For this week’s “Inside The Lines” column, I will again take a look ahead at a few of the matchups taking place this week on the baseball diamond that will offer up some solid wagering opportunities in MLB action later on this week.
Seattle at NY Yankees — Lefty starter Marco Gonzales takes the mound for Seattle against Domingo German in the opening game of this series pitting two of the top teams in the AL against one another. Gonzales has been terrific in recent outings entering this game on a 6 start streak of allowing 3 runs or less and Seattle is 10-4 on the season in 14 games when Gonzales has taken the mound including 5-0 in his last 5 turns. He may match up favorably in my mind against the Yankees who have a potent lineup but have been a little bit weaker against southpaws in terms of batting average as a team.
On the other side, German has been serviceable but not necessarily dominant. He is only 1-4 with a 5.23 ERA in 7 starts this season and he’s surrendered 13 runs in his last 17.2 innings pitched in the Bronx. Seattle is 22-7 in their last 29 games and also have a very solid 21-12 record on the road. The Mariners should have a solid chance to improve on both of those records here on Tuesday night and I’ll side with SEATTLE them to pick up the road win at Yankee Stadium.
NY Mets at Colorado — I believe the scoreboard operator will be working overtime at Coors Field on Tuesday night in this matchup between the New York Mets and Colorado Rockies. Jason Vargas takes the mound for New York and the lefty has been better lately after a brutal start to the season but I still do not trust him here as he is a fly ball pitcher in a very tough environment for that style of pitcher against a Colorado lineup that has fared much better with their splits against lefties as the Rockies have hit .259 as a team and averaged over 5 runs per game against southpaws.
This should be a matchup where Colorado can plate some runs against Vargas and a very spotty and suspect NY Mets bullpen behind him which owns a 4.54 ERA on the season. German Marquez who gets the starting role for this game has been a disappointment this season for Colorado and has a 8.44 ERA in his last three starts and a brutal 7.71 ERA in 7 home starts this season. The Mets lineup went through a horrific run of ineptitude in recent weeks but they showed signs of finally breaking out of it over the weekend in Arizona as they collected 10 runs in the last two games combined of that series against the Diamondbacks which should give their lineup some added confidence as they head into the new week.
The Colorado bullpen has been a disaster area and things seem to be getting worse, not better with them. The Rox pen has a 5.49 ERA and blew another big lead in Texas on Sunday against the Rangers. This game has offensive fireworks written everywhere. I’m playing this game up and OVER the total.
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati — Here is another game where both lineups should be ahead of either starting pitcher. Matt Harvey will be on the mound for Cincinnati and things have been very tough on the veteran this season and it hasn’t changed much since he joined the Reds. Harvey has allowed 17 runs over his last 21.1 innings of work and that is bad news against a potent Chicago Cubs squad that has posted at least 6 runs in three of their last six games.
On the other side is Kyle Hendricks who historically has been worse on the road than at home and that trend has continued into 2018. Kyle Hendricks road ERA is at 4.50 which is worse than his home ERA and the Reds managed to hit him for 4 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings when Hendricks faced them here at Great American Ballpark earlier in the season. I think this game will eclipse the posted total and is worth a wager on OVER.
Philadelphia at Washington — It’s a big NL East battle night between the Phillies and Nationals. As of this writing, the probable starters are Zach Eflin for Philadelphia and Tanner Roark for Washington. Eflin has found his footing after a shaky start to the season and his MLB career in general. Eflin enters this game with a 3 consecutive start winning streak allowing just 4 runs in his last 18.2 innings of work over three starts against Milwaukee (twice) and the Chicago Cubs and has 3 walks to go along with 17 strikeouts during that span. He has all the makings of a ‘bet on’ pitcher right now and the Phillies as a team are playing good baseball on a 5-2 run in their last 7 games.
On the flip side, Tanner Roark has been relatively hit or miss for the Nationals this season. He was hammered by Toronto in his most recent outing allowing 4 runs on 8 hits while lasting just 4 innings. Washington has not been winning games consistently for Roark of late either as the Nats are a money burning 1-4 in Roark’s last 5 starts. Bryce Harper has gone cold at the plate for Washington as he has just 1 hit in his last five games going 1-for-20 during that time and often times, the Nationals offense goes as he does.
I think this is shaping up to be a good matchup and spot along with a solid price to back the PHILLIES in this matchup of division rivals.