Sunday's Daily MLB Pitching Report

Ross Benjamin

Sunday, August 17, 2014 1:21 PM GMT

We’ll examine two American League starting pitching matchups on Sunday afternoon, and search for the best MLB betting values. The games were looking at are the Yankees/Rays and the Royals/Twins. Read our MLB handicapping analysis on each game which includes a pair of MLB free picks.

New York Yankees (Kuroda) vs. Tampa Bay Rays (Hellickson) 1:40 PM ET
The Yankees starter Hideki Kuroda has had a disappointing 2014 campaign going 10-14 against the money with a 4.03 ERA. He’s seen 16 of those 24-starts go under the total, and a major contributor to that has been an underachieving Yankees offense, more so than his pitching performance line. As a matter of fact, Kuroda has seen 11 of his last 13-starts overall go under the number. On a negative note, the Yankees veteran right-hander has gone a dismal 0-4 against the money versus the Rays since the start of the 2013 season and posted a very lofty 6.42 ERA in those outings. In 4 career starts at Tampa Bay the Yankees hurler has a large 6.94 ERA. He’s also gone 10-21 against the money during the last 2-seasons when he’s +125 to -125 on the money line.

The Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson spent the first half of the season on the disabled list, and since returning has been very sharp. In 5-starts in 2014 he’s posted a stellar 2.02 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. The Rays right-hander has gone a perfect 3-0 at home against the money in his career versus the Yankees, and compiled a sparkling 2.08 ERA in those appearances.

Advantage: Considering the struggles that Kuroda has had in his career versus the Rays, and how well Hellickson has pitched against the Yankees, in addition the cheap price on this money line, the clear betting edge points to the Tampa starter. Then if we factor in that the Yankees had scored just 7-runs in their last 5-games going into Saturday, and that the Rays allowed just 10-runs total over their last 7-games, it puts the proverbial icing on the cake. I give a huge advantage here to Hellickson over Kuroda.

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Kansas City Royals (Guthrie) vs. Minnesota Twins (Millone) 2:10 PM ET
The Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie enters today’s in very good form over his last 3-starts by posting a 2.75 ERA and a 7:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Royals right-hander has been very profitable on the road (+3.70 units) despite going just 7-5 against the money line in those outings. Since the start of the 2013 season Guthries has gone 4-1 against the money versus the Twins with an exceptional 2.38 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. Guthrie has seen 10 of his 11-starts go under the total during the last 2-seasons from game 82 of the schedule and beyond.

Take a Look at the FIP Leaderboard as of August 15th!

The Twins will counter with southpaw Tommy Millone who’s gone a terrific 9-1 in his last 10-starts versus the money with a solid 3.12 ERA. Millone hasn’t seen any of his 4 career starts versus the Royals go over the total, and he’s been a main reason why by posting an excellent 1.84 ERA during those tilts. Millone has also seen 18 of his 22-starts go under the total the last 3-seasons versus an opponent like the Royals who average 2.75 or less extra base hits per game.

Advantage: The data from both starting pitchers in this one strongly suggests a low scoring affair, and with a posted total of 8 at 5Dimes that looks like a very good possibility. I have a strong lean toward making a MLB bet on going under the total in this game.

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