Two MLB leading pitchers in ERA meet on Friday night when the Los Angeles Dodgers play the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park. Our handicapper analyzes the recent betting trends of both pitchers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers, fresh off of a sweep by the San Francisco Giants, visit the San Diego Padres on Friday night in a clash between the two top teams in the NL West. San Diego is also coming off of a series loss in Colorado, losing Thursday afternoon 2-1. Early MLB odds for this game opened with the visiting Dodgers as favorites on the money line at -122, and the O/U set at 6.5. There could actually be a few showers in the region in the later innings of this game, but likely nothing to cause a delay.
The last time I covered an Andrew Cashner start I backed him with my MLB picks because of his stellar home ERA and WHIP. He went on to pitch 6 innings, giving up no earned runs while striking out nine batters. Great, right? Not so great. Cashner got into a little trouble in the 2nd inning, giving up two leadoff singles. A few errors later and 4 unearned runs had crossed the plate. Cashner pitched the rest of the game unscathed, but took the loss. In his last start in Chicago, he also gave up 3 unearned runs. Only 5 of the 12 runs that Cashner has given up this year have been earned – that’s how a pitcher with a 2.65 ERA and 20/6 K/BB rate ends up with a 1-2 record. This is also why it is important not to concentrate too much on ERA and wins to analyze pitcher performance. What does stick out with Cashner; however, is that his WHIP is elevated at 1.53 and also his BAA at .278. So, Cashner is definitely struggling with batters although his ERA suggests otherwise.
On the other hand, Zack Grienke, has been rock solid to start the season. All of his 4 runs given up have been earned, and he still has a 1.83 ERA. His WHIP and BAA is just as impressive, sitting at 0.71 and .171, respectively. One of my favorite things about Grienke was his offensive performance in 2013, where he batted .328! Not on pace for that level of performance just yet in 2015, but we’ll keep tabs on that throughout the season. Back to pitching statistics: I’ve reviewed the batting average against for the San Diego batters and only one player really gives Grienke trouble, Justin Upton. Upton has been in and out of games recently with a quad strain so his status for Friday night’s game is uncertain. Even if he does play, having one of your best threats under 100% while facing a pitcher of this caliber is never preferred.
MLB Betting Verdict
I keep trying to find a reason not to pick the Dodgers in this matchup and I just can’t find one. Although this should be a low scoring affair on both sides I simply trust Grienke more at this point in the season that Cashner. This is especially true after Grienke only allowed two hits in 6.0 IP just a few weeks ago to this San Diego lineup. Place your MLB Picks for Friday night early before this betting line gets inflated.
MLB Picks: Dodgers at -113 at Pinnacle