In a battle for Ohio supremacy, the Indians are well-positioned to prevail over the Cincinnati Reds in Cleveland on Wednesday.
Cleveland starter Justin Masterson has a number of factors cutting his way in this one. He’s strong at home, where he boasts a 4-1 record and a 2.47 ERA this year (compared to a 3-2 record and a 4.18 ERA on the road). Masterson also has a good track record against Reds hitters.
Overall, Cincinnati has a cumulative .206 batting average against the pitcher (star Joey Votto has a .154 batting average in 13 ABs versus Masterson). Finally, he’s pitched well in inter-league (2.87 ERA in 20 appearances).
As for his opposing pitcher, the Reds’ Bronson Arroyo hasn’t thrown as well on the road (1-3, 3.71 ERA) as at home (4-1, 3.18 ERA). Moreover, Indians hitters have a solid .271 batting average and a .521 slugging percentage against Arroyo.
One final factor - In general, Cleveland have been good at Progressive Field where they own a 15-10 record entering this series. Pick the Indians at 1.68.
There’s an easy mantra to remember when the Kansas City Royals visit the St. Louis Cardinals - Lance Lynn to win.
Like Masterson, Lynn is most comfortable at home. He’s 4-0 with a 2.81 ERA there. He’s good on the road as well – 3-1 with a 3.10 ERA – just not as good.
Lynn is also coming off of one of his best performances of the year, shutting out the Los Angeles Dodgers over six innings while allowing just two hits and one walk and striking out nine batters. Bolstering Lynn’s cause is the fact that Luis Mendoza is pitching for the Royals.
While Kansas City has a number of good starters, Mendoza is not one of them. His 5.05 ERA doesn’t inspire confidence. Mendoza has pitched better over his last few outings, but he must face a very potent Cardinals line-up that ranks third in the National League in runs per game. Moreover, the Cards are one of baseball’s hottest teams. Through the Memorial Day weekend they were 18-6 in May. Choose St. Louis at 1.48 to triumph.
Best Bet: Back the Cleveland Indians at 1.68
Follow Josh Chetwynd's MLB betting tips every day