Home run (Safe bet)
Go with the Los Angeles Dodgers - on at 1.36 - at home to prevail over the San Francisco Giants.
This Wednesday clash is a big game for these two clubs, who are still competing for the National League West title. But I would be remiss not to take Dodgers in this one. The reason: Clayton Kershaw is getting the ball. How could you not endorse Kershaw every time out? He’s 20-3 with a 1.80 ERA. He’s even a bit sharper at home (1.75 ERA), and he isn’t slowing down, as evidenced by the fact he hasn’t lost a game in September (over four starts). As for his work against the Giants, he’s 2-0 with a 1.88 ERA in three starts against them.
San Francisco has the veteran Tim Hudson on the pitcher’s mound. Though his season totals are solid (3.52 ERA), he’s currently off the boil. In his past five starts, he’s 0-3 with a 7.03 ERA. Pitching against Los Angeles is unlikely to get him out of his rut. In two 2014 starts against the Dodgers, Hudson has a heinous 10.29 ERA over seven innings.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Consider the Chicago White Sox – on at 2.08 - to win on the road against the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers are in the throes of a tight American League Central race, but the starting pitching here cuts very much toward Chicago.
While Detroit’s Justin Verlander is a Cy Young Award winner, he’s been really off his game this year. In his last two outings, he has pitched well (1-0 with a 2.77 ERA), but don’t be deceived. He has not thrown well at home in his two most recent appearances there, giving up seven runs in 12 2/3 innings. In addition, the White Sox have gotten the better of the Tigers’ starter this year. In four 2014 starts, Verlander has posted a blah 4.39 ERA.
No doubt Chicago is the weaker team, but they have the far better pitcher here. Chris Sale has been fantastic this season. He’s 12-4 with a 2.20 ERA. He’s even better when on the road, where he has a 1.97 ERA in ten starts and, most important, he has an excellent 2.57 ERA in two starts against a strong Tigers lineup.