Enhance Saturday's MLB Picks with This Trio of Top Money Pitchers

Doug Upstone

Saturday, May 16, 2015 3:23 PM UTC

Saturday, May. 16, 2015 3:23 PM UTC

Today’s Pitcher Report will take a close look at three hurlers who have scuffled against the MLB odds for a variety of reasons and we will speculate if they can turn it around tonight.

Each case is a little different, but the bottom line their teams are not having the success necessary to beat the sportsbooks and if you are backing these pitchers and their teams with MLB picks, you are not a happy camper.


Brewers vs. Mets: New York Mets Need a Stopper
The Mets have dropped five in a row and have seen their lead in the NL East chopped to a single game. New York is dealing with a series of injuries and a so-so offense has fallen off to 3.6 runs per game. This leaves manager Terry Collins to rely on his pitchers and hope to scrap together enough runs.

Tonight that assignment falls to Jacob deGrom (3-4, 3.46 ERA), who has lost three of his last four starts with a 5.64 ERA after a brilliant start. The right-hander’s problems have come right out of the gate in the first inning and be hit hard early. The first two hitters in the opposing teams batting order are batting a robust .384 against deGrom and his team has fallen into quick deficits. "It boils down to location," deGrom said. "I struggled with it and I think that kind of gets me off my game plan. I can't throw the pitches I want for strikes and make some mistakes over the plate and they seem to hit a long way."

This hesitancy has led to grooving pitches in order to get ahead and the other teams is hitting .364 on his first pitches of an at bat.

One good aspect for the deGrom and the Metropolitians is when the 26-year is at Citi Field he is 8-1 with a 1.30 ERA in his last 10 home starts. Nevertheless, New York has lost 13 of 16 to Milwaukee at home and while Brewers starter Matt Garza (2-4, 4.04) is nothing special, he’s pitched better of late and has 1.64 ERA versus New York in three starts, lasting at least seven innings in each. Wagerweb has the Mets at -140, but I would not bet on them at that price.

Grade – D (For New York)

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Nationals vs. Padres: Cashner Needs Runs to Cash
With a 3.07 ERA, Andrew Cashner should not have a 1-6 record. San Diego and their tall right-hander have lost four in a row and in that stretch Cashner has received three total runs of support from his teammates. Cashner loves pitching at Petco Park having not allowed more than two earned runs in a MLB-record 21 consecutive home games. Despite posting a sterling 1.50 ERA in this stretch, he is only 6-9 (Padres 11-10).

Tonight’s task will not be easy, facing Max Scherzer (3-3, 1.99) and Bryce Harper for Washington, with the Nats on a 13-4 move. Scherzer is capable of stalling San Diego’s offense and if Cashner makes any mistake to Harper, he could build on his NL-leading home run total of 13.

Even if Cashner pitches well at Petco like he always does, the Padres bullpen ranks 13th in ERA and could lose another game.

Grade – D (For San Diego)

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White Sox vs. Athletics: Sox Danks Seeks Road Win
MLB baseball handicappers know John Danks (1-3, 5.12) is hardly alone when it comes to have a strong home/road dichotomy. The White Sox lefty has an ERA of at 3.32 at The Cell in a trio of starts (all Chicago wins) and an unsightly ERA of 7.82 on the road (all Sox losses).

Danks is catching too much of the plate which is why he’s surrendered 21 base-knocks in only 12 2/3 road innings. However, Oakland is just 1-7 this season against left-handed starters and the way bullpen has performed (last in AL in ERA) and the guys in the field making errors (major league-worst 37), if Danks throws like he usually does against the A’s (2.38), a victory is a possibility.

Chicago got into the Oakland bullpen last night and overcame a 6-2 deficit and won 7-6, with that confidence, even as +150 underdogs on the MLB betting odds, they deserve consideration for sports picks, as long as Danks does not keep trending poorly on the road.

Grade – D (For Chicago)

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