Wrigley Field has been the place to score runs so far this season. Expect more of the same on Sunday, when the Cubs host the San Francisco Giants. The starting pitchers in this game are both respectable names – Tim Lincecum for the Giants and Edwin Jackson for the Cubs – but neither is currently on his game. Lincecum carries a 4.91 ERA into this contest, but most troubling are the league-leading eleven walks he’s yielded in just eleven innings.
Jackson has looked even worse with his 5.73 ERA. Control has been an issue with him as well; he has walked six in eleven innings. Odds are against both starters finding form in this one, so expect the run total to be high.
In Seattle, back the home team Mariners to succumb to the visiting Texas Rangers. There are tough starts and then there are tough starts - just ask Seattle starter Brandon Maurer. Through two games he’s registered a 16.20 ERA. Quite simply, the rookie is just too hittable at the Major League level right now. He’s given up fifteen hits in 6 2/3 innings pitched and has only been able to strike out three batters. That’s bad news against a team like the Texas Rangers, who are third in the American League in hits coming into the weekend.
The Rangers offer up their own low-profile pitcher: Nick Tepesch. But the right-hander showed some legitimate promise when he earned a win on 9 April against the Tampa Bay Rays. In that contest he lasted 7 1/3 innings, giving up just four hits and one run. This should be a road win for the Rangers at 1.78.