Diamondbacks vs. Cardinals: Bradley Stud for Arizona, but St. Louis Better Team
Archie Bradley (2-1, 4.00 ERA) was a terrific story last month as he went 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA in his first three career starts before leaving an April 28 outing with a right sinus fracture after being struck in the face by a line drive. The right-hander has gone 0-1 with a 10.29 ERA in two starts since coming back and Arizona coaches believe the problem has been not getting hurt, but what the period of inactivity did in taking him out of his routine.
Still only 22, Bradley has not handled adversity well and has been known to be visibly frustrated, which is not a trait to have against St. Louis, the best team in the National League. Bradley will try and buzz through the Cardinals lineup with a mid to upper 90’s heater and blend in his knuckle-curve.
The St. Louis starter is Jaime Garcia (0-1, 2.57) whose been limited to 17 starts the last three years due to a variety of injuries. No longer a prospect at 28, Garcia still offers an assortment of pitches like sinkers, sliders, cutters, curves and changeups, though his command will vary from outing to outing. He has not gone past 55 innings in the last two years. He did make through seven innings in his initial start five days ago and is 3-0 with a 2.16 ERA in three starts against Arizona.
Wagerweb.ag has St. Louis and Garcia as -150 favorites and hard to go against that figure as the Redbirds are 23-6 as a favorite of -110 or higher this season.
Advantage – Garcia and St. Louis
Astros vs. Orioles: Baltimore Deserves to be Favored, Yet Astros No Joke
Based purely on talent, Chris Tillman (2-5, 6.10) is a much better thrower than the well-traveled Scott Feldman (3-4, 5.17). But just ask any baseball handicapper, talent alone does not win games.
Tillman’s four-seam fastball is not missing many bats and his control has not been good with 14 free passes in his past five starts leading to 0-4 record and 6.41 ERA. The O’s top pitcher is 2-1 with 4.21 ERA vs. Houston.
Feldman is merely serviceable and will be replaced once Houston has somebody to take his spot and the right-hander is 1-2 with a 6.35 ERA in four starts this month.
With these facts and because the Astros are 14-7 on the road, plus 17-8 as underdogs, they are only +112 in MLB odds on the road. With how good their bullpen is, even with Feldman, Houston is a definite threat to be used for MLB picks.
Advantage – Feldman and Houston
Mariners vs. Rays: Happ Gives Seattle Shot at Tampa Bay
Coming into the season Seattle was looking for a fifth starter to complete their rotation and J.A. Happ (3-1, 3.61) won the job. Either Happ has surpassed expectations or the rest of the Mariners rotation is failing to meet them, as he is the only starter other than Felix Hernandez to post a winning record.
The left-handed Happ is one of those rare pitchers to pick up velocity has he got older by adjusting his arm angle lower and his fastball has climbed over 90 MPH.
Alex Colome (3-1, 4.81) will attempt to end Tampa Bay’s three-game slide after reaching first place. Colome flashes dominant stuff on occasion with his four-pitch mix, but has not maintained command of his pitches, which dates back to the minors because his mechanics are weak for a starting pitcher.
With Tampa Bay only 19-29 after scoring four runs or less in three straight games since last season, they can win this contest.
Advantage – Happ and Seattle