Lance Lynn will continue to be a first half wonder when he leads the St. Louis Cardinals at home versus the Milwaukee Brewers on Saturday.
Lynn was a dominant force in the first half last season, going 11-4 in 17 starts. While he tailed off a bit in the second part of 2012 due to fatigue, the off-season clearly refreshed him as he’s currently 6-1 in eight starts.
What is important here is not only his propensity to pick up wins but also how often he gets the decision in games he starts. In other words, there is little fear that he’ll leave a game before the result (very often a victory) is assured. Moreover, when he’s home, he’s been perfect – he’s had four starts and won all four games.
If history is a guide, the Brewers shouldn’t have much luck at breaking Lynn’s winnings streak. In 50 lifetime at bats, Brewer hitters own a dismal .140 batting average against the right-hander.
Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada hasn’t been nearly as impressive as Lynn. While his record is 3-2, his ERA is a bloated 5.32. Another bad sign: Cardinal hitters have a combined career batting average of .337 against Estrada. Pick the Cardinals (1.61) to win.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have a winner of an interleague match-up at home against the Houston Astros.
Houston starter Erik Bedard has experienced very few good performances this season – as evidenced by his 6.67 ERA. But matters are particularly bad when he hits the road.
In four starts away from Minute Maid Park, the left-hander has a whopping 11.91 ERA. Even if Bedard can have one of his rare “on” days, he will be outdueled by Pirates pitcher A.J. Burnett.
The right-hander has been in excellent form this year (see his 2.73 ERA). More notably, he leads the National League with 72 strikeouts, which augurs well for his club as the Astros are the easiest club to strike out in baseball.
Combined, Houston hitters have a meager .221 batting average against Burnett. Go with the Pirates, on at 1.35, to prevail in this lopsided clash.
Best Bet: Back the Cardinals to beat the Brewers at 1.61
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