Once again, precipitation will be a problem in the Northeast of the US, therefore take heed of that when making your betting picks or creating fantasy lineups. What are the MLB odds like for the A's vs. Indians and Phillies vs. D-backs?
Oakland Athletics (18-17) at Cleveland Indians (17-14)
Coming To Life
Manager, Terry Francona, has brought this organization back to prominence as the Indians have really stepped up as of late overall as a team.
This is a team that I consider to have a lot of “gamers” like Mark Reynolds. Reynolds gets plunked in the head with a baseball and he doesn’t create a commotion. During his next at-bat, he proceeds to hit one of the longest home runs in the history of Progressive Field. Now that’s what I call revenge!
The Tribe has won 9 out of their last 10 games and are undefeated in 3 matchups this season against Oakland thus far.
Scott Kazmir takes the mound for Cleveland tonight and after a long time off, he’s starting to emerge as the “Old Scott Kazmir” that was a force in the American League a few years back.
Kazmir is coming off of a 7-3 victory in which he allowed just 2 runs and 5 hits while striking out 7 batters in 6 innings. I think that barring injuries, Kazmir will return to his old form.
Kazmir is a lifetime 9-5 with a 3.91 ERA in 17 starts against Oakland and he’ll be facing veteran Bartolo Colon. Colon is capable of shutting out any team on any given day and facing a Cleveland lineup that’s been hot will be a task for the hefty right-hander.
Offense has been a strong suit for the Tribe this season. They rank 8th in the majors in runs scored, 4th in batting average, 5th in on-base percentage, and 1st in slugging percentage.
Catcher, Carlos Santana has been a superstar for the Tribe this season. In last night’s 4-3 victory over Oakland, he and Nick Swisher were the difference-makers in the game as they each hit a home run in the 6th inning.
Oakland has formidable hitters in Cespedes, Donaldson, Lowrie , and Seth Smith, but nobody has hit the ball like Carlos Santana and at a position where little offense is expected.
I hit with a dog yesterday and I like another one in this game in Cleveland. Cleveland has all of the momentum in the world and Kazmir’s return seems to be legitimate.
Free MLB Pick: Cleveland +114 at the Greek for your Baseball Picks.
Philadelphia Phillies (16-19) at Arizona Diamondbacks (19-15)
Philadelphia just hasn’t been able to return to its years of dominance. Roy Halladay finally made the intelligent decision to get surgery and Fightin Phils will be looking to ride the back of star pitcher, Cole Hamels (1-4, 4.34).
A Poor Start
After a brilliant season last year, Hamels has lost a little bit of control and has gotten off to a rotten start in 2013. That said, Hamels has managed to hold opposing batters to just a .219 batting average, but it hasn’t resulted in victories.
This will be a big game concerning Hamels’ confidence level as he’ll be facing an Arizona team that just swept the Dodgers and emerging star, Paul Goldschmidt, is coming off of a 2 home run game.
Goldy leads the D’Backs in all major statistical offensive categories and is playing like an early National League MVP candidate.Goldschmidt has hit home runs in 3 consecutive games. In these 3 games, he’s hitting 7 for 13 with 4 HR and 9 RBI.
Look for the Phillies to play slugger Ryan Howard. They held him out of yesterday’s game for matchup reasons in favor of John Mayberry Jr. The move backfired and Philly needs to go with their best. Howard is hitting for average and has been healthy. He could be a factor in this game.
With Patrick Corbin (4-0, 1.80) starting for the Diamondbacks, these odds seem too good to be true, but we’ll take it. Corbin has been dominant in every start this season. Although Hamels is pitching for the Phils, he hasn’t been the same pitcher and Arizona should be a much larger favorite.
Free Baseball Pick: Arizona -118 at the Greek.
Good Luck, Everyone!Be sure to check out Jeff Grant's pick regarding the Braves vs. Giants!