The Atlanta Braves will continue to be a dominant home team when they host the New York Mets on Tuesday.
The Braves have been amazing at Turner Field in 2013. Coming into this series they had a 49-19 record there, which is seven fewer losses than the next-best National League home team. Not surprisingly, Atlanta’s starter in this contest has thrived at home. Kris Medlen possesses a 2.78 ERA in Atlanta-based games compared to a 4.39 ERA elsewhere.
Regardless of location, Medlen has been tough on New York hitters. In 86 career plate appearances, the members of the Mets offence have a .221 batting average against Medlen. With injuries (David Wright) and trades (Marlon Byrd), that offensive unit has just been getting weaker as the season has progressed.
As for New York’s pitching option, Carlos Torres has been pretty good this season (2.77 ERA), but he hasn’t started too many games. In fact, before his last outing (in which he did start), he’d gone 14 appearances since he got the starting call. He did pitch well against the Braves in a start on July 23 but that was at Citi Field. When the Braves get him at home, it should be a different ball game. Pick Atlanta at 1.41.
The old baseball adage – good pitching defeats good hitting – will come into play as the Detroit Tigers visit the Boston Red Sox.
There is no doubt that the Tigers and Red Sox are offensive juggernauts. The clubs rank first and second, respectively in runs scored per game in the American League. But two form pitchers will negate that typical batters’ advantage.
Minus one bad start last time out, Detroit’s Max Scherzer has been a model of consistency. In his previous seven outings, he’d thrown a quality start (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed). It’s worth noting that his hiccup in his last appearance came at home. The reason: he’s been a far better pitcher on the road. Scherzer is 8-0 with a 2.14 ERA in away games (11-1, 3.66 at home).
His pitching opponent, Jon Lester has really turned a corner in the second half of this season. He has his own five-game quality start streak going. Since the All Star break he has a 2.56 ERA (before it was 4.58). Finally, while the Red Sox have been a great hitting team, their stadium hasn’t particularly skewed toward hitters. Fenway Park currently ranks twelfth out of thirty fields in terms of run scoring, according to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors. Look for total scoring to stay under 8 runs.
Back Atlanta to beat the New York Mets at 1.41.
Back under 8 runs when Detroit Tigers face Boston Red Sox at 1.91.