Home run (Safe bet)
Take the Seattle Mariners, on at 1.72, to win on the road versus the Tampa Bay Rays.
Seattle will send their ace Felix Hernandez in this Sunday game against a Rays team that has struggled in their home environment. Hernandez, a former Cy Young Award winner, has been his typically dominating self. He’s 8-1 with a 2.57 ERA. In fact, he’s been picking up steam as we’ve gotten deeper into the season. In his past two games he’s 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA. The Rays are the perfect team for Hernandez to continue his good works. In 174 lifetime plate appearances, Tampa Bay hitters have a weak .205 batting average and a horrible .256 slugging percentage in 174 plate appearances versus Hernandez.
A big concern for the Rays is they’re one of the worst teams in the Major Leagues when it comes to playing at home. Coming into this series, they owned a 12-16 home record. Their starter Chris Archer is a solid performer (3-3 with a 3.73 ERA), but the Mariners’ lineup have a good – albeit limited – track record against him. In 32 plate appearances, Mariners hitters own a .286 batting average and a .607 slugging percentage versus Archer.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
In Arizona, go with the Diamondbacks and the Atlanta Braves to combine for more than 8.5 runs; take it at 1.95.
This game features two pitchers primed to keep the scoreboard operator busy. The Braves’ Aaron Harang has over-performed much of the season. He possesses a 4.24 lifetime ERA over 13 seasons, but currently has a 3.24 ERA, which, if he maintained, would be the best of his career. Players tend to regress to their mean. In other words, there’s nothing to believe this will be an outlier season and, as a result, expect a market correction. On the road is likely where it will happen for Harang. He’s struggled more in away games (3.77) than he has at home (2.83)
Diamondbacks’ starter Chase Anderson has impressive basic numbers this year. He’s 4-0 with a 3.32 ERA. But he’s also a pitcher who is due for a reckoning. Anderson’s fielding independent pitching, which is a better indicator of performance, is 5.01, which is not good. Though the sample size is small, Anderson has also not been as comfortable at home as on the road. He has a 5.23 ERA in two home starts versus a 1.59 ERA on the road.