Home run (Safe bet)
Take the Texas Rangers at odds of 1.47 to capture the home victory over the Houston Astros.
Both of these clubs have been woeful this season (they comprise the bottom-two teams in the American League West). The Astros showed some promise in May but have subsequently faltered, while injuries galore have hindered the Rangers. Yet, there is one bright spot for Texas – Yu Darvish – and he will be a difference maker in this Wednesday contest.
Despite his team’s deficiencies, Darvish has been a consistent performer this year – and has even found a way to win on a club that has a winning percentage well below .500. The All Star is 8-4 with a 2.63 ERA. Most relevant to this match-up is his dominance over the Astros lineup. In 84 plate appearances, Astros hitters possess a .152 batting average, .190 on base percentage and a .316 slugging percentage. That’s some pretty weak sauce.
Houston starter Dallas Keuchel has faded after a fantastic beginning to this campaign. In his past three starts, he’s yielded thirteen earned runs in 18 innings pitched. In particularly, he was tagged hard in his last appearance on July 4. Against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, he gave up thirteen hits and five runs in 5 innings of work.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Go with the Toronto Blue Jays - on at 2.37 - to win on the road at the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Two starting pitchers moving in opposite directions in terms of performance are the reason for this bet. The Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman had some hiccups when he first ascended to the Major Leagues on May 4. In five relief appearances he posted an astronomical 12.79 ERA. But he went back to the minor leagues, worked out some issues, and came back impressively. In seven outings since his return on May 31, he has delivered six quality starts (six innings or more pitched; three runs or fewer allowed). Even more telling for this game, he’s gotten stronger as the season has progressed. In his past five starts he has a 2.30 ERA and in his most recent two appearances, he’s put up a 1.32 ERA.
In contrast, the Angels’ C.J. Wilson has been floundering. He started the season well, tallying a 3.00 ERA through his first ten starts. But he’s completely lost his bearings recently. In his past five starts he has a 7.27 ERA, and it’s been particularly bad as of late. In his past two games, he has an 11.25 ERA.