Losing streaks are flat out ugly and they help shape the betting odds from the sportsbooks often in a negative fashion. Today, three pitchers will attempt to change their teams fortunes.
When successful, these are known as "stoppers" as they help end a clubs miserable period of play and hopefully once they win they can regain the ground they lost in the standings, but that is not always the case and sometimes the defeats just keep on coming. As a baseball handicapper, it my job to find these answers to help you for MLB picks and look to improve on recent 23-13 mark.
Padres vs. Marlins: Miami Needs Fernandez to Work his Magic
It has become common place in South Florida to believe whenever there are expectations on the baseball team, they will fail. Miami was given a chance to compete with Washington in the NL East and at the very least were presumed to a wild card contender. At 42-62 (-19.2 units), the only race they are in is trying to stay ahead of last place Philadelphia.
Having lost four in a row and seven of eight, the only recent victory has come when Jose Fernandez (4-0, 2.53 ERA) has pitched. Though most expected the 23-year old to be effective coming off Tommy John surgery , the way he's thrown it's like he was never hurt.
Fernandez has never personally lost a home game and is 15-0 in 23 starts (Miami 20-3) at Marlins Park, which has him in rarified company. According to Elias Sports, Johnny Allen (1932-33) and LaMarr Hoyt (1979-82) are the only pitchers since 1900 to win their first 16 home decisions.
Fernandez has an electrifying mid to sometimes upper 90's fastball that really darts low in the zone and a nasty curveball and the MLB odds have them as -157 favorites to end this latest losing streak. (Wagerweb is at -150).
It is not going to easy against James Shields (8-4, 3.77), who's been throwing better and his San Diego teammates have won seven of eight. In this case it makes little sense to be a hero for sports picks and you just trust the streak.
Slight Advantage - Fernandez and Miami
Braves vs. Phillies: Atlanta Hope Teheran is Life Preserver
The Braves have dumped six in a row, 11 of 15 since the All-Star break and 16 of 21 since July 8th. In this stretch they have only played five home games and they won three of those, thus it simple to see the problem has been on the road.
Before the break, a weekend in Philadelphia looked like a place to win a series. but the Phillies might have the worst record in the majors at 41-64 (-8), however, there is no more confident team in the sport having won 12 of 14.
Julio Teheran (6-6, 4.71) will be Atlanta's starter, trying to end this losing streak and this is not necessarily good. Teheran has labored mightily on the road going 1-5 with a 7.24 ERA in 11 starts (Braves 4-7), compared to being 5-1 at home with a 2.37 ERA.
Atlanta is a -116 road favorite with their right-hander 4-1 with a 1.69 ERA in his last six starts against the Phillies. Nonetheless, backing a road favorite which has lost 13 of 14, against a pitcher struggling away from home, versus a scalding hot opponent, makes little sense.
Disadvantage - Teheran and Atlanta
Angels vs. Dodgers: Angels Having a Devil of a Time Finding Wins
With C.J. Wilson on the DL, the bumbling Los Angeles Angels have to dip into the minors and called up Cory Rasmus to be their spot starter to end their end their five-game road losing streak. He and his Halos teammates are +140 underdogs to the Dodgers in the Freeway Series, as Mat Latos (4-7, 4.48) makes his L.A. debut.
Rasmus was actually called up Thursday from Triple-A and worked one 12 pitch inning on Friday. For this matchup he knows what to expect, as last August when Garrett Richards was injured, it was Rasmus and friends, as he would pitch around three innings and the bullpen took over from there and it worked quite well for manager Mike Scioscia.
Problem is the bullpen has conceded 10 runs on this away excursion and allowed two other runs to score making it 12 all together. While Latos is beatable, the Angels offense has scored seven times in past four games, thus backing the Halos could be costly.
Disadvantage - Rasmus and Angels