With two left-handed pitchers starting in a contest between Oakland A’s at the Boston Red Sox Wednesday, each team’s comparative success against southpaws will determine the result.
Boston has been a surprise performer this year, but their greatest success has come against right-handers. When facing righties they’re hitting a solid .274 with a .460 slugging average. Versus left-handed pitchers, it’s a very different story – the team has a combined .201 batting average with a .272 slugging percentage.
Overall, A’s pitcher Brett Anderson is off to a bit of a shaky beginning to 2013 (5.69 ERA), but that’s mostly due to one bad outing against the Detroit Tigers. Otherwise, he has a respectable 3.86 ERA.
As for Oakland’s lineup, the club’s hitting success has primarily come against lefties. Oakland’s splits: .287 batting average and .441 slugging percentage against left-handers; .236 batting average and .414 slugging percentage against righties.
Boston’s Jon Lester is one of the better lefties in the game, but he’s never been particularly sharp against Oakland (lifetime he’s 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA). Consider the road upset and take the A’s at 2.45, rather than the Red Sox at 1.56.
Don’t be fooled by the Stephen Strasburg’s current 1-3 record for the Washington Nationals, he’s on his game and should cruise to victory at home against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Strasburg has been fantastic at home in two 2013 starts. In 13 innings pitched he has allowed just eight hits, one walk and zero earned runs. He made his only career start against the Cardinals last year (so he’s facing a lot of the same hitters) and threw magnificently, throwing six shutout innings while conceding just two hits and one walk (he also struck out nine).
The Cardinals’ starter Jaime Garcia has a history of woes on the road. Last season, he boasted a 2.82 ERA at Busch Stadium and a 5.02 ERA everywhere else. This year, he has a 1.98 ERA in St. Louis and a 5.19 ERA in away games. Look for Garcia to stumble and Strasburg to shine as Washington (1.65) will prevail over St. Louis (2.25).
Best Bet: Back the Okaland A's at 2.45 against the Boston Red Sox
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