Starting Pitchers Worth Backing with Sunday's MLB Picks

Doug Upstone

Sunday, August 23, 2015 1:33 PM UTC

Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015 1:33 PM UTC

Today we have three games all featuring playoff contenders. They are all important based on what has happened in the individual series thus far, inspiring us to solve the sportsbooks puzzles.

All the starting pitchers will play a huge part, each trying to perform their job to the best of their abilities and hopefully for them coming through in the clutch. It is time to review these matchups and see if we can help you with your MLB picks today.


Dodgers vs. Astros MLB Odds: Kershaw vs. McCullers
Houston only had three hits yesterday, but they made each one matter, with two homers and triple in a 3-1 win over Zack Greinke and the Dodgers. The Astros pitching has completely stifled the Los Angeles in the first two games of the series, holding them to one run and Don Mattingly's club has only tallied nine runs in their last five games, the last four defeats.

Rookie Lance McCullers (5-4, 3.17 ERA) was shelled in last start with the Astros 19 days ago and was sent to minors to work on a few things and get some rest. Houston is hopeful they see the right-hander who has been great at home, where McCullers is 4-0 with a 1.50 ERA in seven home starts. He cannot worry about who he is facing, because going up against Clayton Kershaw (10-6, 2.34) can be imposing.

How imposing, the betting odds have the Dodgers as -175 road favorites (-165 at Heritagesports when last checked), despite having a 25-35 road record. Kershaw is 5-0 with an astonishing 0.87 ERA in eight starts (Dodgers 5-3), but at this chalky figure, cannot as a baseball handicapper ignore the Dodgers and their lefty are 5-8 overall on the road this season.

Slight Advantage - McCullers and Houston


Blue Jays vs. Angels MLB Odds: Dickey vs. Richards
Toronto continues to steamroll opposing pitchers during this 18-4 roll, which has them in the lead slot for the AL Wild Card and one-game behind the Yankees in the loss column for the division race. The last two nights the Blue Jays have battered Angels pitching for 24 runs on 31 hits. Garrett Richards (12-9, 3.50) is Los Angeles choice to step in front of this speeding locomotive and he's been far better at home than on the road, with the right-hander 8-3 with a 2.53 ERA in a dozen home starts.

R.A. Dickey (7-10, 4.14) will use his fluttering knuckleball to attempt to keep Halos hitters off balance. Though Dickey was roughed up at Philadelphia in his previous start for five runs, the offense bailed his out in a 8-5 triumph. Prior to that Dickey had a 1.49 ERA over his six previous starts, five of which were Toronto victories.

The Jays are -115 favorites and though we would like to make a case for the home underdog, Toronto is really playing well and is 24-6 after allowing three runs or less in two straight games this season.

Advantage - Dickey and Toronto


Giants vs. Pirates MLB Odds: Vogelsong vs. Liriano
San Francisco knew this was going to be a strenuous road trip, yet a victory tonight would mean split with Pittsburgh and going 3-4 against the two best home teams in the game is not all bad. Ryan Vogelsong (9-8, 3.93) learned well after being pulled out of the rotation and in his past three starts opposing hitters are batting just .196 against him.

Francisco Liriano (8-6, 3.35) takes the pill for Pittsburgh and he has not lost in nine starts. However, the lefty is having an odd season. Though he has not suffered a defeat, Liriano has a 5.82 ERA in his last four outings, but earlier in the year when his earned run average was running about a run lower, he did not get any run support and was losing games.

Note before locking in your MLB Picks today that Pittsburgh is a surprisingly large -175 favorite to take the series on ESPN tonight, yet for sports picks one has to consider their 43-20 record at PNC Park and following up on a clutch one run win with a 21-5 mark in the next game and ignore San Francisco is 18-11 against port-siders this season.

Advantage - Liriano and Pittsburgh

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