9.5.
* Over is 11-1 in the St. Louis Cardinals' last 12 games vs. a right-handed starter. Padres/Cards Total: 8.5.
* The Colorado Rockies are 4-17 in their last 21 road games vs. a right-handed starter. +120 today at Royals (Kennedy).
Weather To Keep An Eye On
Fingers crossed - there shouldn't be any precipitation that will interrupt any of today's games on the MLB schedule.
It should be a pretty calm day in the wind department as well, with the only wind getting over 10 miles per hour will be a 12-15 MPH breeze blowing out to center field at AT&T Park in San Francisco where the Giants will host the Brewers this afternoon. The total for that game is set at 9.
Ump Of The Day
Angel Hernandez: MLB umpires are pissed off and, generally speaking, nobody gets more pissed off and involved in the action than Angel Hernandez. Most average baseball fans couldn't name three MLB umpires - but everyone knows Angel Hernandez (and Joe West).
With all of the controversy involving umpires over the last few weeks, Hernandez has taken it upon himself to get games over and get off the field as quickly as possible. That means plenty of strikes called and plenty of Unders. The Under has now cashed in his last nine games behind the plate and his strike percentage is now a whopping 64.2 percent for the season.
Angel will be calling balls and strikes in Baltimore this afternoon where the O's will host the A's. The total is currently set at 10.5.
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