In a battle of likely play-off participants, the Cincinnati Reds are well positioned to win at home Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Reds starter Mat Latos has been fantastic since the All Star Game. He’s 6-2 with a 1.97 ERA in the second half.
Latos has also shown tremendous consistency. In his last eight appearances, the right-hander has thrown seven quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three runs or less allowed). Being at home is also a plus for Latos, who is 9-1 with a 2.80 ERA there (compared to 5-4 with a 3.13 ERA on the road).
His opponent, Zack Greinke, has delivered a fantastic season. He’s 14-3 with a 2.78 ERA. Normally, he’d be my pick, but I believe the difference making factor here is his relative instability on the road. He has a 3.49 ERA away from Dodger Stadium, compared to a home ERA of 2.20.
The Dodgers are one of baseball’s dominant teams, but even the best fall sometimes. Take the Reds at 1.78.
A struggling Pittsburgh Pirates starter should be the separator the St. Louis Cardinals need to win at home.
Jeff Locke has delivered a really solid first full season in the Major Leagues. He’s 9-4 with a 3.22 ERA. But as the innings have added up, he’s showing major signs of fatigue.
He hasn’t thrown as many as six innings in any of his past six starts. Not only has he not gone deep into games as of late, but he’s also been generally ineffective. Since the start of the second half he’s 1-2 with a 6.18 ERA (in comparison he was a sharp 8-2 with a 2.15 ERA in the first part of the campaign).
In contrast, Cardinals’ starter Adam Wainwright is in the midst of an excellent year. He’s 15-9 with a 3.14 ERA and leads the league with five complete games. Moreover, he tends to do his best work at home (2.88 ERA) than on the road (3.35 ERA). Take the Cardinals to win at 1.58.
Back the Cincinnatti Reds at 1.78
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