The Cleveland Indians will squander home field advantage on Saturday as the Washington Nationals will come into Progressive Field and pick up a win.
Washington have been hot of late. Coming into this series the Nationals had captured four of their last five games. In this contest, they throw one of their best, Jordan Zimmermann.
While he didn’t come into this season as heralded as rotation mates Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, Zimmermann has emerged as the clubs most stable pitching presence. He’s 9-3 with a 2.00 ERA and has been incredibly reliable.
In thirteen starts, he’s delivered eleven quality starts (six or more innings pitched; three or fewer runs allowed). He’s also on a roll. Zimmermann hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last fifteen innings pitched.
His pitching opponent, the Indians’ Scott Kazmir, serves as a clear contrast. A lot of high expectations were heaped on the left-hander after he showed renewed velocity in his fastball earlier this year. But the results just aren’t there.
He owns a 5.33 ERA and has given up an unimpressive eight runs in his past twelve innings pitched. Pick the Nationals at 1.72 as they’re heating up at just the right time.
Despite being on the road, the St. Louis Cardinals should have no trouble dispatching of the Miami Marlins. St. Louis starter Lance Lynn looks to continue his exceptional season with a solid outing here.
While better at home, Lynn has pitched solidly on the road (3-1 with a 3.60 ERA) and has improved away from St. Louis as the season has developed. In his last four outings away he’s posted a strong 2.08 ERA over twenty-six innings.
A bigger key is his dominance against weaker clubs like the National League East cellar dwelling Marlins. He has a 2.54 ERA against losing teams versus a 3.43 ERA against teams with winning records.
Miami doesn’t offer much up in response as far as pitching goes. The Marlins’ Tom Koehler has split time between the bullpen and starting assignments. He gets the nod here.
In his past two starts he’s been hit pretty hard, allowing nine runs in twelve innings of work. The odds are not huge, but if you want a bet on the safe side, take St. Louis at 1.48.
Best Bet: Back the Washington Nationals to beat the Cleveland Indians at 1.72
Follow Josh Chetwnd's MLB betting tips every day