Yu Darvish’s recent form will continue when his Texas Rangers face the Seattle Mariners at home on Sunday. Darvish has been nearly unhittable over his past five starts; in that stretch he’s gone 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA, allowing just 19 hits in 34 1/3 innings while striking out 50. Even if Darvish wasn’t firing on all cylinders, he’d probably make easy work of Seattle. In 114 career plate appearances against Darvish, Mariners pitchers own a terrible .155 batting average and have yet to hit a home run against the Japanese native.
Seattle’s pitching choice, Erasmo Ramirez, may give you reason to believe he can compete because of his spotless 4-0 record. But don’t be fooled. He owns a 7.06 ERA and has yet to deliver a quality start (six inning or more pitched; three runs or less surrendered) in five starts. The Rangers (1.33) are the clear choice in this match-up.
A faltering big-name pitcher will be the difference maker when the New York Yankees visit the Boston Red Sox. CC Sabathia has been one of baseball’s most consistent starters over the past decade, but he’s not looking like his normal self lately. In his past five starts, the big lefty has a 1-2 record and a 7.45 ERA. Boston has been particularly inhospitable for Sabathia, who gave up seven runs and nine hits in five innings there on 21 July. In fact, regardless of location, Boston hitters have had Sabathia’s number in 2013: in 64 plate appearances, Red Sox hitters have a .298 batting average and a robust .491 slugging percentage against the Yankees ace.
Red Sox pitcher Ryan Dempster has endured his own struggles as of late, but he has been better than Sabathia recently. Moreover, his team’s offence, which ranks second in the American League in runs scored per game should give him enough to work with to pick up the win. Opt for Boston – on at 1.75 – to win this contest.