White Sox v Twins
Lots of runs should be expected when the Minnesota Twins visit the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Twins starter Scott Diamond is beginning to fade. After going 6-3 with a 2.93 ERA in the first half, he’s slowing degraded after the All-Star Break. In his past four starts he’s 0-1 with a 4.70 ERA (in his past two he has a 6.74 ERA). He’s 0-2 this season against Chicago and, while his overall numbers on the road are solid (3.56 ERA), they are nowhere as good as his home average (2.93). The White Sox’s Jose Quintana has also put up good statistics for the season (5-3, 3.17 ERA), but, like Diamond, is dropping in performance as the season has progressed. In his past two starts he’s 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. Most troubling is how his control is lessening. In his past five starts he’s walked 13 and struck out just 19. That isn’t a very strong ratio. Add the fact that U.S. Cellular Field is the fourth-most run-friendly environment in Major League Baseball and over 9.0 runs at 1.85 is the pick instead of the under at 1.95.
Braves v Rockies
If you want another option for a high scoring affair go for the Colorado Rockies at the Atlanta Braves. Though it doesn’t get the same offensive buzz as stadiums like Coors Field or Fenway Park, Turner Field is quietly in the top third of big league stadiums in terms of runs scored (ninth out of thirty ballparks). Neither club is going with a starter to counter that penchant for offence. Colorado’s Drew Pomeranz has been unable to avoid the big inning in most of his starts this season. For example, against the Los Angeles Dodgers last Wednesday he looked solid until he yielded a six-run inning. As a result, his overall record is 1-8 with a 5.13 ERA. The Braves’ Tommy Hanson hasn’t looked comfortable since coming back from the disabled list with a back strain. In 15 2/3 innings since his return, he’s given up 12 runs. It’s a bit of a gamble that good form will continue to elude Hanson, but between the two pitchers it’s very likely that one gets hit around enough to get over 8.5 runs at 2.05 than a pitcher’s duel that keeps it under at 1.77.