Expect plenty of runs when the Cleveland Indians visit the Minnesota Twins on Friday. The reason: both starting pitchers have been sub-par this season. The Indians send Scott Kazmir to the pitchers’ mound. While he has had a few decent moments in 2013, very few of them have come on the road: he’s 0-4 with a 5.31 ERA in away games. This match-up is a particularly bad one for Kazmir, as the Twins own a cumulative .329 batting average (and robust .605 slugging percentage) against the lefty.
The Twins’ Mike Pelfrey has just been awful this year. He has a 5.55 ERA and being at Target Field has not been an advantage for the tall right-hander. He has been particularly bad at home, posting a 5.61 ERA there. As a result, look for the total run count to exceed 9.0 at 2.05.
In contrast to the hitting fireworks in Minnesota, it’ll be the pitchers who will provide all the action when the Baltimore Orioles travel to Texas to face the Rangers. Texas starter Derek Holland is sometimes a forgotten ace. He owns a solid 3.08 ERA in 2013 and has been fantastic over his past five starts, registering a 3-0 record and a 2.52 ERA. Orioles hitters have been fantastic this season (they’re third in the American League in runs produced per game) but against Holland they possess just a .239 batting average and a limp .304 slugging percentage in 103 plate appearances.
The Orioles’ Wei-Yin Chen has been every bit Holland’s equal: he has a 4-3 record but owns a strong 2.82 ERA. Injured for nearly two months, the Taiwanese native came of the disabled list and threw a gem on 10 July, giving up just three hits and one run in seven innings. He delivered that performance against the Rangers, too. While he must repeat that type of performance on the road in this game, his numbers away from Camden Yards have been solid (3.34 ERA in six starts) so don’t expect him to buckle. Opt for under 9.5 runs at 1.68.