A pitchers’ duel is in store when the Seattle Mariners visit the Cleveland Indians on Monday. Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma has been one of baseball’s under-the-radar aces in 2013. He’s 5-1 with a 1.84 ERA and has shown excellent resilience on the road, going 3-1 with a 2.45 ERA. Cleveland hitters have struggled throughout their career against Iwakuma, posting a .182 batting average.
Despite those numbers, Cleveland pitcher Scott Kazmir should be able to keep his club in the game. His overall numbers aren’t good (5.33 ERA), but he has extreme home-road splits. When in Cleveland, he’s 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings pitched; when he’s anywhere else he’s registered an 8.10 ERA, a 0-2 record and just 11 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings. As is the case with Iwakuma, Kazmir has shown been masterful against the opposing team’s hitters: they’ve batted a combined .207 against the left-hander. With both pitchers poised for a good performance, go for under 8.0 runs at 1.83 in this contest.
Cole Hamels' miserable 2013 campaign will get a bit better in Miami, where his Philadelphia Phillies will take on the Marlins. A three-time All Star, Hamels is currently 1-6 with a 4.61 ERA. The big problem for the pitcher has been uncharacteristic wildness: he currently leads the National League in base on balls. But a deep look at that problem suggests that it’s been inflated by a few bad starts (15 of his 24 walks occurred in just three of his nine appearances).
In any event, the Marlins are not a team that is likely to capitalize on this potential weakness. The club ranks among the bottom three in the NL in walks so they’re typically swinging away at almost anything. Hamels also has a good history at Marlins Park. In four starts there, he’s 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA. As for Miami hitters, their track record against Hamels isn’t good – combined they’ve registered a .212 batting average. Marlins starter Alex Sanabia is nothing special. He has a 2-6 record with a 5.00 ERA. The match-up strongly favours the Phillies and you should go for them at 1.51.