Scoring will be at a premium when the Pittsburgh Pirates travel to play the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday to open the second half of the 2012 Major League Baseball season. Milwaukee’s starter Zach Greinke enters the game perfect in his regular season career at Miller Park: 15-0. This year he’s 4-0 with a 1.89 ERA in seven home starts.
His opponent, James McDonald, appears to be building momentum in what has already been a great season. In his last outing before the All Star break he struck out 10 and walked zero en route to a 3-1 victory against the San Francisco Giants. While McDonald has been unstoppable at home (5-1 with a 1.69 ERA), he has been solid on the road as well: 4-2 with a 3.54 ERA. As a result, take under 7.5 runs at 1.75 rather than the over at 2.08.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw starting at home against the light-hitting San Diego Padres equals near certain success for LA. Kershaw has pitched particularly well at Dodger Stadium this year (2.57 ERA versus 3.38 ERA on the road) and has a long history of achievement against the Padres – 7-3 with a 2.40 ERA over 15 starts.
The Padres have been a woeful offensive unit in 2012 (they’re last in the National League in runs scored per game), but they’ve been even worse against the Dodgers. In nine games, San Diego is hitting just .196 against Los Angeles – that’s the club’s second-worst average against any team (and the worst average – against the Philadelphia Phillies – came in just three games). While the odds aren’t great - the Dodgers are on at 1.48 - all signs point to it being a safe bet – even with San Diego available at 2.65.