St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Adam Wainwright owns some very impressive numbers against the Houston Astros, which had led directly to the biggest number on the MLB odds board.
Lets go over some of the bigger names set to take the mound tonight, and decide if they are worth backing with our MLB picks.
Joe Blanton, Los Angeles Angels (4-13, -$1,275)
The Angels have won each of his last two starts, but he failed to earn a decision in a 6-5 home victory over the St. Louis Cardinals last time out, as he allowed five runs (four earned) and nine hits over 5.2 innings.
Blanton is 1-0 with a 2.93 ERA in six career starts versus the Cubs, while he’s compiled an 11-10 record and 4.59 ERA in interleague play.
Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies (4-14, -$1,474)
The club has won back-to-back games with him on the mound, including a 6-4 road victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out, as he allowed two runs (one earned) and five hits over seven strong innings.
Cole Hamels has tallied a dismal 1-6 record and 5.40 ERA in eight home appearances, surrendering eight home runs in 51.2 combined frames.
The left-hander will look to improve upon his 13-6 mark and 2.64 ERA in 25 career games versus the Nationals, but he suffered a 6-1 road loss on May 26 in this situation.
Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle Mariners (11-7, $455)
Iwakuma was selected to the American League All-Star team over the weekend, but he’s gone 0-3 with a 5.54 ERA over his last four outings—after opening up the year with a 7-1 record and 1.79 ERA.
The right-hander leads the Junior Circuit with a 2.60 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, as he prepares to face the Boston Red Sox for the first time in his career.
Bud Norris, Houston Astros (8-10, $179)
The right-hander is the MLB’s poster child in home-road dichotomy, as he enters with a 2-4 record and 5.04 ERA (4-3, 2.27 ERA at home) away from Minute Maid Park, but it’s important to note that his 2.29 ERA since May 21 ranks second in the AL over that span.
Norris is 8-5 with a 2.74 ERA in 15 lifetime starts versus the Cardinals—the 2nd-lowest ERA among active pitchers (min. 10 starts).
Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers (10-8, -$348)
He picked up his first win since June 7 last time out, as he led the club to an 11-1 road victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, allowing just three hits over seven shutout innings.
Verlander has tallied a 14-10 record and 3.93 ERA in 27 starts versus the Chicago White Sox, including a 2-0 mark and 1.69 ERA in two outings a season ago.
Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals (12-6, $222)
The club has dropped three of his last four efforts, but he didn’t earn a decision in a 6-5 road defeat to the Los Angeles Angels last time out, as he allowed four runs and seven hits over eight frames.
Wainwright is a dominating 12-1 with a 1.58 ERA in 20 career games (14 starts) versus the Astros—his most career wins and lowest ERA (min. 6 starts) against any opponent.
Barry Zito, San Francisco Giants (8-9, -$91)
The left-hander is 0-3 with a 5.51 ERA in his last six outings, but he could turn things around in this effort, considering he’s tallied a 4-1 record and 1.98 ERA in 10 appearances at AT&T Park.
Barry Zito has compiled an even 3-3 record and 4.43 ERA in eight career games versus the New York Mets, including an 0-1 mark and 8.68 ERA in two appearances in 2012.