MLB Bettors Guide to This Week's Pitching Matchups & Bullpen Assessment

Doug Upstone

Monday, May 25, 2015 2:16 PM UTC

Monday, May. 25, 2015 2:16 PM UTC

It is already the last week of May week and time to look at the MLB odds from the sportsbooks by taking a peek at some the more intriguing pitching matchups over the next few days.

Besides these conflicts we will take a look at one group of relief pitchers and how they are positively or negatively impacting their teams up to this point of the season. While we do not know what the betting odds will be at places like, this will not stop us from looking at what might happen. Note – All pitchers are projected starters and subject to change.


Monday – Padres vs. Angels: Tyson Ross vs. Jered Weaver
The Padres Ross (2-4, 3.93 ERA) has not had a good season which is a bit of surprise much like the team he players for, San Diego. The right-hander has gotten into trouble walking too many hitters having issued at least two in each of his nine starts, and more than two in seven of them. His batting average against is slightly lower (.242 vs. .249 career) and if he cleans up the walks he will have a shot a win in Anaheim.

Weaver (3-4, 4.37) has won three in a row and is saving what looked to be a disastrous season, dropping his ERA two runs in the process. While his ERA is still at a career-high, the Angels long time ace is finding his control which makes his fastball less tantalizing to opposing hitters. With the San Diego offense either smoldering or frigid, the MLB odds will be Weaver’s favor, especially at the Big A where he is almost always tough.


Tuesday – Braves vs. Dodgers: Julio Teheran vs. Clayton Kershaw
Teheran (4-1) has not pitched as good as his record, which not is the worst thing if you are a MLB baseball handicapper. His ERA of 3.91 and WHIP of 1.44 are both much higher than career norms, have been offset by his Braves teammates scoring at least five runs in seven of his last eight starts. This would appear unlikely to happen in this contest, though he and Atlanta are 4-2 as underdogs.

The reason for this thinking for MLB picks is Kershaw's taking the horsehide for L.A. With a losing record (2-3) and a unimaginable ERA for the best pitcher in baseball (4.32) the past three years, certain numbers stat guys point to his career-worst numbers in home runs per innings (0.93) and line drive rates (25.2%). Match this with opponents batting .251 compared to meager .211 in his years with Dodgers. Eventually Kershaw will fine but backing him has already cost those making MLB picks -4 units.


Wednesday – Nationals vs. Cubs: Max Scherzer vs. Jon Lester
Both these aces are coming through as expected. These two are familiar with each other from the AL days and are pitching for what has been hot clubs. Scherzer (5-3, 1.67) has masterful control and misses a lot bats which explains his 0.88 WHIP. Watch to see if Washington is road favorite, they are 6-2 when there ‘horse’ climbs the mound.

After a rocky start, Lester (4-2, 3.56) is settling in and has six straight quality starts. The Cubs are not at Washington’s level of maturity for its everyday lineup, which makes this a fun confrontation of the Nationals wanting to prove they are superior and Chicago trying to climb the ladder. Both pitchers are paid big bucks to pitch in contests like this.


Thursday – Indians vs. Mariners: Corey Kluber vs. James Paxton
While Kluber (2-5. 3.39) deserves his share of the blame for Cleveland’s horrendous start, that looks to be old news now. In Kluber’s last three starts it looks this way – 25 innings, 15 hits allowed, 2 runs, 37 strikeouts and this is true, one walk. Taking out Nelson Cruz, the Indians ace should have another excellent outing.

In similar fashion, Seattle fell in five of Paxton’s first six starts; however, the Mariners have won his last three outings. Paxton (3-2, 3.52) has given up just two runs in that stretch over 20 innings and been nicked for just a dozen base-knocks. He’s a known fly-ball pitcher who needs to curtail his walks (10 in L3 starts), yet has lowered his ERA 1.55 in this period. This sets up to be solid matchup.

Improve MLB Picks Knowing How Starting Pitcher Success is Correlated To OPS

Bullpen of the Weak
Nobody is questioning Cincinnati has other faults besides their bullpen but this contingent has been brutal. The Reds relievers are hardly a relief with the poorest ERA in the majors at over 5 and they are next to last in OBP conceded. A lame argument could be made they are underused having the fewest innings, but is it the starters are that good or does manager Bryan Price no longer trust them? Subtract closer Aroldis Chapman and J.J. Hoover and you will find a collection of pitchers in Cincy uniforms who watch games in the outfield with ERA’s of six or much higher. The Reds offense is not helping and neither is their bullpen.

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