When two excellent pitchers face off in Baltimore – Jason Hammel for the Orioles and Jered Weaver for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim – the result will be determined by which team can muster more offence. Hammel has been masterful as of late and he hasn’t conceded an earned run in his past 19 innings.
Weaver looked equally as sharp in his first start back off the disabled list, throwing six scoreless innings against the San Francisco Giants. But which line-up is hotter? That would be the Angels.
Going into last night’s game, Los Angeles has hit a healthy .311 with five home runs and 20 runs batted in over the past seven days. In contrast, during the same period, the Orioles have a weak .211 batting average with four homers and 8 runs batted in. While both pitchers should battle, the Angels hitters will be more up to the task of succeeding. Take Los Angeles at 1.75 instead of Baltimore at 2.08.
It’s time to play the hot hand when the New York Mets visit the Chicago Cubs. Mets pitcher Jonathon Niese is riding high and he’s allowed just six earned runs in his past 26 1/3 innings pitched (2.05 ERA). In particular, Niese has shown excellent control with his pitches, having walked exactly one batter in each of those four starts.
On the other hand, Jeff Samardzija has been struggling mightily as of late. In his last appearance he gave up five runs and seven hits in just five innings. He hasn’t won a game since late May and, over his past four starts, he’s 0-3 with an 8.53 ERA. Take the pitcher on form and the Mets at 1.85 and pass on the struggling Samardzija and the Cubs at 1.95.