Home run (Safe bet)
Pick the Milwaukee Brewers, on at 1.68 at home over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
With Wily Peralta on the pitchers’ mound, the Brewers are in a very strong position in this Wednesday match-up. Peralta has been one of baseball’s most consistent starters in 2014.
He has thrown a quality start (six inning or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed) in each of his six appearances this year. He’ll go up against an Arizona lineup that ranks twelfth out of fifteen National League teams in runs scored per game.
The Diamondbacks will throw a wild card in this contest. Bronson Arroyo started the season horribly as evidenced by his 9.50 ERA through his first four starts. But in his past two appearances he’s given up two runs in 13 1/3 innings.
That said, being on the road isn’t going to help his cause. He did throw a seven-inning shutout against the woefully hitting San Diego Padres his last time out, but that was at the very pitcher friendly Petco Park. In his other two away starts, he gave up eight runs in 10 1/3 innings. While Miller Park has played well for pitchers this year, it’s typically a hitters’ park. Last year it ranked fifth out of thirty big league stadiums in run scoring.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Take under 6.5 runs at 1.78 when the Kansas City Royals visit the San Diego Padres.
The over/under line here is low, but the pitchers in this game are well-suited to turn this into a classic duel. San Diego’s Andrew Cashner is an excellent pitcher at Petco Park. In four starts this year he has a sterling 1.27 ERA (everywhere else he struggles with a 5.00 ERA in three appearances).
He gets to face a Kansas City lineup that’s thirteenth out of fifteen American League teams in run production per game. Throw in the fact that the Royals will not be able to use their designated hitter in this contest (as they’ll be playing interleague in a NL stadium), and they should be even weaker than normal offensively.
The Royals James Shields has been fantastic this year save one bad performance against the heavy hitting Detroit Tigers. If you consider his year minus that game, he’s put up a 2.02 ERA. In addition, he’s been great on the road this year.
He has a 2.18 ERA in five away starts compared to a 5.40 ERA in his two home games. Facing the Padres’ lineup is a good situation for Shields. San Diego ranks dead last in the NL in runs scored per game.