MLB Picks: Pitching Matchups for the Week Ahead (Mon-Thurs)

Doug Upstone

Monday, May 11, 2015 6:02 PM UTC

Monday, May. 11, 2015 6:02 PM UTC

We begin another week of attacking the MLB odds from the sportsbooks by taking a peak at some the more entertaining pitching matchups of the next few days and what kind of form each could supply

In addition, we will take a look at one group of relief pitchers and how they are positively or negatively impacted their teams up to this point of the season. While we do not know what the betting odds will be at joints like, this should not stop us from speculating. Note – All pitchers are projected starters and subject to change.


Monday – Jacob deGrom vs. Jon Lester
The slender, hard-throwing deGrom has not been nearly as good on the road compared to Citi Field with 6.55 ERA in away games compared to a 1.40 ERA at home. What you notice is right-hander lacks the same command of pitches particularly early in games and has gotten in trouble.

The Cubs John Lester has been just the opposite with 4.77 ERA at Wrigley compared to 2.77 ERA in the visiting grey’s. The lefty has been able to spot his pitches better in the last couple starts and maybe is getting comfortable with his new surroundings and not feeling like every toss matters with his large contract. Chicago will be typical home favorite and this not be an easy choice for MLB picks.


Tuesday – Kyle Gibson vs. Alfredo Simon
This will be the opener between the surprising Twins and Tigers in Detroit. Minnesota has won four of Gibson’s six starts (all as underdogs in MLB odds) and he’s done a good job of getting his sinker to work and has been inducing ground balls. Gibson will have to sharp because the top of the Tigers lineup as a dangerous as it gets.

After the Simon won his first four starts in a Detroit uniform, he’s been tagged for 14 hits in just over nine innings and this has resulted in Tigers defeats. The lack of sink on his fastball has hurt Simon and he will need to be on top of game with Minnesota averaging 4.8 runs a game. No question MLB baseball handicappers will consider Minnesota as underdogs here on a value play.


Wednesday – Francisco Liriano vs. Cole Hamels
This will be Game 3 in the Keystone State clash and it should feature a good lefty’s matchup. Liriano is coming up his worst outing of the season, surrendering six runs in an 8-5 loss to St. Louis. Nonetheless, Liriano still has a very good ERA at 2.79, yet Pittsburgh has only won one of his six starts mostly because of their offensive woes.

It would seem the Pirates bats will awaken against Hamels who stymied the Mets on one run on four hits in his last start, a 3-1 victory over Matt Harvey. Hamels has been more inconsistent playing on a lousy Phillies club, but when he’s not walking opposing batters he’s tough. For MLB picks, a lower total will catch ample support.


Thursday – Doug Fister vs. James Shields
These two pitchers hookup again, this time as National League hurlers. Washington has won Fister’s previous two starts, as the righty has done a better job adjusting his arm motion slightly to have his knuckles above the ball instead of on the side which was preventing his tosses from sinking like normal.

Shields is just a professional pitcher who is consistent and productive. Though he is 4-0, San Diego is 4-3 when he has taken the ball and his 4.25 is a little high for him, as he again this season is not able to place his change-up exactly where he wants it. This should be a fun start of a good four-game series.


Bullpen of the Week
Kansas City is exceeding preseason prognostications and one of the reasons is again they have a lights-out bullpen. The Royals boast the lowest bullpen ERA this season (1.51) and have the most scoreless appearances of at least one inning by relievers (65). This Kansas City crew is first in batting average allowed, strikeout percentage and the best in baseball with two outs and runners in scoring position. And they have conceded the fewest runs in the majors from the seventh inning on. With closer Greg Holland back off the DL, that is a plus, but frankly not sure how much better they can be.

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