MLB Picks & Pitching Report: We Look to Extend 12-4 Winning Streak

Doug Upstone

Saturday, August 22, 2015 2:09 PM GMT

Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015 2:09 PM GMT

It is human nature to desire wanting to turn a negative into a positive. This is especially true of professional athletes, but depending on your teammates, you are not always go to beat the betting odds.

For today, we will look into a trio of pitchers and try to determine if they are a good or bad choice for our MLB picks against the sportsbooks MLB odds and offer are opinion on the outcome and attempt to improve on recent 12-4 record.

 

Ross Asked to be Stopper for Flailing Nationals
In the last two nights for Washington, two of their top pitchers Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez, have been beaten by a couple of the weakest teams in the National League, Colorado and Milwaukee respectively. With New York winning last night, the Nationals are five games in the loss column behind the Mets and are below .500 at 60-61.

Joe Ross (3-5, 3.86 ERA) will try and give his team a lift, but he has to help himself at the same time. Ross allowed four runs in four innings in a 5-0 defeat at San Francisco and that was coming a off a similar showing in which he never made it out of the fifth inning against the Dodgers after conceding five runs in another loss. That leaves him 0-2 with a 9.35 ERA from those games and his confidence has to be shaken.

MLB odds still have Ross and the Nationals as -150 home favorites, yet the Nats are hardly an inviting choice with Milwaukee having won five of seven and rookie pitcher Taylor Jungmann (7-4, 2.23) having a very good campaign for a poor club and he's allowed more than two earned runs once in his 13 starts. With Washington 13-25 versus a starting pitcher who strikes out five or more batters per start this season, that is a lot of lumber on the Nats.

Slight Disadvantage - Ross and Washington

Harang Trying to Finish Strong for Phillies
It is not a secret Aaron Harang (5-14, 4.79) is in the twilight of his career at 37, and quite possibly the only reason he's still in the big leagues now is Philadelphia has no other options. Since coming off the DL, Harang has not hung around too late in his starts, only once in his past five starts registering an out in the sixth inning and has 9.72 ERA. Unfortunately for Harang and possibly the Phillies, he does not appear to be a good choice for MLB picks with a 1-4 record and 8.12 ERA in nine career outings at Miami.

With the Marlins playing some of their best baseball of the season in winning seven of 11, backing Harang and the Phils as +120 underdogs feels like a risky proposition. This seems particularly true with Harang and Philadelphia 2-15 against teams whose hitters strike out seven or more times a game this season.

Disadvantage - Harang and Philadelphia

Kazmir Looks for Bounce Back Effort for Houston
Talk about a tough act to follow, Scott Kazmir (6-8, 2.43) is the Astros pitcher the night after Mike Fiers tossed a no-hitter. Kazmir has to look ahead after being racked for six runs and nine hits at Tampa Bay Monday in 5 1/3 innings. The left-hander will have to be at his best with his mound opponent Zack Greinke (13-2, 1.58), who looks to b headed towards a Cy Young and of late is lights out with an 8-0 record in 11 starts and a ridiculous 1.16 ERA.

Kazmir and Houston are +110 home underdogs and the Astros are 43-21 at Minute Maid Park. While we believe the veteran lefty will be sharper this evening, Greinke and the Dodgers are 11-0 after two or more consecutive losses since last season, which this baseball handicapper cannot ignore.

Disadvantage - Kazmir and Houston

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