As always, there’s plenty of MLB games to choose from. On Thursday, I start with the L.A. Dodgers heading to Cleveland. This should be a terrific interleague match up to start the 2017 MLB week 10 weekend preview. Then, on Friday, I analyze the Boston Red Sox versus the Houston Astros (currently #1 on this week Power Rankings).
Saturday’s key matchup between the Pirates and the Cubs has my attention. Sunday’s game has the L.A. Dodgers traveling to Cincinnati to face the Reds. Check out my MLB Weekend Preview!
2017 MLB Week 10 Weekend Preview
Thursday, June 15
Los Angeles Dodgers at Cleveland Indians
The Dodgers’ Rich Hill is having a decent season. So far, his record is 3-2. His ERA is 3.77. His WHIP is 1.45. He’s only started 7 games this season. Hill’s pitched 31 total innings. What’s interesting is that he hasn’t gone past 5 innings in a single game yet this season.
Cleveland counters Hill with pitcher Josh Tomlin. Tomlin’s not had the best of seasons. His 5.73 ERA just isn’t what it should be. Not only that, but Tomlin’s ERA is worse when he pitches at home. His ERA is 6.49 at home while it’s at 4.88 in away games.
It’s rare to find a pitcher that’s worse on his home mound than he is away from his home mound. Tomlin’s that pitcher.
This feels like a throwaway game for both the Dodgers and the Indians. Don’t get me wrong, L.A. and Cleveland want to win on Thursday. It just doesn’t seem like they’re going to throw their best efforts to winning on Thursday.
With that in mind, I prefer the Dodgers over Cleveland. The Dodgers are used to only playing Rich Hill for 5 innings. Since he won’t have to bat, they might get a 6th inning from Hill. Even if they don’t, they’re not going to care.
Hill also has some history with Cleveland batters. He used to pitch for the Oakland Athletics. He’s only seen Cleveland batters 31 times. But, he was brilliant in the small sample when allowing only 3 hits. One thing to note is that of the 3 hits, 2 hits went for home runs.
That’s not good. Then again, Hill and the Dodgers should be underdogs in this match up. Most people betting on this game probably won’t look to see how bad Tomlin is when he pitches at home.
I like the Dodgers on the moneyline.
Pick: L.A. Dodgers moneyline
Friday, June 16
Boston Red Sox at Houston Astros
Boston versus Houston this weekend should be an exciting series. The Red Sox were feeling it before they ran into the rival Yankees last week. New York put a 2-games to 1 beat down on the Red Sox. Ouch.
That doesn’t mean that the Red Sox don’t show up big time versus AL West leading Houston this weekend. Boston sends Drew Pomeranz to the mound for Friday’s match up. Pomeranz has a 4.48 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP.
The Astros are listed as starting Mike Fiers. Fiers has a 4.29 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. Fiers has only faced Boston 44 times. He’s allowed 11 hits for a .250 Red Sox batting average.
This game is intriguing because at times during this season both pitchers have struggled. On May 25, Fiers allowed 3 earned runs off 10 hits in only 4.2 innings. Houston managed to beat Detroit 7 to 6, but Fiers was terrible.
On June 11, also versus Detroit, Pomeranz was horrible. He allowed 5 earned runs off 8 hits in 4.1 innings. But, before that, Pomeranz had pitched well. He hadn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in 5 straight.
Fiers hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in 3 straight. Versus the Angels in his last, Fiers dominated. He pitched 7.1 innings and didn’t give up an earned run. He struck out 8, only walked 2, and allowed 2 hits.
At home, Fiers’s ERA is 3.00. Although Pomeranz should bounce back with a solid effort this Friday, it’s hard for me to put too much faith in him on the road versus the Houston Astros.
I think Fiers continues his hot streak. I like the Stros to beat the Red Sox by at least 2 runs in this matchup.
Pick: Houston Astros run line
Saturday, June 17
Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates
This should be a heck of a baseball game. The defending World Series Champion Chicago Cubs send Jake Arrieta to the mound. Arrieta’s numbers this season have been downright awful compared to what he’s done the past couple of season.
Arrieta’s ERA is 4.68. His WHIP is 1.33. Jake does have a winning record of 6 and 4. That’s nice, but he’s not dominant. The Cubs need him to be dominant.
Pittsburgh ace Ivan Nova has had a resurgence of sorts in Steel Town. Nova, who used to throw for the New York Yankees in the American League, has a 2.83 ERA. Nova’s WHIP is an excellent 1.01. His record is just like Arrieta’s at 6 and 4.
Arrieta’s faced Pittsburgh batters 212 times. The Bucs have a .217 batting average versus Arrieta. But, that’s not the real story. This year’s Jake Arrieta is different than last year’s Jake Arrieta. He doesn’t have the control he had last season.
Should that open the door for Pittsburgh to take this one? I think it will. Arrieta hasn’t thrown against Pittsburgh since April 15. He allowed 2 home runs from 5 hits in 5.2 innings. The Cubs lost 8 to 7. Jake hasn’t done anything since for me to believe he’s be better versus Pitt on June 17.
Nova’s only faced Cub batters 47 times. He hasn’t yielded a home run. He’s struck out 8. Chicago’s batting average is .191. Nova battled knee inflammation a couple of starts ago. No worries. In his last start, he dominated the Miami Marlins when yielding 1 hit in 6 innings.
I’m siding with Pitt in this match up.
Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates moneyline
Sunday, June 18
Los Angeles Dodgers at Cincinnati Reds
The great Clayton Kershaw is listed as Sunday’s Dodgers’ starter. Kershaw is having another unbelievable season. He’s pitched a total of 90 innings. His ERA is 2.20. His WHIP is .90. He has an 8-2 record. He’s struck out 101 batters.
The Reds counter Kershaw with 40-year-old Bronson Arroyo. Arroyo has a 7.01 ERA. His record is 3-5. His WHIP is 1.56. The last time Arroyo hit the mound, on June 12, he allowed 9 earned runs off 13 hits in only 4.2 innings pitched. The stats are horrible. They’re even worse when you consider that Arroyo threw at pitcher friendly Petco Park.
The Dodgers swept the Reds this past weekend. But, those games occurred at Chavez-Ravine. Will a different outcome happen in Cincinnati?
Nope. Not even close. If L.A. starts Kershaw this Sunday, the Reds should be toast. Kershaw has faced Cincinnati Reds batters 60 times. He’s allowed 10 hits. He’s struck out 25. The strike out percentage is an incredible 41.6%. The Reds batting average versus Kershaw is .167.
Even if Kershaw gets into some trouble, the Reds winning won’t happen. The Dodgers bullpen is ranked second in MLB based on ERA at 2.68. Dodgers relievers have a 12-7 record this season. The batting average versus Dodgers relievers is .210.
Not only that, but Bronson Arroyo has no shot against the Dodgers this Sunday. LAD has faced Arroyo 107 times. They have 30 hits off the veteran pitcher. 5 of the 30 hits went for home runs. The Dodgers bat .280 against Arroyo.
I just don’t see L.A. winning by less than 3 runs. Kershaw and the Dodgers figure to be favorites on the runline, giving up 1.5 runs. No worries. Sometimes, it makes sense to not overthink it and just grab the profits.
I like the Dodgers on the run line.
Pick: L.A. Dodgers run line