MLB Betting: Yankees v Mariners and Pirates v Reds


When the New York Yankees host the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, run scoring will be at a premium. The dominance of Mariners starter Felix Hernandez extends quite far. In his past nine appearances he’s an impressive 5-0 with a 1.60 ERA and has struck out more batters (69) than innings pitched (67 1/3). Just as important, he’s thrown very well at the new Yankee Stadium: in four outings at the ballpark he’s 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA.

New York will counter with Hiroki Kuroda. After a slow start, Kuroda has put together a fine season. He’s 10-7 with a 3.28 ERA and over his past 22 innings, he’s yielded just three runs. The last time he faced the Mariners, he was on his game, giving up one run on three hits in seven innings of work. He struck out nine in that contest. Another vital factor: Yankee Stadium has been a surprisingly neutral run-scoring venue in 2012 (it ranks fourteenth out of thirty locales in this category). Go with under 8.0 runs at 1.92 instead of the over at 1.88.

Look for James McDonald to break out of his recent pitching slump and lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to victory against the Cincinnati Reds. It’s true that McDonald has been in a funk; he’s pitched so badly in his past four starts that his ERA has ballooned from 2.59 to 3.38 (overall he gave up 20 earned runs in 20 2/3 innings during that stretch). But McDonald is a big-game pitcher and this contest against their top rival for the National League Central crown should bring out the best in him. Against teams with winning records, McDonald is 5-1 and boasts a 2.45 ERA, while he has two wins against the Reds in 2012 and has given up just one run in 14 1/3 innings.

Reds' starter Mike Leake, who is 4-7 with a 4.44 ERA this year, showed control problems in his last start throwing only 24 of 49 pitches in the strike zone en route to a shaky loss. Pick the Pirates at 2.15 and reject the Reds at 1.70.