Rookie Gerrit Cole’s early honeymoon with the Pittsburgh Pirates will take a hit when his club visits the Anaheim Angels of Anaheim on Friday.
Cole, a former number one overall draft pick, is 2-0 in his first two Major League starts. But he hasn’t been overwhelming.
In twelve innings, he’s allowed five runs for a 3.75 ERA and, most telling, has only struck out three batters. That strike out ratio suggests he hasn’t been dominating even when he’s had success.
As bad as the Angels’ season has been, they’ve been swinging the bat better as of late. They also have their ace Jered Weaver on the mound.
Weaver has suffered through a couple of shaky performances in his last two outings, but keep in mind he’s only had three starts since he came off the disabled list. It does take a few games to return to form.
Being at home should help his cause. Lifetime, he’s 53-21 with a 2.68 ERA there. Look for him to thrive in this one and take the Angels to win at 1.61.
I can’t help myself: I’m going to bet on the Philadelphia Phillies’ Cole Hamels once against (this time at home against the New York Mets). I’ve picked Hamels to break through in a couple of starts recently and while he’s pitched well – he’s had three straight quality starts (six innings-plus innings; three runs or fewer allowed) – his club has lost in each of his past two outings.
Why is this game different? I do believe he’ll pitch well (Mets hitters have a lifetime .227 batting average against Hamels), but, equally as important, I expect the Phillies’ offence to back him.
Philadelphia hitters have an impressive .500 batting average (in 26 plate appearances) against New York Mets’ starter Jeremy Hefner. Most of that damage came in an early season start when Hefner (at Citizens Bank Park) gave up six hits and five runs in three innings pitched versus the Phillies. The upshot: trust in Hamels and his club’s hitters; pick Philadelphia at 1.56.
Best Bet: Back the Los Angeles Angels against the Pittsburgh Pirates at 1.61
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