Runs will be put on the board when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim visit the Chicago White Sox on Friday. Both clubs are above average in run scoring and U.S. Cellular Field, which ranks fourth out of thirty stadiums in run production, will help matters. But it’s the pitching that will assure a scoring fest.
Zack Grienke, a recent acquisition by the Angels, has a lot of experience pitching in Chicago’s American League park from his days with the Kansas City Royals. His work there has not been good: in 11 appearances he’s 2-7 with a 5.49 ERA. In general, Grienke has never been as good on the road (4.18 career ERA) as at home (3.41 ERA).
His pitching opposition, Philip Humber, is far from a world beater – despite his perfect game earlier this season, he’s 5-5 with a 5.90 ERA. As bad has he’s been overall, he’s worst in games at U.S. Cellular Field (0-3 with a 6.93 ERA). Go with over 8.5 runs at 1.85 as it’s unlikely the under at 1.95 will come in.
The New York Mets should get a much-needed road win in San Diego against the Padres. Pitching the knuckleball is all about feel and for most of the season Mets starter R.A. Dickey has been uncanny with his ability to throw the difficult pitch. But through the majority of July he appeared to have lost his touch; in his first four starts of that month he gave up 17 earned runs in 25 1/3 innings and watched his ERA jump from 2.15 to 2.97. But in his last outing the magic was back: Dickey went seven innings, conceding no earned runs against the Arizona Diamondbacks. I expect he’ll continue on that momentum against the light hitting Padres.
San Diego starter Clayton Richard has thrown pretty well this year (7-11 with a 4.14 ERA), but he struggled against the Mets in May, allowing four runs in six innings. The Mets at 1.75 are the pick, not the Padres at 2.08.