The bigger name pitcher will not get the better result when the Chicago White Sox visit the Texas Rangers on Thursday.
Chicago’s Jake Peavy is a former Cy Young Award winner who has thrown reasonably well this year (3-1 with a 3.38 ERA), but there are a couple of reasons why he won’t beat Texas in this contest.
The first is that his lineup is simply not scoring enough runs. The White Sox rank second-to-last in the American League in runs scored per game. This is particularly shocking considering Chicago’s home stadium has a reputation as one of the better offensive locales.
In contrast, Texas are above the league average in runs scored and, when at home, they’re particularly prolific (they’ve averaged nearly six runs a game in Texas compared to less than four per contest on the road).
The other major issue is Peavy has a weak track record when visiting the Texas. In three trips to Rangers Ballpark, he’s 0-1 with a 6.46 ERA.
Peavy’s pitching opponent, Justin Grimm, has only five career starts under his belt at the Major League level. Still, in that small sample size, he’s proved he can beat Big League hitters. His record in 2013: 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA. Go with the Rangers at 1.75.
Expect a high run count when the St. Louis Cardinals visit the Milwaukee Brewers. These two clubs have shown impressive run-producing ability so far in 2013.
Both teams rank in the top-five in the National League in scoring per game. Add the fact that they’re playing at Miller Park, which is currently second in the Major Leagues in producing runs, according to ESPN’s MLB Park Factors, and odds for a busy scoreboard operator are high.
You want more? Neither club is calling on their best starting pitcher in this contest. Superficially, St. Louis pitcher Jake Westbrook looks great (he has a sterling 0.98 ERA). But advanced metrics like Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) suggests he’s been very luck to achieve that success. In addition he’s walked as many batters – 14 – as he’s struck out. That’s always a bad sign.
The Brewers’ Wily Peralta doesn’t even have the veneer of success. He sports a 5.02 ERA. Pick over 8.5 runs at 1.72 as this should be a hitter’s game.
Best Bet: Back the Texas Rangers against the Chicago White Sox at 1.75
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