Will Four Aces be enough to win in MLB action?
During the course of a long 162-game season, situations arise where some of the best pitchers in baseball all end up throwing on the same night for their respective clubs.
During the course of a long 162-game season, situations arise where some of the best pitchers in baseball all end up throwing on the same night for their respective clubs. Tonight is one of those nights, with four teams, three in the National League and one in the American League, all having their top pitcher taking the ball, in search of a win.
St. Louis at Philadelphia
The Phillies will turn to ace Cole Hamels (9-5, 3.22, 1.018 WHIP) to end three-game losing skid at home, with the Cardinals visiting. Hamels was probably mildly disappointed not to be named to the All-Star two years in a row, yet realizes his importance in leading Philadelphia out of its dry spell. Hamels was one out away from a complete game his last time out, when pulled after throwing 125 pitches at Atlanta. Hamels and the Phillies are 18-4 against the money line against NL Central opponents, including 4-0 versus St. Louis over the last three seasons. Sportsbook.com has instituted them as -210 home favorites, with total Un9. The Cardinals are one of the rare birds in baseball to have a winning road record at 24-19 (+9.8 units) and are 9-3 vs. a starting pitcher who strikes out five or more batters per start this season.
Arizona at Washington
It’s been a rough go for Arizona, now tied for first place in the NL West with the L.A. Dodgers at 44-45, making a trip back east before the All-Star break. The Diamondbacks will look to square up record with ace Brandon Webb (12-4, 3.59, 1.170 WHIP) climbing the hill for Arizona. Even Webb has been caught up in the maelstrom of mediocrity for the D-Backs, giving up three or more runs in four of his last five starts. His ERA has taken a steady climb, after one point of having the best in the senior circuit. Webb the Snakes have excelled against weak hitting teams, posting a 15-2 record vs. NL clubs scoring 3.8 or less runs a game on the season like Washington. The Nationals have been dangerous this time of year, with a 20-10 mark in home games in July games over the last three seasons. Though Arizona is solid -155 visiting favorite, they are 5-13 against the money line in road games after a win this season.
San Francisco at N.Y. Mets
The Mets offense might finally be coming around, having pounded out 10 or more hits in seven of last nine games, they’ll face a stern test to their proficiency at Shea Stadium against one of the game’s new bright stars in SI cover boy Tim Lincecum (10-1, 2.49, 1.245 WHIP). At 5’11 and 170 pounds (maybe), Lincecum blows away hitters with old-school, over-the-top delivery, throwing in the upper 90’s, maximizing his abilities to generate speed and power. He’s averaging better than strikeout per inning (122 K’s vs 115.1 innings), while allowing just five long balls. He’s not lost since April 29 and “the Freak” and the Giants are 6-3 when he starts in traveling grays. Lincecum’s affect is shown on oddsmakers, who only have the Mets as -115 home favorites, despite having a much better club. New York is 21-8 at Shea when the money line is +125 to -125 over the last two years; however Lincecum and San Fran are 11-3 in next outing off a loss.
Tampa Bay at N.Y. Yankees
Over in the Bronx, another New York squad will take a gander at the familiar tosses of Tampa Bay’s ace, Scott Kazmir (7-3, 2.62, 1.125 WHIP). The left-handed Kazmir, after toiling with calamitous clubs in Tampa, is now with the best team in baseball and is part of the reason the Rays are good to watch, not the only reason. Kazmir has been fighting location issues in last three starts, accounting for 5.74 ERA, but has performed well against teams like the Yankees with 9-2 mark when playing against a marginal winning team, in the 51 to 54 percent range. This is a big series for New York, trailing Tampa Bay by 8.5 games. This has to be culture shock for the Yanks who are more familiar with Rays team that is 3-24 in road games in July games since 2006. The Yankees will turn to Andy Pettitte as the old veteran, who is 23-5 vs. teams, whose hitters strike out seven or more times a game in the second half of the season since 1997. (Yankees Record) Tampa Bay is a +105 road underdog with total at 8.5 and is 27-12 when the total is 7 to 8.5 in 2008.
Stay up with all the baseball betting action at Sportsbook.com. Always wise to check the Betting Trends page along with having working knowledge of all the situations on the Teams Stats pages.
Click here to read latest MLB news