Bartolo Colon’s return to the Bronx on Friday will not be a happy homecoming as his Oakland A’s will fall to the hometown New York Yankees. In 2011 Colon was a member of the Yankees pitching rotation. It was a comeback year for the former Cy Young Award winner after being out of the Big Leagues for two seasons with injury. Nevertheless, pitching at the new Yankee Stadium has never been Colon’s strong suit: in six starts at the stadium he’s posted a 5.35 ERA.
He faces a New York side that has been excellent at home this year (they’re sporting a winning percentage of nearly .700 at Yankee Stadium). Moreover, their starting pitcher, Phil Hughes, is very much in form. He’s posted three straight quality starts (six innings-plus pitched; three or fewer runs allowed). He’s also struck out 21 over that stretch. Count on the Yankees – on at 1.68 – to capture the win.
Two ace pitchers will throw in an environment they’re comfortable in when the St Louis Cardinals visit the Milwaukee Brewers. Both clubs have strong line-ups and Miller Park has been a scoring haven (second in the Majors in runs per game) but those factors will be negated by the strength of the starters. The Cardinals’ Adam Wainwright is in his second full season since coming back from elbow reconstruction and has returned to the form that made him a CY Young Award contender: this year he has a 2.03 ERA. Equally important is his experience (and success) at Miller Park, where he’s pitched 13 times and delivered a 2.57 ERA.
The Brewers’ Yovani Gallardo started the season a little shakily but has now registered three straight quality starts. Home has always been his preferred venue. Lifetime he has a 3.33 ERA at Miller Park (versus a 4.07 ERA everywhere else). This year his splits are even more pronounced: 3.38 ERA at home, 6.00 on the road. The upshot: expect a well-pitched game and go with a total score below 7.5 runs at 2.00.