A great weekend is in store for Major League Baseball handicappers. On Thursday, I analyze a match up that we could see in the post-season. Colorado heads to Wrigley Field to battle the tough Chicago Cubs.
2017 MLB Week 9 Weekend Preview
The Cubbies haven’t yet hit their stride. Will it start versus one of the best teams in the NL this weekend? I like the looks of Friday’s matchup between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox. Saturday, I can’t get past the O’s versus the Yankees while on Sunday, Reds versus Dodgers looks appealing.
Check out my 2017 MLB week 9 weekend preview!
Thursday, June 8
Colorado Rockies at Chicago Cubs
German Marquez was terrible the last time he took the mound for Colorado. He yielded 6 earned runs off 8 hits. Marquez only lasted 5 innings. 2 of the 8 hits were home runs. What’s truly bad is that Marquez pitched at Petco Park, one of the best ballparks in MLB for pitchers. He’s only seen Cub batters 28 times. He’s allowed 4 hits from those 28 at-bats for a .148 average.
The Cubs send ace Jon Lester to battle Marquez on June 8. Lester has a 3.91 ERA. His WHIP is 1.35. He’s been one of the few pitchers that’s thrown well versus the Rockies. Colorado’s batting average is a tepid .227 versus the Cubs’ ace.
Lester has had moments of greatness this season. On May 23, he pitched a full 9 innings against San Francisco. He allowed only 1 earned run off 4 hits. He struck out 10. But, then, in his first start after the gem versus the Giants, Lester imploded.
Facing the hot L.A. Dodgers, Chicago’s ace lasted a mere 3.1 innings. He gave up a ridiculous 6 earned runs off 7 hits while striking out 3. Sometimes, his control just hasn’t been there. Could Lester have a bad control day this Thursday versus another stellar NL West squad, the Colorado Rockies?
I think so. Marquez was all over the place in his last start. Before the terrible game versus the Padres, he had been brilliant. I think German bounced. That’s a term from horse racing to describe a horse, or jockey, that’s been racing or riding so well that, inexplicably, they’re terrible. That’s what happened to German.
He was bound for a letdown after winning 4 straight games. Great jockeys bounce back with a string of great rides after a couple of bounces. Jockeys ride every day. Pitchers pitch every 5 days.
I think Marquez’s bounce back is in this game versus the Cubs at Wrigley. Colorado will be a high-priced dog, which makes the Rockies the play.
Pick: Colorado Rockies moneyline
Friday, June 9
Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
Jordan Zimmerman heads to Fenway with a 5.98 ERA, a 5-4 record, and a 1.56 WHIP. Zimmerman hasn’t been nearly as strong in the AL this season as he was last season. Boston has been great versus baseball’s JZ going 30 out of 88 for a .341 batting average.
The Red Sox counter Zimmerman with the ridiculous Chris Sale. Why is Sale ridiculous? He’s only pitched 84 innings this season. He’s struck out 119 batters. It doesn’t get more ridiculous than that! Sale also has a 2.89 ERA and a .93 WHIP.
I know how great Sale is. But, strangely, the Tigers have been as successful as any team in MLB versus Boston’s ace. They’ve faced Chris Sale 313 times. From the 313 at-bats, the Tigers have 84 hits. Of the 84 hits, 16 have been home runs.
Those are fantastic numbers. Victor Martinez is 21 out of 49 versus Sale. He loves facing the guy because Sale must pitch to Martinez. Victor often bats after Miguel Cabrera. Sale’s got to pitch to one of those guys, right?
Does that mean that Sale’s vulnerable on Friday?
I think so. Zimmerman faced Boston on April 8. He allowed a single earned run off 4 hits in 6 innings. Although baseball’s JZ’s overall numbers are terrible, he was brilliant in his last on June 3. Versus the White Sox, he allowed 1 earned run off 7 hits.
I’m taking a shot on Jordan Zimmerman and the Detroit Tigers. I think they’re a viable play on the moneyline because things appear to have set up for them in this matchup.
Pick: Detroit Tigers moneyline
Saturday, June 10
Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees
Chris Tillman hasn’t been the ace that the O’s need to contend in the AL East Division. So far, he’s been flat out bad. His 5.59 ERA and 1.83 WHIP aren’t good. What’s worse is that those numbers have translated into an awful 1 and 3 record.
The Yankees send 23-year-old pitching phenom Luis Severino to the mound. Severino has a 2.90 ERA to go along with a stunning 1.07 WHIP. His 4-2 record is terrific. He’s struck out 76 batters from 68.1 innings pitched.
Severino already has history versus Baltimore. The O’s bat .225 against Luis. They have 23 hits from 102 at-bats. That’s not great. What’s also not great is that of the 5 home runs that Severino has yielded to Baltimore, Mark Trumbo’s hit 2 and Manny Machado’s hit 3.
Severino just needs to concentrate on those 2 batters, Machado and Trumbo, more to dominate Baltimore.
The Yankees wouldn’t be such an easy pick if Tillman wasn’t bad versus NYY to begin with. He’s allowed 35 hits from 118 at-bats. The batting average is .297. Even Aaron Judge, who’s only faced Tillman twice, has a hit off Baltimore’s ace.
Brett Gardner is 3 out of 5 while Didi Gregorious is 9 out of 18. The Yankees should roll all over the Orioles in this match up. I believe News York wins by at least 2 runs.
This is my run line play of the weekend.
Pick: New York Yankees run line
Sunday, June 11
Cincinnati Reds at Los Angeles Dodgers
Alex Wood, like Brandon McCarthy, has been a pleasant surprise for the L.A. Dodgers. The 26-year-old pitcher has an undefeated 6 and 0 record. His ERA is 1.69 while his WHIP is 1.00. Wood hasn’t yielded an earned run in his last 4 starts.
The Reds Tim Adelman has pitched well in his last 2 starts. Adelman’s allowed 3 earned runs in 14 innings pitched. He’s struck out a combined 9 while walking a combined 4. Adelman’s overall numbers are a 4.89 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP.
Adelman’s faced 13 Dodger batters. He’s allowed 4 hits. That’s not enough at-bats for me to get a grasp of how well Adelman’s going to pitch on June 11.
What I can get a grasp on is how well Alex Wood is going to pitch. The Dodgers’ soon to be star goes into this battle off the 10-day disabled list. That doesn’t worry me as much as the fact that Cincinnati bats .286 against Wood.
But, although there are signs that Wood may not be as solid versus the Reds as he has been against virtually everybody else this season, I’m still going with LAD on the run line. The reason why is because LAD’s bullpen is slightly better than Cincinnati’s.
While the Reds’ bullpen has a 3.44 ERA, Dodgers’ relievers have a 2.67 ERA. So, although there’s a chance that the Reds take wood to Wood, there’s a great chance that LAD’s relievers bailout their starting pitcher.
Although Adelman might pitch well, the chances of him doing so aren’t all that great. I’m taking a shot on the Dodgers, at Chavez-Ravine, putting a beat down on Cincy in this Sunday MLB match up.
I’m going L.A. by at least 2 runs over Cincinnati. This is my second-best run line play of the weekend.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers run line