Yu Darvish’s absolute ownership of the Houston line-up will continue on Saturday when his Texas Rangers host the Astros. Not only has Darvish faced Houston twice this season and beaten them both times, Astros batters have been overwhelmed. Combined, Houston hitters have a .078 batting average in 51 at-bats. What’s even more startling is that Darvish has 23 strikeouts in that sample set. That’s a ridiculous record of capturing swings and misses.
Though Darvish’s dominance will probably be the story here, it’s worth noting that his pitching opponent, Dallas Keuchel, has a meager 4.65 ERA and is coming off a horrible start in which he gave up eight hits and five runs in just 4 2/3 innings pitched against the Tampa Bay Rays. Though the odds are not great, I’d go with the safe bet Rangers at 1.30.
The Arizona Diamondbacks should capture a home victory against the New York Mets. While Arizona starter Wade Miley has taken a huge step backwards this season (he was an All Star in 2012 and National League Rookie of the Year runner up; in 2013, he has a 4.29 ERA), he’s showing signs of breaking out of his slump. He hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a game in more than a month (that reflects six straight starts). He also looked pretty commanding in his last outing, throwing 5 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball.
Colorado starter Drew Pomeranz has been pretty much a bust in his short Major League career. Over three seasons, he has a 4-11 record and a 5.13 ERA. In his only 2013 Big League start he only lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits. Even in the minors this year, he has a 4.20 ERA (though to be fair, he’s pitching in the Pacific Coast League, which is known as a hitters' paradise). Still, Pomeranz is unlikely to have enough against a Diamondbacks team that thrives at home with a winning percentage there that’s hovering around .570. Opt for Arizona (1.61) to win.