Ryan Dempster will lead the Boston Red Sox to a victory when the club hosts the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday.
Dempster has been very good at Fenway Park in his first year in a Red Sox uniform. While he is 1-1, his 2.88 ERA and .170 batting average against at home are strong statistics.
But what stands out is he’s gotten a lot of swings and misses when in Boston. He’s struck out 35 in just 25 innings pitched.
Dempster and his Red Sox should also be aided by the Twins starter, Scott Diamond. The left-hander has never pitched at Fenway, which is a tough ball park to come into for the first time.
Also, to the extent Diamond has had Major League success, it’s been against teams with a .500 winning percentage or lower. Against those clubs, he has a lifetime 3.35 ERA. But when he faces stronger teams with winning records – like this current Boston club – his ERA dips to 4.29. Pick Boston to win here at 1.51.
A deep statistical look at the match-up between the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Los Angeles Dodgers, gives the Diamondbacks the edge. Sometimes basic statistics like earned run average can tell a lot about a pitcher’s performance, other times not so much.
So when you look at Dodgers starter Josh Beckett (0-4, 5.24 ERA) and Arizona pitcher Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 7.22ERA), you think they’re both are bad and McCarthy is probably a bit worse.
In reality, while Beckett’s ERA is pretty reflective of sluggish performances, McCarthy has been more of a victim of bad luck. The right-hander’s FIP (fielding independent pitching), which is considered a strong metric to determine actual performance, is more than three runs lower than his ERA.
The problem: hitters have been lucky against him. With the Dodgers losing Hanley Ramirez to injury again and the club struggling mightily (they came into this series having been swept by the San Francisco Giants), McCarthy is poised to have a little luck.
Plus, he should possess a bit of confidence: When he faced the Dodgers last year he threw a seven inning, two-hit shutout. Go with Arizona, on at 2.05, to prevail.
Best Bet: Back the Arizona Diamondbacks to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers at 2.05
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