The slumping Dodgers will be hard-pressed to get the better of the Cincinnati Reds when the two face off in Los Angeles on Wednesday. Reds starting pitcher Mike Leake has completely turned around his season. On May 11, he was 0-5 with a 7.71 ERA. In nine starts since, he’s won three games, lost none and boasts a 2.55 ERA.
The Dodgers’ Aaron Harang has been pretty good all year, but stumbled last time out, giving up five runs on four walks and seven hits in six innings versus the New York Mets. LA hit just .212 in June and have started July with similar numbers. Go with the Reds at 1.72 because until the Dodgers’ best hitter Matt Kemp comes back after the All Star break and their second-best Andre Ethier is properly healthy, LA (on here at 2.12) will struggle.
A bet for the Baltimore Orioles is primarily a statement on the pitcher they’re facing – the Seattle Mariners’ Hector Noesi. This season has been a tough one for Noesi. Despite his home games taking place at the pitcher-friendly Safeco Field, Noesi is third in the American League in home runs allowed. He’s also first in losses and third in earned runs conceded. Overall, he has a ragged 5.69 ERA. There’s simply no reason to think he can pitch effectively enough to get the win – even against a Baltimore lineup that has struggled as of late.
Another reason to fancy the Orioles is that their starter, Chris Tillman, will be motivated. Tillman will be making his first Major League start of the year. He’s thrown pretty well in the minors so far (8-8 with a 3.63 ERA) and has had opportunities in each of the past two years to stick at the big league level but has failed. He surely knows his chances may be dwindling. Moreover, he was originally drafted by the Mariners so he’ll have something to prove there. Pick the Orioles at 1.88 instead of the Mariners at 1.92.