April is in the books. By this time, most teams have begun to solidify their positions as contenders in their respective divisions, or even outright pennant or World Series contenders.
2017 MLB Week 5 Weekend Preview and Picks
I think it’s always best to make wagers on what should be competitive games. Favorites offer better odds than they would facing bad teams. Dogs offer fair odds. That’s really all you should ask for when it comes to MLB betting.
See below for my Top 4 picks in this 2017 MLB Week 5 Weekend Preview!
Thursday, May 4
Cleveland Indians at Detroit Tigers
Danny Salazar is scheduled to step to the mound for the Cleveland Indians. Salazar has a 2 and 2 record. His ERA is 4.34 while his WHIP is 1.38. Both are higher than what Salazar posted last season before getting hurt.
Detroit counters Salazar with 24-year-old Michael Fulmer. Fulmer has pitched better this season than Tigers’ ace Justin Verlander. Fulmer’s ERA is 3.19. His WHIP is 1.00.
We should see plenty of runs scored in this battle. Fulmer is a nice young pitcher. He’s been on fire this season. But, this is the first time he’s facing the Cleveland Indians in 2017. Cleveland batters have 21 hits from 62 at-bats versus Fulmer. They average .339 as a team.
The good news is that Fulmer hasn’t given up a home run to any Indian batter in those 62 at-bats. That’s good news for Detroit because if Fulmer doesn’t give up more than 4 runs, the Tigers might have a shot to win this game.
Why? Not only is starter Danny Salazar struggling this season, but he’s also never been effective against the Detroit Tigers. In 189 at-bats versus Salazar, the Tigers have 52 hits. 9 of the 52 hits have gone yard.
What it means is that Salazar could be in tough on Thursday night. There’s no telling how well he’ll pitch while Fulmer might show Cleveland batters a wrinkle or two in this game.
I like Detroit on the monyeline.
Pick: Detroit moneyline
Friday, May 5
New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs
This is likely to be the most watched MLB series of the weekend. The Yankees and Cubs battle in a 3-game series that starts this Friday, May 5.
The New York Yankees list Michael Pineda as their Friday starter. Pineda has been very good in 2017. He has a nice 3-1 record to go along with a 3.14 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. Pineda’s only faced Cubs’ batters 17 times. Jason Heyward is 1 for 3 versus Pineda. Anthony Rizzo is 1 for 2, and Ben Zobrist is 2 for 12.
Chicago listed starter Kyle Hendricks was money at Wrigley last season. This season, he’s lost a game at Wrigley already. He also hasn’t been as sharp overall. Hendricks has a 4.18 ERA to go along with 1.21 WHIP.
Hendricks has only faced Chris Carter and Matt Holiday. Carter is a terrific 3 out of 9 with a home run versus Hendricks. Holiday is a fantastic 7 out of 15 versus Hendricks. 3 of Holiday’s hits have gone for home runs.
I really like the Yankees in this match up. The Yankees bullpen is ranked 4th in MLB. The Cubs bullpen is ranked 5th in MLB. It’s all about the starting pitchers on Thursday night.
I just don’t see how Hendricks stops Holiday, Carter, and the rest of the New York Yankees line-up from having success against him. Oh, I don’t think Pineda shuts out the Cubs, but I do think the pitcher-batter matchups favor the Yankees.
I’m going with New York to win.
Pick: New York Yankees moneyline
Saturday, May 6
Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
The Dodgers head down the 5-freeway this weekend to battle the San Diego Padres. The Dodgers might be hitting their stride after sweeping the Phillies in 4 games to end this past week.
LAD is scheduled to start Brandon McCarthy this Saturday. McCarthy is undefeated at 3-0 with a 3.10 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. He’s struck out 25 batters in 29 innings pitched.
The Padres counter with Clayton Richard. Richard has a 1.49 WHIP and a 4.29 ERA. Things haven’t gone well for Richard. He’s allowed 5 home runs in 6 games played. He’s allowed a total of 17 earned runs in 35 innings pitched.
Both pitchers have had success versus their Saturday opponent. Overall, the Dodgers bat .342 against Richard. But, in his last game against LAD, Richard was awesome. He pitched 8 innings. He allowed only 5 hits. He allowed 0 earned runs. He walked 2 while he struck out 5.
It was a great performance. The key is for Richard to repeat the performance on Saturday. Can he do it?
Maybe, Richard can. The batting average at Petco Park is .219. L.A. won’t be able to hit home runs as easily as they often can versus the Padres at Petco. Richard could have a fantastic day on the mound.
The real question is that even if Richard has a fantastic day, can the Padres beat the undefeated Brandon McCarthy? McCarthy held the Padres to 2 runs off 4 hits in 6 innings the last time he faced them.
That’s the issue with picking the Padres in this match up. Richard must pitch lights out for the Padres to win. McCarthy gets the benefit of pitching at Petco Park just like Richard does. He doesn’t have to pitch lights out for the Dodgers to win. He can just go about his business.
Since the 8-inning gem versus the Dodgers, Richard has fallen apart in 3 out of his last 5 starts. I just don’t see Richard repeating the monstrous effort from April 4. He could go to the bench after 6-innings without yielding a single run and the Dodgers could still win the game.
I’m going with LAD.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers
Sunday, May 7
Arizona Diamondbacks at Colorado Rockies
Are you as surprised as I am that Arizona and Colorado are tied for first place in the NL West Division after April? We probably shouldn’t be surprised. Both teams were great at hitting the baseball last season.
This season, both teams have nice rotations and decent bullpens. On Sunday, Arizona’s other ace, Taijuan Walker, heads to the mound. Walker, who up until this season pitched in the AL, has a decent 3.94 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Walker’s struck out 33 batters in 29.2 innings pitched.
Colorado counters with Tyler Chatwood. Chatwood has a 4.88 ERA to go along with a 1.34 WHIP. Chatwood is 2-3 on the season.
While it’s tough for batters to get anything going at Petco, they can have great success at Coors Field. Most batters light up pitchers at Coors Field. The ballpark yields a .277 batting average, a .337 on base percentage, and a ridiculous .490 slugging percentage.
Those are the averages. Chatwood allowed 5 earned runs to Washington in 5 innings pitched in his last start at Coors Field. But, Chatwood might have the edge in Sunday’s game.
Arizona only bats .231 versus Chatwood. The D’Backs best player, Paul Goldschmidt, bats .154 against Chatwood.
In Walker’s first try against the Rockies, they belted him for 8 hits from 25 at-bats. 2 of the 8 hits went for home runs. 3 of the 8 hits went for doubles. It’s tough to back Walker and AZ knowing that.
I think Colorado wins this game on Sunday.
Pick: Colorado moneyline