Starting Pitchers Influencing Friday's MLB Picks & Betting Odds

Doug Upstone

Friday, April 24, 2015 3:09 PM GMT

Today’s Pitcher Report has a little of something for all those making MLB picks. We have mismatches involving either excellent hurlers or not so excellent and matchups with pitchers who know what to do.

In any event, here is breakdown of four different contests involving those scenarios and let us understand how they will stack up this evening versus the MLB odds.

 

Two Complete Mismatches for Different Reasons
In the AL West, there is pair of good-sized home favorites against the betting odds which sportsbooks released. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are coming in at -180 and Seattle is at even -200.

The Angels are at this MLB odds price because the Texas Rangers starting pitching woes are running deep because of injury and ineffectiveness. Texas acquired Ross Detwiler hoping he could help out in the rotation. After only three starts, Detwiler is out thanks to 10.95 ERA and in comes 36-year old Wandy Rodriguez. The veteran left-hander was a .500 pitcher on several bad Houston clubs, though he had respectable ERA and WHIP numbers. When Pittsburgh wanted a veteran pitcher in 2012 to make the playoffs, they picked up Rodriguez, but he was ineffective and often injured. The Dominican native no longer throws hard and the bite he used to have on breaking pitches is gone and is only here because the Rangers need anyone who might eat innings. Mike Trout and the Halos should tee off tonight.

People placing MLB picks only have to see Seattle assigned a big money line to know who is pitching for the Mariners. The M’s and Felix Hernandez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) go together like Jack and Coke. King Felix is 10-2 in his last 15 home starts dating to May 23, and among pitchers with at least 10 home starts in that time, he leads the majors with a 1.56 ERA and 0.77 WHIP. Facing a laboring Phil Hughes (0-3, 5.30), the Mariners ace is 3-0 with 0.79 ERA and 0.65 WHIP in four starts against Minnesota since 2012.

MLB Pick: Pitching Grade: A for Angels

MLB Pick: Pitching Grade: A for Mariners

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Subway Series Has Pitching Intrigue
The New York Mets have tied a team record with 11 consecutive victories, including a just completed 10-0 homestand and the last time they started 13-3 (1986), they won the World Series. Their first game away from home is hardly like leaving, a subway ride over to Yankee Stadium where reigning NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom (2-1, 0.93) goes tonight. The long-haired right-hander features low to mid-90’s fastball which has great movement at the bottom of the strike zone and quick-breaking slider.

He will be opposed by Michael Pineda, who despite a 2-0 record in three starts has a 5.00 ERA. In his favor, the big Yankees starter has 20 strikeouts compared to only two walks, which has helped keep his team in games. Those placing sports picks are of the opinion the Yanks will halt the Mets winning streak and moved them 20 cents to -140 favorites. Not crazy about the elevated odds, but the Yankees are not a bad bet.

MLB Pick: Pitching Grade: C (For New York, Yankees that is)

 

Confrontation of Two Tough Lefties in Oak-Town
For those who are more casual baseball fans, a Dallas Keuchel (2-0, 0.90) vs. Scott Kazmir (2-0, 1.33) might not be the attention-getter it should be. Nonetheless, those making MLB picks are well aware how good these two hurlers are and understand the total of 7 is quite justified. Keuchel is not a hard-thrower, but has excellent sink on his fastball and completely understands how to keep hitters off-balance with his above average cutter, slider, changeup and occasional curve.

Kazmir was thought to be through after a couple years of arm miseries, but he never gave in and relearned to throw with lower velocity and has been able to get more movement on all his tosses while improving his control. He is able to create deception to right hand hitters with fastball motion, but using his changeup.

Oakland has been lowered from -140 to -125 odds with the Astros improved play, but Kazmir is 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA in six starts against Houston and is 34-11 as a favorite of -110 or higher the last three seasons. (Team's record)

MLB Pick: Pitching Grade – B (for Oakland)