Texas Rangers v Seattle Mariners
One of baseball’s most underrated pitchers will keep on winning Saturday when the Texas Rangers face the Seattle Mariners. Matt Harrison has quietly put together a remarkable season. Despite playing his home games at the hitter-friendly Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, he’s registered some sturdy numbers – 17-9 with a 3.26 ERA. As good as the overall performance is, going to Safeco Field is a godsend for Harrison: in Seattle, the pitcher is 5-0 with a 0.96 ERA over seven appearances in his career. In his last outing – against the Mariners – he went 8 2/3 innings and allowed a single run. His pitching opponent Blake Beavan has lost his last two starts and his 2012 statistics – 9-10 with a 4.88 ERA – are not strong. Though the odds are in the Rangers’ favor at 1.55, it’s a solid safe bet against the Mariners at 2.45.
Chicago Cubs v St. Louis Cardinals
The Chicago Cubs don’t look good when they host the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s been a rollercoaster year for St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright. He was terrible in April (7.32 ERA), solid in May (3.00 ERA), bad again in June (5.21 ERA), at his best in July and August (2.76 and 2.75 respectively) and started September slowly (4.76). But expect an upturn here at the end of the year. Wainwright noticed a flaw in his mechanics and has appeared to right matters in his past two outings. Over those games he went 12 innings and gave up four runs. The Cubs' Travis Wood has had good moments this season, but on the balance he’s 6-12 with a 4.25 ERA and the fact he has to be almost perfect for a lineup that is second-worst in the National League in runs scored does not portend good things. Throw in the fact that Wood has lost each of his last two starts against the Cardinals and St. Louis at 1.57 – rather than the Cubs at 2.40 – are the clear choice.