MLB Picks: Four Starting Pitchers Looking to Avoid Sweeps Tonight

Doug Upstone

Thursday, June 18, 2015 2:58 PM UTC

Thursday, Jun. 18, 2015 2:58 PM UTC

Today will conclude all interleague action of the past three days those generating sports picks have some tough choices with a group of teams going after a four-game in different locations.

Time and space does not allow us to cover each one, nonetheless, we will focus on the most competitive matchups according to the sportsbooks MLB odds and share our thoughts on those.


Astros vs. Rockies
Does David Hale Give Colorado a ‘Hale’ of a Chance To Win?

The Rockies have dumped three straight to first place Houston and each loss has been decisive, by at least three runs. Pitching-starved Colorado turns to David Hale (2-1, 4.56 ERA) who has thrown at least six innings in each start this season and has 19 strikeouts compared to only three walks in those games. The reason for the larger ERA is he’s allowed six home runs in his last three starts.

The betting odds have Colorado as +110 home underdogs (at last look +114 at Wagerweb) and they should have chances to score against Houston’s Collin McHugh (6-3, 5.08), whose ERA is 8.44 in his past three starts. However, coming off an 8-4 drubbing, the Rockies are 2-12 after a loss by four runs or more this season.

Disadvantage – Hale and Colorado


Padres vs. A's
Kennedy and Padres at the Wrong Location
After climbing to .500, San Diego has gone backwards since Sunday with four losses in a row including the past three to Oakland. Last night’s was a complete embarrassment, falling 16-2, giving the A’s a four-game winning streak and making them winners of six of eight.

Ian Kennedy (3-5, 5.84) began the season in horrendous fashion with a 7.15 ERA after eight starts but he’s improved over this past three with an ERA of 3.00, all San Diego wins. His mound foe will be Kendall Graveman (3-3, 4.22), who was also miserable early with 8.27 ERA in four April starts and he was demoted to Triple A before returning and has an ERA of 2.20 ERA in his past five outings.

Though there are some potential positives for the Padres as +150 underdogs, as a baseball handicapper, cannot overlook San Diego is 3-8 against the AL this season and the Athletics are a galvanic 32-10 at home when facing NL opponents.

Disadvantage – Kennedy and San Diego


Brewers vs. Royals
Brewers Attempt to Salvage One Game with Kansas City

The Brewers and Royals both joined the AL at the same time in 1969 (the Brewers first season was as the Seattle Pilots before moving to Milwaukee) and they were division rivals for decades before Milwaukee was transferred to the NL.

These days that is about the only thing they have in common as Kansas City has the second-best record in the majors at 37-25 (+10.1 units) and Milwaukee has the second-worst at 24-43 (-17.9). The Royals have enhanced both those records by winning the first three contests and all in decisive fashion, by a total score of 25-9.

Depending on how one looks at the situation, the Brew Crew’s Jimmy Nelson (3-7, 4.60) is either the savior or sacrificial lamb against Kansas City. Nelson’s record explains his inconsistency as in his past six starts he’s given up in order -7,0,6,4, 2 and 1 earned runs. Jeremy Guthrie and K.C. are -144 favorites and he and the Royals are 22-8 the past three years when he’s their starter and for MLB picks, choosing Milwaukee appears to be a lost cause.

Disadvantage – Nelson and Milwaukee


Pirates vs. White Sox
Chicago Tries to Prevent Sweep at Home

After floundering early, Pittsburgh has picked up the pace and sprinted to 20 wins in 25 games. The Chicago White Sox have stepped in front of this runaway train the past three games and lost each time.

Sox starter Jeff Samardzija (4-4, 4.84) is quite familiar with the Pirates having faced them nine times when he pitched for the cross-town Cubs and is 3-4 with a 2.43 ERA against them. However, all those wins came in his first three starts and since Pittsburgh has become a more elite club, he and his teams have only tasted defeat.

Chicago is a +120 home dog and it is understandable having to take on Gerrit Cole (10-2, 1.71), who is the NL leader in wins and the big league’s leader in ERA. Though everything points to another Bucs victory, the sportsbooks number seems low and though I think the Pittsburgh has the better team to win, a Chicago triumph is at least a possibility.

Slight Disadvantage – Samardzija and Chicago

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