These Starting Pitchers Inspire MLB Picks on the Total 8/28

Ross Benjamin

Thursday, August 28, 2014 12:14 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014 12:14 PM UTC

Our MLB betting odds expert examines a couple of very competitive starting pitching matchups in his search for the best wagering values. Read his piece on the Rays/Orioles and A’s/Angels games tonight, and find out where the betting edges reside.

Rays vs. Orioles 7:05 PM ET
The Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson enters tonight in very good form over his last 4-starts posting a stellar 2.22 ERA, a 0.78 WHIP, and a better than 5:1 strikeout to walk ratio. Hellickson has endured an abbreviated 2014 campaign this season due to starting the year on the DL. However, in 3-starts on the road he’s posted an excellent 1.40 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, and a better than 8:1 strikeout to walk ratio. The Rays hurler has seen 20 of 25-starts go under in the past 3-seasons when the total is either 8.0 or 8.5. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention his struggles in 4-starts versus the Orioles in 2013. In those 4-outings he posted a lofty 6.29 ERA, but somehow managed to go 3-1 against the money.

The Orioles starter Bud Norris has been solid in 9-starts at Camden Yards this season with a 2.86 ERA. He’s posted a rather lofty 5.79 ERA over his last 3-starts, despite having an outstanding 1.00 WHIP, and compiling a 7:1 strikeout ratio in those outings. Norris has gone a terrific 8-1 against the money when facing a division opponent this season, and the Rays have won those games by a whopping average of 3.5 runs per game. His 2 career starts versus Rays have both occurred since 2013, with each game going under the total, while he posted a sparkling 2.13 ERA.


Advantage: Considering that neither one of these teams has particularly torn the cover off the ball recently, in addition to the home and away splits of these starting pitchers, I’m going to have the smallest of leans on this game being a low scoring affair, and contemplate a possible MLB wager on going under the total at a Sportsbook like Bodog.

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A’s vs. Angels 10:05 PM ET
The A’s starter Sonny Gray enters tonight in a bit of shaky form in his last 4-starts with a 5.40 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. I’m beginning to wonder with a youngster like Gray, if he’s hit that proverbial wall, as a result of the long and grueling rigors of a MLB schedule. On a positive note, he’s 3-0 against the money in his career versus the Angels, with a more than respectable 3.00 ERA. He’s also posted an impressive 2.71 ERA in 11-starts on the road this season, and saw just 3 of those 11 go over the total.

I wouldn’t get carried away with the 1.96 ERA that C.J. Wilson has compiled over his previous 3-starts. He continues to have control issues as evidenced by 10 walks he issued in 18 1/3 innings of work. We must look at a larger sample size of the Angels hurler’s recent work. In his last 9-starts he has a large 7.31 ERA, a 1.81 WHIP, and walked 19-men in 40.0 innings. Wilson has seen 4 of his last 5 at home go over the total, with his large 7.40 ERA in those meetings being a major contributor.


Advantage: I’d have a hard time giving either of these pitchers a betting edge tonight based on their recent form. I’m more inclined to call for a high scoring game in this one. My lean at this moment, is to make a MLB pick on going over the total.

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