Cardinals v Giants
The St. Louis Cardinals at home should dispatch of the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. San Francisco’s starter Barry Zito has seen his season swiftly turn bad over his past few starts. In his last two outings he’s given up eleven runs in 9 2/3 innings, watching his ERA jump from a respectable 3.75 to an iffy 4.29. Over those pair of contests his command has completely failed him as he’s left way too many pitches of all types – from his fastball to his big-bending curve – in the middle of the plate. The Cardinals will benefit from their good management of their starter Lance Lynn. Lynn was set to pitch yesterday but was pushed back at the last minute to give him an additional day of rest (apologies to readers who saw him slated to throw in my column yesterday). That additional break will further bolster Lynn’s chances for success. In his first season as a Major League starter, the accumulation of innings could certainly wear him down. But with extra days off, Lynn should be able to maintain his good form (13-4 with a 3.40 ERA). Pick the Cardinals at 1.52 not the Giants at 2.55.
White Sox v Royals
A similar situation arises in Chicago where the White Sox will take care of business against the Kansas City Royals. The ChiSox’s Jake Peavy has been brittle with number of injuries over the past few years. Wisely, Chicago manager Robin Ventura has decided to push off his regular start on Monday to a Tuesday appearance after Peavy went eight innings against the Minnesota Twins last Wednesday. While it might not seem like a lot, that additional day should help Peavy. His team’s offence will be helped by the fact that the Royals will counter with pitcher Bruce Chen. He has only one quality start (six innings or more of work; three earned runs or less allowed) in his past seven appearances. That’s a bad rate, especially considering he’s up against a very above-average White Sox lineup. The pick is Chicago at 1.48, even though the 2.65 odds are enticing with Kansas City.