For Saturday’s Pitcher Report, we review the sportsbooks numbers on how three different pitchers, well into 30’s might do against the MLB odds and what if any value they might have for MLB picks.
A couple of these old geezers are still doing enough to draw a good paycheck and reduce their time before waiting for Social Security checks and another in trying to hang on overcoming injuries. In any case, baseball handicappers like yours truly will take a closer look at what to look for from each and if they can help their teams win.
Rockies vs. Phillies
What Philadelphia Starting Pitcher has the Best ERA? (Hint – First name is not Cole)
As we read this week, Ruben Amaro began calling out the Phillies fans for not understanding his and the organization’s plan for rebuilding. Like more and more people in a position of power they think they know it all and any even the casual fan knew Philadelphia should have started rebuilding a couple years ago, except for the baseball genius Amaro.
Strapped with heavy long term deals and little talent in the minors, the Phils have to go slow, fill in with veteran players and far less expensive players.
One that filled the void was Aaron Harang, who at 37 has looked finished on three separate occasions. But last year he gave a good accounting of himself in making 37 starts and had a 12-12 record with 3.57 ERA. Needing additional arms, Amaro brought Harang in and he’s been nothing short of phenomenal with a 1.93 ERA, best among the starters, a 4-4 record and a WHIP of 1.02. What has made the right-hander so tough is he’s really spotting his fastball and cutter on both sides of the dish and his curve and slider has opposing batter waving. He’s had two or fewer walks in all but one start and been taken out the yard only twice.
Slight Advantage – Harang and Philadelphia
Diamondbacks vs. Brewers
Tough Season for Brewers and Lohse
There are many similarities to Kyle Lohse (3-5, 5.80 ERA) campaign and what kind of year Milwaukee has had. Lohse after three starts was 0-3 with an ERA right out of Jurassic World, at a frightening 10.34. Though far from outstanding, the 36-year has almost cut his ERA in half, being able to spot his low 90’s two-seam fastball in better spots, but still not precisely where he needs. The same has also been true of his normally reliable curve and change.
Right-handed batters are ringing him up for a .313 batting average and all season when runners are on first and second base; Lohse has had few answers and allowed a .364 average.
Tonight he will face a pitcher who has been as dreadful as him in Jeremy Hellickson (2-3, 5.33) and is a -125 favorite. This is another hard selection vs. the betting odds, but Arizona having the better offense and Lohse an ERA over 7 at Miller Park this season making the visitor more inviting.
Disadvantage – Lohse and Milwaukee
Indians vs. Mariners
Marcum Tries to Salvage Career with Cleveland
Shaun Marcum (1-0, 6.28) might be the youngest of this 30-something crowd at 33, but his position is the most tenuous. Since pitching 200 innings in 2011 for Milwaukee, Marcum has been bouncing around with various teams with continual shoulder problems.
It has been long known by baseball handicappers and others Marcum needed to have his sinker working low in the zone or he was prone to getting hit with his lack of velocity and ordinary secondary pitches. Just the fact Cleveland took a flyer on him and is using Marcum for now as fifth starter explains quite a bit about the pitching shortage the Indians have.
With the way Seattle’s Roenis Elias (2-1, 2.58) is throwing, Marcum is going to need a special game as a +135 underdog to beat the MLB odds and is not really something he seems able to accomplish.
Disadvantage – Marcum and Cleveland