To Fade or Shade Chalky Southpaws with Wednesday's MLB Picks?

Doug Upstone

Wednesday, June 17, 2015 2:27 PM UTC

Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2015 2:27 PM UTC

The only thing Clayton Kershaw, David Price & Madison Bumgarner have in common is they are lefties and will pitch today. Baseball handicappers have to decide whether to fade or shade with MLB picks.

Astros vs. Rockies: Houston Seeks Rocky Mountain Road Win with Oberholtzer 
The Astros have taken the first two contests over Colorado in this interleague series and now both teams travel to Denver to resume play. After losing seven straight, Houston has won four of five and three in a row and will hand the ball to Brett Oberholtzer (1-1, 2.25 ERA) in hopes of continuing winning ways.

The southpaw has been dealing with blister issues on his left hand and seems to have overcome them with three consecutive starts and having a sharp 2.12 ERA in the process. Oberholtzer’s arsenal contains a low 90’s sinking fastball, a curve and a changeup which fades away from right-hand hitters.

Colorado averages 5.3 runs per game at Coors Field yet has failed miserably against lefties, scoring only 3.2 RPG in losing 10 of 13. The Rockies opened as small home favorites at most sportsbooks but are up to +115 underdogs at, home of the guaranteed next day payout.

With Colorado poor performances against lefties, 13-18 home record and being 1-11 versus an AL team with a team batting average of .260 or worse the last two seasons, hard to make a case against the Astros.

Advantage – Oberholtzer and Houston


Cardinals vs. Twins: Milone Needs Strong Showing and Help From Twins Batters
Minnesota has surrendered just nine runs in their last three outings yet only won once. Their offense has only reached or surpassed five runs twice in nine tries which explains 2-7 record since June 5th. This includes losing a pair of 3-2 contests in St. Louis the past two days.

The Cardinals have flown to five straight victories in spite of only averaging 3.4 RPG thanks to having the best pitching staff in the majors and not conceding more than two runs in any of these wins.

Tom Milone (2-1, 4.15) will try and continue to suppress the Cards offense with his four-pitch mix from a deliberate delivery. Milone pitches are mostly average, but he likes to confuse hitters by throwing his pitches unconventionally, with off-speed and curves early in counts and sinking or fading fastballs deeper into a hitters at bat.

With Matt Holliday out of the lineup, the Cardinals offense has suffered, but with pitchers like Carlos Martinez (7-2, 2.93) they have a chance to win every night, along with their tremendous bullpen, which is why the Redbirds are -125 visiting favorites. St. Louis is only .500 against port-siders (7-7), however, road favorites with a money line of -125 or higher with a winning record, playing another winning team, in June games are 41-9 since 2011.

Disadvantage – Milone and St. Louis


Angels vs. Diamondbacks: Santiago Tries to Give Angels Series Lead
L.A. and Arizona split a pair in Anaheim and this series moves to the desert, where the temperatures are currently 110 or more degrees. Hector Santiago (4-3, 2.59) has been more effective than in the past few seasons and would have a better record with a little more run support. Santiago has seen his old bugaboo return in his last two starts allowing four homers, leaving pitches in the middle of the plate.

The MLB odds have Arizona as a -115 home favorite and they are 7-8 versus lefthanders. The Diamondbacks will send Chase Anderson (2-1, 2.82) to the mound and he has a 2.16 ERA in his past eight starts, but like Santiago has gotten poor run support.

For sports picks this conflict could come down to how each pitcher handles Paul Goldschmidt (.361 BA, 28 home runs and 53 rbi’s) and Albert Pujols (.368 BA, 11 home runs and 19 rbi’s L18G), who are tearing it up. Let’s give a weak sign of support to the Halos who are 18-7 away after scoring four runs or less in three straight games since 2013.

Slight Advantage – Santiago and Los Angeles

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