With a somewhat abbreviated schedule on Monday, those generating MLB picks have to dig a little deeper to find solutions to the sportsbooks magical betting odds in order to show a profit.
We attempt to do our part by looking into three pitching matchups, one involving hurlers facing their old teams, one with a pitcher who seemed his career was over at least three different times and pair of left-handers who have reached the point of their careers where every start is an adventure, good or bad.
Time review each situation and understand what it means against the MLB odds for today.
Both American League first place squads who are meeting tonight average 4.4 runs a game, but how they do it could not be any different than a staunch political rivals trying to earn votes. Kansas City has a contact lineup, which is why they are second in batting average in the AL at .273 and 14th in home runs with 55. Houston’a approach is all or nothing, tied for 13th in the league with a .240 BA, but the leader in home runs with 110.
Joe Blanton (2-0, 1.73 ERA) came out of retirement to give baseball one more shot at 34 and hooked on with the Royals as a long reliever this season. The last time the right-hander finished a season with an ERA under four was 2007 and he’s only starting because of injury woes to other K.C. starters. However, to this point Blanton has been keeping his pitches low in the strike zone with a little movement and been an asset to skipper Ned Yost.
Blanton will be opposed by rookie Lance McCullers (3-2, 2.33), who is 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in four home starts. McCullers has a lively mid-90’s fastball and hard curve that runs away from right-hand hitters or that he can bury on the hands of lefties. The 21-year old is averaging 10.10 strikeouts per nine innings while limiting hitters to a .189 average.
The Astros are -135 favorites at most sportsbooks and a few cents lower at Heritagesports.eu and while it’s a new year, the visitor has won six straight in this confrontation and Houston is 3-9 at home versus teams averaging 0.9 or less homers a game this season.
Advantage – Blanton and Kansas City
Mike Bolsinger (4-2, 2.95) is the latest former Arizona pitcher who was not good enough to wear a Diamondbacks uniform but moved on only to find success (Google -Max Scherzer – and see how that is working out). Granted, the 2010 draft choice is not a star, but another team besides the D-Backs figured out how to best use Bolinger’s upper 80’s fastball and cutter and allowed him to trust his loopy curve which is tossed in the 70’s.
Bolsinger can show Arizona hitter’s what he learned in this NL West rivalry tonight, coming in with a 4-3 record on their current road trip. Allen Webster (1-1, 6.46) of the Snakes was in the Los Angeles farm system from 2008-12 and has the chance to prove something against his former club.