Friday Pitcher’s Report to Guide MLB Picks, Beating Betting Odds

Doug Upstone

Friday, May 8, 2015 5:11 PM UTC

Friday, May. 8, 2015 5:11 PM UTC

Tonight on the baseball docket we have two very good pitching matchups in which we will review each hurler from the betting odds perspective along a one pitcher who having the toughest time of his career.

In one of the matchups, the quality of the pitchers is similar, but not the teams. In the other conflict, the home pitcher is in revenge mode and seeking payback after his club was swept. Here is the breakdown against the sportsbooks MLB odds and who might be best to use for sports picks.


Mets vs. Phillies: Harvey vs. Hamels in Philly
Though Matt Harvey (5-0, 2.41 ERA) is a different type pitcher, he’s drawn comparisons to Dwight Gooden and can become the fourth New York Mets starting pitcher to start 6-0 in their first half dozen starts to a season, which includes Gooden in 1988. Harvey has been domineering and does not beat himself with his great control, having 34 strikeouts in 33 2/3 innings and only four walks.

Harvey and the first place Mets are -130 road favorite in Philadelphia and they will take on the one remaining quality asset the Phillies still possess in Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.14). The left-hander is on an appalling squad and his starts have either been sharp or dull as a rusty saw. What has hurt Hamels is his lack of control, issuing 4.62 walks per nine innings. "When I don't locate I think I get hammered," Hamels said.

Being on a bad team has not helped, but for some reason Hamels has really struggled in the second month of the season and he and the Phillies are 1-11 in May since 2013. With New York 32-13 against teams outscored by 0.5 or more runs a game, the Mets chances looks strong on the road.

Grade – B (For New York)


Cardinals vs. Pirates: Pittsburgh Looks to Steal Back Series Sweep from St. Louis
It was an anguished filled weekend for Pittsburgh in St. Louis, losing all three games to the Cardinals by one run and each in extra innings. Motivation will not be a problem for the Pirates who are already eight games back in the standings.

Francisco Liriano (1-1, 1.95) will be called upon to slow the best team in baseball and hopefully get his club back in the division race. The Bucs lefty allowed one run on three hits in eight innings at Busch Stadium last Saturday and got a no-decision. In his previous eight outings prior to last week versus the Cards, Liriano was 3-1 (Pirates 6-2) with a 1.76 ERA.

Pittsburgh is hardly a top choice for MLB baseball handicappers at places like because St. Louis will send Michael Wacha (4-0, 1.93) to toe the rubber. This is Wacha’s second crack at Pittsburgh in five days as he scattered five hits and two walks in 6 2/3 scoreless innings last Sunday. The right-hander has elite 1.31 ERA in four appearances against the Bucs.

While it seems almost impossible to go against the Redbirds these days, especially as an underdog, the Pirates are 13-6 at PNC Park the past two years when facing St. Louis and should take the opener behind Liriano.

Grade – D (For Pittsburgh)


Astros vs. Angels: Weaver Looks to End Woes
In Jered Weaver first night years with the Angels, he was 131-69 with a 3.28 ERA and regarded among the best pitchers in baseball. This season with his fastball five MPH slower than career average and three MPH slower than last season, Weaver is 0-4 with a 6.29 ERA. Even he doesn’t quite understand.

"It's just like every other sport," Weaver told MLB's official website. "The older you get, your body changes with what's going on. As good as I do feel, something's just not clicking. I've never felt this good before, as far as strength and everything, and I've never gone through a struggle like this. That's why baseball is baseball. It's a humbling game. It's just a matter of what you're going to do to figure it back out."

Los Angeles is in second place in the AL West and trails front-running Houston by six games after closer Huston Street blew a 2-0 lead in the ninth inning of the Angels bitter 3-2 setback. In previous seasons, this is where Weaver would step up, particularly at the Big A, being 37-10 against division rivals. (Angels record) But given his struggles and the lack of offense from the Halos (3.7 RPG), they are only a -120 home favorite versus a journeyman hurler like Roberto Hernandez (1-2, 4.25). Have to side with better club against waffling hurler.

Grade – D (For Houston)

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