Three different pitchers today have varying assignments. The MLB odds say two starters will be in the role of underdogs and with the other a favorite and trying to right the ship.
Rays vs. Twins: Gibson Emerging at Minnesota’s Top Pitcher
Like a stone thrown to create a ripple on one of the state of Minnesota’s placid lakes, Kyle Gibson (3-2, 2.70 ERA) of the Twins is quietly becoming not only Minnesota’s best pitcher, but among the finest in the American League. Gibson has a 0.96 ERA in his last four outings and at Target Field; he has not allowed a run in 16 2/3 innings over two-plus starts. The right-hander is not a power pitcher with only 17 strikeouts in 43 2/3 innings, but he’s a master in having the other team beat the ball into the ground.
His fastball is 89-92 MPH, has late sinking action and is often beaten into the ground and he is able to effectively use this pitch on both sides of the plate. Gibson supplements this pitch with a slider, and what scouts call a “plus changeup”.
As the Twins go for the sweep of Tampa Bay, Gibson has a mental hurdle to overcome since he is 0-3 with a 9.98 ERA versus the Rays. His mound opponent will be Chris Archer (3-4, 2.59), who is 3-0 with a 0.49 ERA in three starts against the Twins and who has a MLB-best running total of 20 2/3 scoreless road innings. Sportsbooks like Wagerweb.ag have Tampa Bay as a -130 road favorite, but with Minnesota having won nine of 10 at home, the MLB betting odds value play is with Gibson and Twinkies.
Grade – C (For Minnesota)
Yankees vs. Royals: NY Needs an Effective Capuano
With Chase Whitley suffering a partial tear of his ulnar collateral ligament, the timing could hardly be better for Chris Capuano to come off the DL. The left-hander strained his right quad in spring training and has been working his way back. Last season Capuano made a dozen starts for New York and was 2-3 with a 4.25 ERA and is a true No.5 starter. His job is to do his best, make 85 to 100 pitches and keep his team in the game.
MLB baseball handicappers understand he is a finesse pitcher with an 87-88 MPH fastball and his curve is most effective early in counts. His out pitch is a very good changeup, but he will use it on any count. If Capuano lacks command, he is usually be hit hard early and be out of the game.
Capuano and the Yankees are +125 underdogs at Kansas City with the series is tied. The lefty has not thrown against the Royals in 11 seasons and this will be his first-ever start against, which will mean he will have at least one start versus every major league club. Do not expect it to be a successful one however with Kansas City 10-2 off a loss.
Grade – D (For New York)
Nationals vs. Padres: Strasburg Trying to Find It
Plain and simple, Stephen Strasburg (2-4, 6.06) is struggling. The former No. 1 pick allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 3 1/3 innings in his last outing in Arizona, which started more speculation there is something physically wrong with him. However, Strasburg maintains he is fine and the root of the problem stems from spraining his ankle in spring training and he developed bad habits in altering his mechanics.
I watching his last start, he definitely was throwing across his body which has straightened out all of tosses and this is the most logical explanation for his results.
With Washington on a 14-4 roll, they are around -130 away favorites to defeat Ian Kennedy (2-2, 5.92) and San Diego and take the four-games series 3-1. But with Strasburg 16-21 as a favorite of -125 to -175 the last two seasons (Nationals Record), do you really trust him for MLB picks? Maybe being back in his hometown will help and he is 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA in past three outings against the Padres.
Grade – C (For Washington)