One bet cashes before the game even begins, and the other losses before it begins. It didn’t take long in either game yesterday to determine where either bet was heading. I suppose I prefer it that way, as there is no waiting around playing the stress game. The Pittsburgh Pirates steamrolled the Mariners last night en route to an easy 9-4 victory. I did mention in my writeup that Locke has been a lock for the Pirates, and that is exactly what he put on display Tuesday night. I did like the Pirates, so it is too bad I went with the under instead, but short memory, on to the next day.
Free MLB Pick:
Cleveland Indians +130 at Baltimore Orioles -150 (Total: 9.5)
Scott Kazmir (4-4, 5.37 ERA) vs. Jason Hammel (7-4, 5.30 ERA)
It has been difficult this season to decipher whether either of these teams are coming or going. Both have had their moments in the spotlight, and then they seemingly disappear into the sunset not to be heard of again for another couple of weeks. I can safely make one prediction, though: the Detroit Tigers are winning the AL Central. I just don’t see the Indians pulling the improbable of and unseating the Tigers. The Orioles on the other hand are doing their best lately to wash away what they have accomplished this season, dropping 4 out of their last 5 games.
I can make the assertion too that neither squad is going to get anywhere fast with the state of their rotation. A lot of people expected Jason Hammel to take a leap forward this season after a productive 2012 season. However, Hammel has settled in as what he has been for the majority of his career, an average to below average pitcher. His 5.30 ERA is about on par with his career numbers, and his last three outings haven’t shown any indications he is about to turn things around with a 4.82 ERA. Particularly frightening is the fact that he is struggling greatly at home. Hammel holds an ERA of 7.09, .383 OBP, and 1.64 WHIP in his own backyard.
Scott Kazmir fits a similar billing as Hammel. He has always had plenty of potential, but has failed to put everything together. He’s another pitcher that you just hope can give you a solid 6 innings without imploding. Unfortunately for Kazmir, this season has seen more implosions than a solid 6 innings of work. While Hammel can’t seem to figure his stuff out in front of Orioles’ fans, Kazmir is having his own difficulties on the road. And similar to Kazmir, his numbers are quite ugly to look at in this respect: 6.53 ERA, .389 OBP, and 1.78 WHIP. Therefore, between Hammel and Kazmir, that is a monster WHIP of 3.42.
I can’t see this bet hitting as easy as our over bet did yesterday, but I expect the OVER 9.5 to come in regardless.
Free Pick: OVER 9.5