Home run (Safe bet)
Pick the Washington Nationals, on at 1.50, to prevail at home over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
This Wednesday game is a perfect set up for the Nationals. They’re at home, where they dominate (the team ranks third in the Major Leagues out of thirty teams in home winning percentage), and they’re playing a Diamondbacks club that has the second-to-worst road record in all of baseball.
Pitching for Washington is Tanner Roak, who has put together a nifty season. He’s 12-7 with a 2.93 ERA. As for his work at home, he’s put up an even better 2.57 ERA in twelve starts. In direct contrast, Arizona starter Trevor Cahill has endured a forgettable campaign. In twenty-five appearances, he’s 3-8 with a 4.68 ERA.
Truth be told, Cahill is a better pitcher than his numbers suggest, but even if he shows that reality, he has little offence to back him. With Paul Goldschmidt on the disabled list and Martin Prado being traded, the Arizona line up is very thin.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Go with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – 1.68 - on the road to win at the Boston Red Sox.
Sure the Red Sox are the defending World Series champions and they are playing at Fenway Park, but neither of those facts will help them against the Angels.
The Red Sox have been a shell of the club that won baseball’s title last year. Neither the offence nor the pitching has lived up to expectations and even the club’s typical advantage at home hasn’t materialized in 2014. Boston currently ranks twenty-fourth out of thirty teams in home winning percentage. As for the Angels they’ve been well above average as a road team (eighth in away winning percentage).
In terms of the pitching matchup it simply adds confidence for an Angels triumph. Los Angeles’ Garrett Richards is 13-4 with a 2.53 ERA and has been sharp in his past two games in which he’s delivered a 1.98 ERA. Being on the road is not a bother for Richards, who is 8-2 with a 1.96 ERA in fourteen road starts.
In contrast, the Red Sox’s Clay Buchholz is in the midst of a disastrous year. He’s 5-7 with a 5.79 ERA. Admittedly, advanced metrics suggest he hasn’t been quite that bad, but there’s no denying he’s been wobbly in his past five outings. During that stretch he’s 0-2 with a 6.68 ERA.
See all of our MLB bets here.