Back the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw to prevail at home on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s hard not to be bullish on Kershaw when he pitches at home: the Dodgers ace has a minuscule 1.80 ERA at Dodger Stadium. He has been particularly sharp recently, going 3-1 with a 1.74 ERA in his past four games. He will, of course, be aided by the fact that his Dodger team has been one of baseball’s hottest as of late. Coming into this series, they’d won six straight and had a 15-4 record in the month of July.
Reds starter Homer Bailey has delivered some fantastic moments this season (he threw a no-hitter on 2 July) but he’s been somewhat uneven. In his past two starts he has a 5.11 ERA. Moreover, the road has not treated Bailey well: in ten away starts, he has a 2-7 record and a 4.74 ERA. Look for Los Angeles, on at 1.55, to keep positive momentum and pick up the win.
Sometimes forgotten because he pitches way out in Seattle, Mariners ace Felix Hernandez will continue to build a Cy Young award-worthy season in this contest at home against the Minnesota Twins. The Mariners may have a winning percentage under .500 but Hernandez has found ways to win, posting an 11-4 record and an American League-leading 2.43 ERA. What’s particularly impressive with “King Felix” is he just seems to continue to get better. He’s thrown two straight shutouts and owns a 1.29 ERA over his past four appearances. With the exception of Joe Mauer (who owns a robust .424 lifetime average against Hernandez), the rest of the Twins hitters have a feeble .139 batting average against the Seattle star.
As for Minnesota’s option on the pitchers’ mound, Scott Diamond has been hit hard in 2013. He has a 5.53 ERA and hitters have put up a hefty .314 batting average against him in his 18 starts. Look for Hernandez to get the best of the Twins and for Diamond to scuffle. Opt for the Mariners at 1.38.