Thursday's MLB Report: Pitchers Trying to End Prolonged Team Slumps

Doug Upstone

Thursday, August 13, 2015 2:40 PM UTC

Thursday, Aug. 13, 2015 2:40 PM UTC

It is the dog days of the baseball season and three serious playoff contenders are in a world of hurt because of their recent play and baseball handicappers are wondering how to view their MLB odds.

The New York Yankees have lost five in a row, the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim have not won a road game since Donald Trump and Megan Kelly were still friends and Pittsburgh still cannot find a victory near The Arch.

We will consider what all three starting pitchers can do to help their teams finally taste victory against the sportsbooks betting odds and if you should use for MLB picks today.


Pirates vs. Cardinals: Liriano Tries to End Cardinals Curse
With last night's 4-2 loss, Pittsburgh has dropped seven consecutive series at Busch Stadium while losing 18 of its last 21 regular-season contests there. "We're playing a tough team that really magnifies any mistakes that you make," said Wednesday's losing pitcher Gerritt Cole. "Nobody wants to come out and not play sharp against these guys, especially."

Manager Clint Hurdle will send Francisco Liriano (7-6, 3.13) to toe the slab for the Pirates, hoping he's a savior and not the next victim. The left-hander is 3-0 with a 2.85 ERA in his past seven starts (all Pittsburgh wins) and he's been particularly effective on the road with a 2.11 ERA in nine starts. Lifetime, Liriano is 4-2 with a 2.47 ERA against the Cardinals, but his team has won just once in three shots against St. Louis in 2015. The importance of him hitting his spots with the fastball and throwing the changeup just off the plate cannot be overstated. has the Bucs at +106 and betting odds against the Cardinals, who are now in the heads of Pittsburgh and are a remarkable 42-16 (+19.6 units) at home. The Pirates might win, but that is guessing, instead of following the information presented.

Disadvantage - Liriano and Pittsburgh

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Yankees vs. Indians: NY Turns to Eovaldi to End Slump
Nathan Eovaldi (11-2, 4.15) is pitching like the high draft choice the L.A. Dodgers made him several years ago and is 6-0 with a 2.87 ERA in his last nine outings (Yanks 7-2). Eovaldi will attempt to not make this a historic night for the Indians, since the last time the Yankees were swept in Cleveland, two of that year's most popular movies were MASH and Woodstock (1970).

Eovaldi can overpower hitters with upper 90's fastball and he's gained a tremendous amount of confidence in his secondary pitches which has made a huge difference for him. No matter what, Eovaldi will need some run support (he's enjoyed the second- most in the majors at 7.42) from a New York offense that has only mustered 1.9 runs a game in their last seven.

The Yankees are -115 road favorites and I like them for sports picks as they and their starting pitcher tonight are 9-2 versus AL teams scoring 4.7 or less runs a game on the season.

Advantage - Eovaldi and New York

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Angels vs. Royal: It Only Gets Harder for the Halos in Kansas City
The Angels have lost nine in a row away from Anaheim, which is their longest losing streak of this nature in 22 years. A setback tonight would make it 10 straight and that has not happened since they were called the California Angels back in 1969.

The Angels starter will be Garrett Richards (11-9, 3.51) and the forecast is gloomy as the right-hander has a 4.84 road ERA and a 4-6 record. Richards has made eight appearances against Kansas City, with two of them starts and owns a 4.19 ERA against the Royals.

Losing all three games to the White Sox was pathetic, as the offense could not have been worse, batting .196 as a team they were a laughable (not to backers) 1 for 32 with runners in scoring position in the series, including 0 for 15 in last night's extra inning setback. If they are going to finally awaken, tonight seems like the right chance against Jeremy Guthrie (8-7, 5.84 ERA), who is allowing batters to hit .320, which is the worst in the majors and has an 8.50 ERA in his last three outings,

This game opened as a Pick (-105) and the money has flowed towards the Halos who are now -120. However, with the Angels 1-11 in road games vs. a bullpen whose ERA is 3.33 or better this season, unless they bomb Guthrie, it could be another long night.

Slight Disadvantage - Richards and L.A.

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