Braves v Rockies
The Atlanta Braves are the right club to support when they play the Colorado Rockies at home. Braves starter Kris Medlen will be the difference maker in this one. He has been nearly unhittable in the second half. Since the All-Star break, he’s a fantastic 5-0 with a 0.69 ERA. In five starts in August, he went 4-0 with a 0.50 ERA. A languishing Colorado Rockies club will rely on Tyler Chatwood. The right-hander has only made two starts on the road in 2012. While he’s been effective (eight scoreless innings), he lasted just three innings in one game and five innings in other. That means a good performance from the Colorado bullpen will be essential and that’s not good news – no National League relief corps has given up more runs per game than the Rockies. (Even considering the club plays its home games at hitter-friendly Coors Field, the bullpen’s 5.49 runs per game is bad.) Take the Braves at 1.40, not Colorado at 2.95.
Rays v Yankees
In a huge clash between two of the top teams in the American League East, the New York Yankees will get the best of the Tampa Bay Rays on the road. In two starts since coming off the disabled list, Yankees left-hander C.C. Sabathia has allowed just three earned runs in 14 1/3 innings pitched. In three 2012 starts against the Rays, Sabathia has acquitted himself nicely, posting a 3.00 ERA in 21 innings pitched. The Rays’ starter, James Shields, has pitched well as of late – he’s thrown six straight quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three earned runs or fewer allowed), but the key statistic on his ledger is he’s performance against the Yankees this year. He is 1-2 with a 7.04 ERA. Choose the Yankees at 1.90 despite the Rays' (also on at 1.90) home field advantage.