A healthy Jered Weaver pitching at home will spell victory for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs. You always hold your breath when a pitcher comes off the disabled list. Will he immediately snap back into form or will it take some time? In the case of Weaver, he was sharp from the get-go after spending nearly two months on the shelf. In his return to the Angels rotation on May 29 against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he pitched six innings, giving up just five hits and one run, while walking none and striking out seven. Like that contest, Weaver is pitching where he does his best work: Anaheim. He owns a career 2.65 ERA at Angel Stadium versus a 3.82 ERA elsewhere.
He’ll face a Cubs line-up that struggles away from Wrigley Park. The team has hit .222 with just 21 homes in 26 away games compared to .268 with 41 home runs in 29 home contests. Chicago’s starter, Scott Feldman, has registered good numbers in 2013 – 5-4 with a 2.82 ERA – but his history with the Angels and the team’s hitters that isn’t so good. Anaheim batters have a combined .362 average against Feldman and the pitcher’s career ERA at Angel Stadium is a bloated 5.74. All told, pick the Angels to win at 1.51.
There’s going to be a pitching duel in Detroit, where the Tigers host the Tampa Bay Rays. Both starters – Matt Moore for the Rays and Anibal Sanchez for the Tigers – have been among the Major League’s best pitchers. Moore is 8-0 with a 2.18 ERA and has thrown very well on the road (4-0 record; 2.32 ERA). Sanchez hasn’t been quite as good overall (he’s 5-5 with a 2.79 ERA), but he’s been stellar at home, where he’s 4-1 with a 1.70 ERA.
Equally important in this match-up are the clubs’ subpar track records against their opposing pitchers. Tigers hitters have mustered just a .100 batting average in 24 lifetime plate appearances against Moore, while Rays batters have a .207 batting average in 111 at bats versus Sanchez. The Tigers may be the American League’s most potent offence but tonight the pitchers will be in charge. Take under 8 runs at 1.91.