In the last several seasons, baseball handicappers have enjoyed perusing the MLB odds for these excellent division rivalry’s. Though the luster is not the same in 2015, the competitiveness will be.
St. Louis and Cincinnati have been feuding since the Tony LaRussa vs. Dusty Baker days. Kansas City has flipped roles with Detroit as the team to beat in the AL Central and while many claim to be tired of the Red Sox and Yankees, eyeballs and sportsbooks action for MLB picks is always at a fever pitch for their confrontations.
These two hurlers squared off last week in St. Louis and John Lackey (9-6, 2.78 ERA) was the hard luck loser in pitching eight innings, making one miscue, a Jay Bruce home run in a 1-0 setback. Lackey has really been in a phenomenal groove, with a 1.71 ERA in his last nine starts, six which have resulted in Cardinals victories.
What is most amazing about Lackey’s resurgence is the fastball is continually in the low 90’s even at 36, and he’s a complete pitcher, able to add or subtract off that pitch and his slider has been devastating to right-hand hitters. The only possible concern is Lackey and the Redbirds are 3-6 away from The Arch.
Anthony DeSclafani (6-7, 3.75) quieted St. Louis bats for seven scoreless innings of three-hit baseball, but has not had the same success at Great American Ballpark where he is 2-4 with burgeoning 5.69 ERA. While DeSclafani stuff is not overwhelming, his command has been good for a first-year starter.
The Cards betting odds have been lowered to -125 at Wagerweb.ag and other betting outlets, yet having been shut-out twice last week by the Reds, St, Louis is this spot is 13-2 revenging two straight losses having tallied or less runs the last two seasons.
Advantage – Lackey and St. Louis
Kansas City has assumed the role of leader after Detroit’s four-year run as champions of the division, but don’t expect the Tigers to not go down without a fight, particularly in Eminem’s city.
Justin Verlander (1-3, 4.86) has reclaimed the ace role in Detroit by default with departures, but has looked like his old self in last two outings, lasting eight innings each time, permitting one run on each occasion, while striking out 13 and walking nobody. Verlander has never minded facing Kansas City with a 19-7 record and 3.17 ERA.