Pitching Preview: How to Bet Friday's Matchups Involving Sub .500 Teams

Doug Upstone

Friday, July 3, 2015 2:44 PM UTC

Friday, Jul. 3, 2015 2:44 PM UTC

Often, people look at the good teams and deservedly so, yet sportsbooks are still making numbers on weaker clubs and for Friday that will be our focus in surveying the betting odds.

We will dig into three matchups with MLB odds involving squads who all have below .500 records and take a closer look at each pitcher, team and what to expect for sports picks.


Brewers (Fiers) vs. Reds (Lorenzen)
Though a Milwaukee (33-48, -13.9 units) versus Cincinnati (36-41, -5.7) conflict does rank high on many people's MLB app, this could be a entertaining divisional series. The Brewers have won four in a row and the Reds are the 8th-best home wager at +5 units with their 22-15 record.

Mike Fiers (3-7, 4.14 ERA) is the Milwaukee starter in the series lid-lifter and though he has a great fastball which allows his to strikeout more than a batter an inning, he also too often leaves his tosses in the hitting zone and gives up more than a hit an inning. Because he averages more than a three walks per nine innings, his WHIP is 1.47 to boot.

Michael Lorenzen (3-2, 3.38) is only 23 and he started fast, tailed off and is showing good signs he might be a keeper by rebounding. Lorenzen has mid-90's heater, biting slider, with a changeup that is still a work in progress. After a couple rough starts the right-hander made adjustments and is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his past three outings, which is something baseball handicappers look for.

Though Fiers has dropped three straight starts against Cincy with a 6.75 ERA, Milwaukee is a -108 favorite, but for MLB picks, we will back the home team knowing Fiers and the Brew Crew are 0-6 when the money line is -100 to -150 this season.

Advantage - Lorenzen and Cincinnati


Phillies (Morgan) vs. Braves (Teheran)
If Atlanta (38-41, +4.5) is going to get back to .500, this is their chance this holiday weekend taking on floundering Philadelphia (27-54, -19.3). The Braves have to be feeling rather spry winning a home series over Washington and defeating Max Scherzer 2-1 last evening.

Teheran (5-4, 4.94) has the assignment of containing a Phils lineup that only scores 3.2 runs per contest on the road, yet that might not be as easy as it sounds for him. Teheran has really struggled with an ERA of 6.76 in his last seven starts. However, pitching at Turner Field has helped with a 4-0 mark and 2.35 ERA.

Philadelphia is a +160 road underdog (Heritage Sports  has them at +165 at last peek) and they will send rookie Adam Morgan to mound and he is 1-0 with 1.59 ERA, with the victory coming against St. Louis on June 21st. Morgan could have some success since Atlanta is 5-7 against left-handers, scoring just 3.2 RPG.

With the Phillies most recent losing streak at four and having a dismal 9-29 away record, have to think the Braves are the choice here.

Advantage - Teheran and Atlanta


Mariners (Happ) vs. Athletics (Chavez)
Seattle's J.A. Happ (3-5, 3.89) is beginning to return to normal, having lost four consecutive decisions (Mariners six in a row), last posting a win on May 9th. He's among the reason's Seattle is 36-43, -12.1 units and Happ has been particularly poor on the road with a 5.74 ERA. In seeking a positive, Happ's last triumph was over Oakland and the left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA in four starts against the A's.

Jesse Chavez (4-7, 3.27) is one of those pitcher's that brings to mind old Yogi Berra-isms (Google it, there are a hundred of them) like "He pitches good enough to lose". Chavez usually has a lower ERA, but seldom has positive results in the win column, seemingly making the one miscue that matters.

Oakland is 37-45 (-16.8) and won the series opener 4-0 last night and is a -132 favorite to make it two straight. In truth, not much to like about either team or pitcher, nevertheless, Happ has enjoyed some success against Oakland, who is 6-14 vs. LH hurlers, which could work for Seattle.

Slight Advantage - Happ and Seattle

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