Home run (Safe bet)
Take the Los Angeles Dodgers - on at 1.41 - to win in Arizona against the Diamondbacks.
This category is for the safest opportunities on the board and fewer could be safer than this Wednesday contest. Not only are the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks on opposite ends of the National League West tables, but Clayton Kershaw also happens to be pitching for Los Angeles.
It’s true that there is no such thing as absolute certainties in sports (or life), but when Kershaw is on the mound, it really is the closest thing. In Kershaw’s last fifteen starts, Los Angeles has gone 14-1. The perennial All Star has thrown fourteen straight quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed) and, in his twenty-one starts, he conceded more than three runs just once. It is worth noting that the one time he did get smacked all year it was against these Diamondbacks in Arizona. But that was way back on May 17, and the two biggest hitters for Arizona that day – Paul Goldschmidt, who has six runs batted in, and Martin Prado, who had three – won’t be in the lineup (Goldschmidt is out with an injury, and Prado was traded).
The Diamondbacks pin their hopes on Wade Miley to keep pace on the pitcher’s mound with Kershaw. Miley has thrown well recently, but, overall, he possesses a mediocre 4.29 ERA. Lifetime, Los Angeles hitters have a healthy .276 batting average, .353 on base percentage and .500 slugging percentage in 191 plate appearances against Miley.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
In Chicago, look for the Cleveland Indians to score first against the White Sox; take it at 1.50
I do think the Indians will win this game as well so if you like that wager better - it’s available at 1.53 - then go that direction.
I like either proposition because Corey Kluber is pitching for Cluber. Kluber is one of the most under-the-radar starters in baseball. He’s been fantastic in July (1.54 ERA) and August (1.61 ERA). But even when he was relatively mortal earlier than that, he’s been consistently good at the beginning of games. Consider: His ERA in the first inning of games is 1.33, in the second it’s 2.33 and in the third it’s 1.00.
In contrast the White Sox are relying on Hector Noesi. The right-hander has a 4.86 ERA and has thrown particularly poorly at home (5.00 ERA in sixteen games). Much of his problems come in the first two innings. In 21 first inning opportunities, he has a 6.86 ERA. It’s better but not good in the second inning, where he has a 4.29 ERA.