Indians v Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are looking good to win at Cleveland against the Indians on Thursday. The Rays starter Jeremy Hellickson has yet to lose a game on the road this season and, last year, in his only career start against the Indians he threw seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits and two walks while striking out six for the win. Josh Tomlin has the pitching assignment for Cleveland. Though he got the win last time out he wasn’t sharp, giving up five runs and seven hits over six innings. This is the third time in four starts that he’s conceded five or more runs. Take the Rays on the road at 1.95 and pass on the Indians at 1.85.
Cardinals v Rockies
Lance Lynn will regain form for the St. Louis Cardinals who should prevail at home against the Colorado Rockies. The statistics for St. Louis starter Lance Lynn overall in 2012 have been good: 10-4 with a 3.62 ERA. But he is trending poorly as of late. In his past three starts he’s given up 17 runs in just 15 1/3 innings. Nevertheless, he should bounce back here. The reason: The Rockies have been a weak offensive team when on the road. Colorado’s batting average is nearly fifty points lower on the road and the team’s slugging percentage (a sign of power hitting) is almost one hundred-twenty points lower in away games. As for St. Louis’ offence, it is the National League’s top run producing lineup and has consistently swung the bat better at home (.284 batting average versus .267 away; .460 slugging percentage versus .419 away) . Another key factor: Lynn’s pitching opponent, Colorado rookie Christian Friedrich has suffered through his share of problems this year as evidenced by his 5.52 ERA. Go with the Cardinals at 1.45 instead of the Rockies at 2.75.