It took me some time to decide on this weekend’s match ups. I settled on Arizona versus St. Louis this Thursday. The Cardinals aren’t completely out of it in the NL Central while Arizona must continue to fight hard for a wildcard spot.
2017 MLB week 14 weekend preview and picks
Friday’s game has Kansas City traveling to Boston to the face the Red Sox. Boston’s got some internal issues going on. You’d think that grown men could act like it. I suppose it’s impossible to act like a grown up when you play a kid’s game.
Colorado at Washington Saturday is an interesting matchup. Both teams had great weeks. I can’t look past Sunday’s battle between the Chicago Cubs and the Milwaukee Brewers. The Cubs and Brewers are tied atop the NL Central Division as of July 23.
Check out my picks, along with betting advice, for this weekend’s MLB throw downs!
Thursday, July 27
Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals
The D’backs start Zach Godley versus the Cardinals in this Thursday’s, July 27, match up. Godley has a losing record at 3 and 4. But, his ERA isn’t too bad at 3.32. The WHIP is very good at 1.02. Godley’s only faced St. Louis batters 23 times. He’s done a decent job, holding the Cards to only 3 hits.
St. Louis counters Godley with their former ace, Adam Wainwright. Wainwright’s form has been down all season long. His ERA sits at 4.98. His WHIP is 1.42. Surprisingly, although Wainwright’s ERA and WHIP are terrible, the Cardinals respond when he pitches.
Wainwright has a terrific 11-6 record this season.
Like most pitchers facing the Arizona Diamondbacks, Wainwright hasn’t been lock down city. The D’Backs average .270 at the plate versus Wainwright. Arizona’s got 24 hits from 89 at-bats. But, the last time Adam faced Arizona, he pitched great. He pitched 6 innings, allowed only 8 hits, and gave up 2 earned runs.
It’s tough to see Godley pitching as well against the Cardinals as Wainwright pitches against the D’Backs. Godley’s overall stats are better. The problem is that he’s had a tougher time on the mound in his last couple of starts than Wainwright has.
Godley’s allowed a total of 10 earned runs off 13 hits in his last 11.2 innings pitched. He has struck out 19 in those 11.2 innings pitched. Fantasy MLB wise, he might be a good play.
But, on the money or run lines? I’m going with Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Pick: St. Louis Cardinals money line
Friday, July 28
Kansas City Royals at Boston Red Sox
Two aces head to the mound for their respective teams on Friday, July 28. The road team, the KC Royals, send Jason Vargas to the mound. Boston counters with hot-headed David Price.
Let’s go over Vargas’s stats first. Vargas has a nice 3.08 ERA. His WHIP is 1.24. His record is a stunning 12-4. Versus Boston, Vargas allows a .255 batting average from 55 at-bats.
Boston’s David Price has a 3.82 ERA. His WHIP is 1.27. His record is 5-3. The KC Royals bat .231 against Price. They’ve got 28 hits from 121 at-bats.
Hey, I get it. David Price and Dennis Eckersley acted like children this past week. Price and Eckersley got into a heated battle. So, what? Price can still pitch a baseball, right? I’m not so sure.
Price melted down against the L.A. Angels this past Sunday after pitching lights out in his previous 3 starts. He allowed 5 earned runs off 7 hits, only struck out 5, and walked 3. That’s just not the type of performance Boston can get from Price and hope to succeed.
But, even if Price has issues against the Royals on Friday, I’m not sure KC can take advantage. Vargas has completely melted down since the All-Star Break.
Vargas has pitched a total of 12.2 innings across 3 games since July 5. He’s allowed a total of 22 hits. He’s allowed 14 earned runs. 6 of the 22 hits went for home runs. He’s walked 6 while striking out 10.
Many baseball analysts predicted that Vargas wouldn’t be as good after the All-Star Break as he was before the All-Star break. Not many analysts predicted he’d be this bad.
I’m not sure where David Price’s head is going to be this Friday. I am sure that Jason Vargas has trouble on the mound.
I believe Boston is the play.
Pick: Boston Red Sox run line
Saturday, July 29
Colorado Rockies at Washington Nationals
Colorado sends Kyle Freeland to the mound to battle Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.
Freeland has turned into Colorado’s most consistent pitcher. His ERA of 3.64 is fantastic because Freeland often pitches at Coors Field, the friendliest ballpark in MLB to hitters. His WHIP is an okay 1.37.
One thing that could help the 24-year-old Freeland is that the Nationals have never faced the up and coming pitcher.
Washington is scheduled to start Stephen Strasburg on Saturday. Stras has a 3.25 ERA. His WHIP is 1.12. His record is 10-3. Colorado has 28 hits from 97 at-bats versus Stephen Strasburg. The Rockies bat .289 against one of the Nationals’ 2 aces.
Stras only pitched 2 innings in Washington’s 6 to 2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. His arm was stiff. Although Nats’ manager Dusty Baker said that there’s no problem with Strasburg, there’s no telling if the stiffness remains, or if there is a bigger issue than just a stiff arm.
It’s enough of a problem for me to think about backing the Colorado Rockies in this match up on Saturday. I think Freeland was sensational pitching at Coors Field this past Sunday. He allowed only 2 earned runs off 6 hits.
Although Freeland’s road ERA is higher than his home ERA, his road ERA is 4.12, I firmly believe that he’s got the advantage over Daniel Murphy, Bryce Harper, Ryan Zimmerman, and everyone else in Washington’s batting line-up.
They’ve never faced Freeland. I’m taking a shot on the Rockies to upset the Washington Nationals on July 29.
Pick: Colorado Rockies money line
Sunday, July 30
Chicago Cubs at Milwaukee Brewers
The Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers butt heads in a 3-game series over the weekend. This might be the most important series in the NL Central Division this season.
The Cubs send John Lackey to the mound. The 38-year-old Lackey has a 5.04 ERA with a 6-9 record. His WHIP is an okay 1.33. Milwaukee hitters do well versus Lackey. From 95 at-bats, the Brew Crew has 25 hits. The batting average is .263.
Milwaukee counters Lackey with their stud pitcher Zach Davies. I wrote in my MLB Power Rankings blog last week about how the Brewers always respond when Davies is on the mound. Although Davies has a 4.76 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP, his record is a terrific 11-4.
It’s difficult to see John Lackey and the Cubs not going into Milwaukee as the favorites in this Sunday match up. Lackey hasn’t faced Milwaukee since April 17. There’s no reason to even go through what happened in that battle.
Could Lackey pitch a great game? Sure, he could. Even if he doesn’t, the Brewers have lost 7 out of their last 8 as of July 23. Lackey could pitch a terrible game and still go back to Chicago with a W.
Then again, Zach Davies was brilliant in his last start. On July 19, he threw for 7 innings, walked 1, struck out 4, and gave up 0 earned runs. Unfortunately, Milwaukee still lost 2 to 3 to Pittsburgh.
That game was on the road. Davies road ERA is better than his home ERA. But, maybe, the light switch went on for Davies in the quality performance versus Pitt. I’m willing to go against the Chicago Cubs in this match up.
I like the Brewers and Davies on the money line.
Pick: Milwaukee Brewers money line