The St. Louis Cardinals are going to come away victorious on Wednesday in their home game against the New York Mets.
Cardinals pitcher Shelby Miller has enjoyed a bit of a surprising beginning to the 2013 campaign. In seven starts, he has a 5-2 record and a 1.58 ERA.
Miller relies heavily on his fastball, throwing it almost 75% of the time. In the long run, that sort of heavy use of one pitch (plus the fact he essentially only throws one other type of pitch – a curveball) will make sustained success difficult. But in the short term, the deceptiveness of his fastball – many have said it seems faster than its nearly 94 mile per hour average – will insure success against teams that don’t have a lot of experience against him.
In the case of this game, Mets hitters have a grand total of five plate appearances against Miller and no New York batter has seen him more than one time in their Major League career. With such little opportunity to see Miller live, Mets hitters should struggle.
The Mets starter, Shawn Marcum is 0-3 with an 8.59 ERA and has yet to show he’s the pitcher he was before serious injuries sidelined him in 2012. Go with St. Louis, who can be had for 1.45.
A very safe bet can be made on the Tigers at home in Detroit against the Houston Astros. Houston are just an awful team that seems to be getting worse rather than better as the season progresses.
One fact that stands out is their propensity to strikeout in huge numbers. Indeed, they lead the Major Leagues in this category and will, no doubt, add to that margin when they face Max Scherzer in this contest.
Scherzer has struck out 61 in 42 2/3 innings, giving him the second-best strike out rate in the American League. The Astros’ Dallas Keuchel gets the assignment and, while he threw well in his only start this season (six innings; two runs allowed), he hasn’t been stretched out innings-wise this year. Other than those six innings, he hasn’t thrown more than 4 1/3 in a game.
As a result, expect Houston’s weak bullpen to play a role in this contest. That’s bad news for Astros fans as even if Keuchel keeps it close for a while, the relief corps will struggle. This isn’t a great value pick, as the Tigers are on at 1.24, but if you’re looking for a safe hedge bet this is a particularly good one.
Best Bet: Back the St Louis Cardinals at 1.45
Follow Josh Chetwynd's MLB betting tips every day