Red Sox v Angels
The fact that Jered Weaver is so rarely terrible two games in a row and Clay Buchholz has returned to form means a low scorer when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim face the Red Sox in Boston on Wednesday. The Angels’ Weaver is coming off of his worst start of the season: he allowed nine runs in three-plus innings of work against the Tampa Bay Rays. But Weaver is fantastic at bouncing back from subpar performances. Since May 2011, Weaver has only thrown back-to-back games that didn’t qualify as a quality start (six-plus innings pitched; three or fewer earned runs allowed) once – and that occurred in late August/early September last season. As a result, he should be on form. As for the Red Sox starter Buchholz, he started the season miserably but has come around nicely in the second half. Since the All Star break, the right-hander has a 2.03 ERA. In his three most recent starts, he’s 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. All this points to a pitchers’ game so go with under 9 runs at 1.81 rather than the over at 2.00.
Cardinals v Astros
The St. Louis Cardinals should continue their drive for a wild card spot when they host the Houston Astros. The Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse has been a consistent success this season. He is 12-2 with a 2.61 ERA. In his past fourteen appearances he’s delivered 13 quality starts. Throughout his career, Lohse has always thrown well against Houston, posting a 2.93 ERA versus the Astros. The Cardinals will be further aided in their efforts in this one by Houston starter Bud Norris, who is sputtering big time. Norris, who is a talented hurler, started the season promisingly with a 5-1 record. But he hasn’t won a game since then (which spans all the way back to May 21). In the second half he’s been particularly bad, registering a 0-4 record and a 6.35 ERA (compared to 5-6 with a 4.71 ERA in the first half). The Cardinals are heavy favourites at 1.32, but with good reason. Despite the Astros’ tempting 3.40 line don’t bite - just go with St. Louis.