The Atlanta Braves will nab a home win Friday against the San Francisco Giants, and a key factor here will be Giants’ pitcher Madison Baumgarner’s difficulties on the road. He’s had four straight poor away outings. In fact, the last time he threw well outside of AT&T Park was way back in April. Not surprisingly, he sports a 4.30 ERA on the road compared to a far more impressive 2.77 home ERA.
So while Baumgarner carved up the Braves lineup on May 11 (seven innings, four hits, one run and eleven strikeouts), it was in the friendly environs of San Francisco.
Braves’ pitcher Kris Medlen also performs better at home (splits: 2.31 ERA at home; 3.32 ERA on the road). The big difference here is that Medlen will get to utilize his advantage. Also, Medlen is currently in a groove.
Over his past two starts he’s thrown 13 2/3 innings without allowing an earned run. As a result, like Bumgarner’s good performance against the Braves at AT&T Park, I discount Medlen’s mediocre outing (5 1/3 innings, eight hits, three earned runs) against the Giants in San Francisco on May 12. Take the Braves, on at X.XX, to make the most of being at home.
The Boston Red Sox will keep rolling when they square up against one of their division rivals, the Baltimore Orioles. Red Sox starter Ryan Dempster has owned the Oriole hitters throughout his career. In 96 total plate appearances, Baltimore batters have a combined .190 batting average.
Central players Chris Davis, Manny Machado and Matt Wieters have a combined one hit in sixteen at bats against Dempster. Shortstop J.J. Hardy has mustered a poor .071 batting average in 32 plate appearances. Dempster will also benefit from the fact that the Red Sox have been so good on the road.
They actually own a better winning percentage away from Fenway Park than their performance at home. That type of road warrior track record is rare. Baltimore pitcher Chris Tillman has been solid overall in 2013 (6-2 with a 3.89 ERA), but he’s scuffled at Camden Yards. In home games he’s 1-2 with a 5.31 ERA in seven starts.
Best bet: Go with Boston (1.91) to continue to thrive in enemy territory