Saturday's Pitcher Report: Big Time Hurlers Catching Our Attention

Doug Upstone

Saturday, August 1, 2015 3:10 PM GMT

On the first day of August after looking at the MLB odds from sportsbooks, we delve into with wonderment how three big time pitchers will do on this day. Do they win, lose or even start?

All three of those possibilities are real for baseball handicappers on Saturday, as we plow through the data and look for the right MLB picks to improve on recent 20-13 record.

 

Angels vs. Dodgers: Will Kershaw Pitch and Extend the Angels Misery?
At the time of this writing, it is assumed Clayton Kershaw (8-6, 2.51 ERA) will be the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers in this I-5 Freeway Series. In July the domineering lefty pitched 33 innings, allowing 19 hits, striking out 45, walking only two and surrendered ONE earned run. Nonetheless, he was supposed to start each of the past two days but a balky hip has made Don Mattingly cautious and we will find on this afternoon on FS-1 if he can give it a go.

Imagine you're the Angels, you've lost seven of eight, were swept at Houston to fall out of first and next you have to face Greinke and Kershaw, holy snikes! When Kershaw was supposed to pitch yesterday, he and the Dodgers were -230 home favorites, but the on the MLB betting odds are much different today, down to -170. The reason is twofold, how healthy is Kershaw to pitch and the Halos Andrew Heaney (5-0, 1.79), who will make his seventh start after winning his last five and he's trying to become the first Angels rookie to win six straight starts since Jered Weaver nine seasons ago.

While the true answer about Kershaw's health is uncertain, the way the Angels are playing, hard to choose them for sports picks today.

Advantage - Kershaw and Dodgers

 

Nationals vs. Mets: deGrom and New York Try to Draw Closer to Washington
Sometimes, the best trades are the ones you don't make. After crying on the field two nights ago thinking he was traded from New York, Wilmer Flores lifted his spirits and those of his teammates with a walk-off home run over Washington in extra innings Friday.

This moves the Mets within three games of the Nationals and Wagerweb has them as -145 favorite to narrow the gap even further. Jacob deGrom (10-6, 2.05) has been spectacular at Citi Field, sporting a 1.48 ERA and WHIP of 0.98, with an almost 7-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio. With Washington's offense in the tank scoring one run four times in their past five contests, the Mets right-hander can destroy batters in the ride side batter's box (pitcher perspective), as he's limited them to a .176 average.

The Nationals will counter with rookie Joe Ross (2-3, 3.03), who has not pitched poorly but like many Washington starters has been a victim of few runs.

If deGrom has his usual outing and Bryce Harper continues to be frustrated at Citi Field (3 for 20 this season and tossed last night), the Metropolitans should move to 15-1 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season.

Advantage - deGrom and New York

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Giants vs. Rangers: Hamels Debuts in Arlington
The weekend has gotten off to a rousing start for Rangers fans, defeating the Giants and Madison Bumgarner as home underdogs, something that had not happen to San Francisco in past 11 encounters.

Texas has won seven of 10 and have moved to within five games of the second place Angels and only trails Minnesota by three games for the final AL postseason slot.

Cole Hamels dons a Texas uniform for the first time and it has been a dreamy seven plus days for the veteran left-hander, tossing a no-hitter a week ago and going to what appears to be a positive situation with the Rangers. Also, the extra time off had to benefit Hamels who tossed 129 pitches in his no-no.

The Rangers are -125 favorites in this interleague affair and Hamels will face the Giants for a second time this season, which was his worst outing of the year back on July 10th, surrendering nine runs on 12 hits in just 3 1/3 innings. Texas is not automatic to win with San Fran's Chris Heston (11-5, 3.14) also having a no-hitter this year, he and the Giants 7-2 on the road and having a nifty 1.29 ERA in last three starts.

Though I think Texas will be jacked up to play, they are still 19-28 at home, San Francisco is 14-8 vs. lefty's this season and Hamels is 1-8 when the total is 7 to 8.5 this season. (Team's Record)

Disadvantage - Hamels and Texas