Tonight on the baseball diamonds we have uncovered three legitimate starting pitchers who should give their teams are chance to be outright upset winners against the MLB odds.
Each circumstance is slightly different, but the common thread is they should be able to place their teams in a position to be victorious and are worth pondering for MLB picks.
Blue Jays vs. Red Sox: Drew Hutchinson Needs Help, but can Beat Boston
Toronto has lost four straight and its vaunted offense has 23 base knocks in that time, so how will Drew Hutchinson (2-0, 5.48 ERA) help the Blue Jays out of this slump on the road when he had a 6.28 ERA against the Red Sox last season?
Like any hurler in this spot, the right-hander has to bring a bulldog mentality and locate his low to mid 90’s fastball on both sides of the plate. If Hutchinson gains confidence early, he can make heater sink or ride up with two strikes on opposing hitters. Also, when right, he has what scouts call is a –plus slider- which for him has long lateral movement. Hutchinson has a solid 3.09 ERA in two starts at Fenway Park.
The other element in beating the MLB odds for Toronto is Clay Buchholz (1-2, 4.84) starting for the Red Sox. The up and down right-hander has the ability to make the sportsbooks -120 money line hold up tonight, but the past couple seasons he and Fenway have not been good together and when facing an American League foe with an on-base percentage .330 or worse since last year, Buchholz and his teammates are 2-10.
Grade – C (For Toronto)
Rays vs. Yankees: Tampa Bay Has Right Hurler to Take Advantage of Yankees Schedule
From April 17 to May 17, the New York Yankees only scheduled day off is this Thursday and because of this manager Joe Garardi is taking the opportunity to give his top pitcher Masahiro Tanaka two chances to have five full days rest twice between starts by pulling him tonight and having his pitch tomorrow instead.
That means Chase Whitley gets the start for the first time in 2015 and he was 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in the first seven starts but went 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA over the last five. Whitley will be opposed by the Rays Jake Odorizzi (2-1, 1.65) who has been super, becoming third AL pitcher in the last 100 years to start the season by winning consecutive starts of six-plus innings while giving up two hits or fewer and one run or less.(Thanks STATS.com)
Though Odorizzi is 2-2 with a 5.54 ERA versus New York, his overall command of the strike zone has been exquisite, with only 20 hits and walks combined over 27 1/3 innings, which correlates to a 0.73 WHIP, the best in the majors. Tampa Bay did lose last night to the Yankees 4-1 and is a +100 underdog, yet they still have won 13 of 20 at Yankee Stadium in recent years and are a rock solid 22-11 away playing into double revenge the past three years and should be thought about for MLB picks .
Grade – B (For Tampa Bay)
White Sox vs. Orioles: Pitching Change Benefits White Sox
Because of the terrible situation in Baltimore, yesterday’s contest was cancelled. With Hector Noesi struggling, manager Robin Ventura decided to pitch Jeff Samardzija (1-1, 3.33) on his normal turn and that appears to be a wise decision, since after having early issues, the Chicago right-hander is back in the groove with one run conceded over two starts and 14 innings.
Ubaldo Jimenez (1-1, 2.30) is still the announced starter for Baltimore and he’s been throwing well, nevertheless, consistency and Jimenez are not best friends.
Baltimore was released as -125 home favorite and they have slipped to -115 or lower and as a MLB baseball handicapper I will take a shot with the White as underdogs with the team 18-10 after batting .200 or worse over a three-game span the last two seasons and have Smards on the bump.
Grade – C (For Chicago)