In Monday's Pitcher Report, we will breakdown three matchups in which each starting pitcher was on a different team last season and review the sportsbooks MLB odds and speculate on the outcome.
Changing teams because of trades or free agency is part of the game, but sometimes the transition goes as smooth as buttery frosting and other times its as frustrating as getting the wrong food order going through the fast food drive-thru.
Whatever the case, here is a how all six hurlers and their teams look to this baseball handicapper for MLB picks.
Dodgers vs. Braves: Beachy vs Wisler
Brandon Beachy (0-1, 6.75 ERA) for a second straight time has the unenviable task of having to follow-up Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in the Los Angeles rotation. At least motivation will not be an issue for the still only 28-year old. Beachy returns to Atlanta where he was once one of their top pitching prospects but pair of Tommy John surgeries have made his pitches less effective and he was released by the Braves in December and is only in the Dodgers starting five out of necessity at this time because of their injuries.
There is nothing wrong with 22-year old Matt Wisler (3-1, 3.10) who is making his sixth start for Atlanta after being part of the Padres-Braves big offseason trade. With San Diego floundering and looking to possibly make trades of a couple of acquisitions in that deal, the Braves might have really gotten something in Wisler, who has a mid-90's fastball and three good complementary pitches, with a tight slider, changeup and slow curve.
Though it appears Atlanta has the pitching edge, the MLB betting odds have them at +135 home underdogs (+139 at Heritage) in part because they have lost seven of eight and the Dodgers have racked up 28 base hits in their last two outings against Washington pitching.
Slight Advantage - Beachy and Los Angeles
Mariners vs. Tigers: Happ vs. Simon
There were question marks about J.A. Happ (4-5, 4.14) and Alfredo Simon (8-6, 4.53) who were with Toronto and Cincinnati respectively last season. Both began the year strongly with their new clubs but have been in tailspin and look to regain earlier success.
Happ had a respectable 3.31 ERA on June 5, but he's gone 1-4 with a 5.93 ERA in six outings since. He was even sent down to Triple A so Seattle could add another position player briefly and has not thrown in a big league game in 12 days. Through a dozen starts, Detroit could not have asked for anything more as Simon was 7-3 with a 2.58 ERA, but everything has not been so simple since, because over his past five outings the right-hander has a bloated 11.12 ERA.
With both teams having disappointing campaigns, the Tigers have been slipping as favorites, which works out fine because they are 13-8 versus left-handed starters and the Mariners are 3-10 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125 this season.
Slight Advantage - Simon and Detroit
Marlins vs. Arizona: Phelps vs. De La Rosa
Both Miami and Arizona played like they were still on va-ca from the All-Star break, being swept in initial series and each will start a pitcher who has not won in over a month. David Phelps (4-5, 3.86) has been miscast as a starter for the Marlins after being a valuable utility pitcher for the New York Yankees. He was pulled from the rotation after being hammered at Cincinnati on June 21st, but is back and taking a regular turn with his team which has lost 14 of 16 away games.
Rubby De La Rosa (6-5, 5.06) and Arizona have lost his past four starts and he's done a poor job in execution with seven balls taken over the fence in that stretch. "For us to be successful, Rubby has to be one of our best pitchers, so he's got to get the ball down," manager Chip Hale said, stating the obvious about the former Boston pitcher.
After fighting all season and failing numerous times to reach .500, the Diamondbacks finally did 12 days ago, but have dropped six straight since. Oddsmakers like the Snakes chances and made them -140 favorites and for sports picks we will agree with the Marlins 14-31 on the road and 1-11 revenging a loss as a home favorite this season.
Advantage - De La Rosa and Arizona