Yovani Gallardo’s bounce back should continue on Thursday, which will benefit his Milwaukee Brewers at home to the Houston Astros.
Gallardo’s season numbers – in particular his 4.41 ERA – are well below his career rates (his lifetime ERA is 3.70). But over his last two starts Gallardo has thrown 14 scoreless innings and allowed a stingy seven hits.
While his home/road splits in 2013 haven’t been fantastic, he’s had a lot of historical success at Miller Park. Lifetime, he’s 41-22 there with a 3.48 ERA (compared to 34-27 with a 3.95 ERA away). He also has a great track record against Houston hitters.
Combined, Astros batters have a .195 batting average versus Gallardo in 87 plate appearances. Houston pitcher Lucas Harrell has also shown a return to form as of late, posting a 1.98 ERA during his past two appearances.
But Harrell must face a better offence (Milwaukee is in the upper-half of National League teams in terms of runs scored) than Gallardo must contend with (Houston rates thirteenth out of fifteen American League teams in runs per game). Go with the Brewers at 1.72 to prevail.
An excellent pitchers’ duel is in the offing when the Chicago Cubs visit the St. Louis Cardinals. Cubs starter Scott Feldman has been very consistent this season. In his past ten appearances, he’s contributed eight quality starts (six innings-plus pitched; three or fewer runs allowed).
The fact that Feldman is on the road shouldn’t get in the way of a solid performance. His numbers may be better at home, but his 3.54 ERA away is more than respectable. The Cardinals’ pitcher Lance Lynn is coming off of two rocky performances, but in both instances the poor outings were on the road.
At home, Lynn is a rock, posting a 5-0 record and a 2.54 ERA. Moreover, Cubs hitters (who overall are below average in the NL in runs scored) don’t have a strong track record against Lynn. They possess a cumulative .237 batting average and a .284 slugging percentage.
Best bet: Under 7.5 total runs at 1.87