It’s a simple formula: When two poorly performing lineups face up against excellent pitching, runs are usually hard to come by. This should be the case when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim visit the Oakland A’s on Wednesday. The Angels’ Jered Weaver threw well in his last outing against the San Diego Padres, giving up two runs on three hits in seven innings. He’s been steady throughout 2012, posting a 6-1 record with a 2.80 ERA so far. Historically, Weaver has also kept run production down against the A’s, owning a 2.71 ERA against the Oakland club.
The A’s starter, Jarrod Parker, is a great young pitcher who is coming off the worst outing of his first full Big League campaign. He gave up six runs on four hits in just two innings last time out, after allowing two runs or less and thrown at least 5 2/3 innings in each of his four starts. Expect a bounce-back against the American League’s second-worst scoring offence. As for the worst offense – the A’s – they’ll certainly struggle as well. Take under 6.5 runs at 1.95 instead of over at 1.85.
Last season, pitcher Doug Fister was amazing after being shipped by the Seattle Mariners to the Detroit Tigers, going 8-1 with a 1.79 ERA. He’s been in similar nick this year (1.59 ERA in four starts) and should continue to throw well when his Tigers travel to play the Indians. Fister has been particularly sharp against Cleveland since that trade, having won three of his four starts versus the Indians. Away games haven’t phased him this year: he’s allowed just one run in 13 road innings.
Cleveland will send a still-developing Zach McAllister to the pitching mound. He has a 5.20 ERA over his first two Major League seasons, and he’s given up four runs in each of his first three starts in 2012. Detroit’s above average lineup and overall decent play on the road should be enough to pick them at 1.85 instead of the Indians at 1.95.