Home run (Safe bet)
When the New York Yankees visit the Milwaukee Brewers the teams will combine for fewer than 7.5 runs; take it at 1.85.
This Friday clash features two excellent pitchers throwing at a field that hasn’t been hitter friendly in 2014.
The Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka has been excellent all season. In six starts this year, he has delivered a quality start (six innings pitched; three runs or fewer allowed) every time out. Milwaukee’s Yovani Gallardo has very much returned to form this year. After a down performance in 2013, He’s 2-1 with a 2.47 ERA. Most notable is his work at Miller Park where he has a 1.42 ERA in three starts.
As for Milwaukee’s stadium this year, it currently ranks last out of all Major League venues in terms of run production, according to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors. A final point: in terms of offence, both of these clubs rank below their respective league’s average in run production this season.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Look for the San Diego Padres (2.20) to win at home against the Miami Marlins.
The Marlins have probably been the biggest surprise this season as they are in early contention in the National League East. But this tilt underscores why they are unlikely to stay in that rarified position. In short, it’s been a tale of two Marlins. At home, they are a blistering 17-5, but on the road they were 2-10 coming into this series.
Miami starter Jose Fernandez embodies this split-personality squad. At home, he’s 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA this season, but on the road he’s just 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA. Don’t get me wrong, Fernandez is a top-shelf talent, but he can appear mortal when he departs from Marlins Park. Last year he was 3-6 with a 3.50 ERA in away games compared to 9-0 with a 1.19 ERA at home.
For the Padres, pitcher Tyson Ross has similar problems. He is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA at home and 1-2 with a 5.94 elsewhere. Of course, he is at Petco Park for this game so he’ll be playing to his strength. San Diego isn’t a great team, but if you want reasonable odds on a decent punt, this is a contest to consider.