Royals v Rangers
Watch the scoreboard when the Texas Rangers visit the Kansas City Royals on Thursday because it’s going to be busy. High scoring is in order as neither starting pitcher offers much hope for a sterling performance. The Rangers’ Scott Feldman is 0-5 with a 6.35 ERA over his last five starts. While his overall numbers are marginally better (6-11 with a 5.01 ERA), he typically falters on the road where he’s 2-5 with a 6.19 ERA. The Royals’ Luke Hochevar has been a bit better in 2012 – 7-13 with a 5.34 ERA – but his last two outings have been disasters. He’s 0-1 with an 11.17 ERA in that stretch. Not to mention he’s been shakier throughout the season at home (2-6, 5.96 ERA) than on the road (5-7, 4.82 ERA). All told, the hitters hold a big advantage in this one. Take over 9.5 runs at the best value 2.08 in this one as the under at 1.75 is very unlikely to come in.
Marlins v Brewers
Miami Marlins’ pitcher Josh Johnson should snap his personal four-game losing streak when his club hosts the Milwaukee Brewers. Don’t let Johnson’s bad luck fool you: Since August 1, he’s pitched very well, throwing five quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three earned runs or less scored) in six appearances. In his last two home starts, he’s been fantastic, allowing just two runs in 16 innings. (For 2012, he has a 2.90 ERA at home compared to a 5.22 ERA on the road.) Milwaukee’s starter Marco Estrada is a worthy adversary as evidenced by his 3.85 ERA on the season. That said, his best work does not come on the road (4.12 ERA away from Miller Park), plus he’s never pitched at the new Marlins Park so there will be no immediate comfort zone there. Go with the Marlins at 1.77 instead of the Brewers at 2.05.