Fridays Results: 0-3
All-Time Results: 32-36-1, -2.88 Units
Houston Astros -137 @ Seattle Mariners – 1 Unit
If the Astros excellent pitching can keep the Mariners bats cold, I have confidence in their ability to put up few runs against a porous Mariners team and take this one on the road.
Mariners pitcher Wade LeBlanc (2-2, 6.59 ERA) has given up 14 runs and 6 Home Runs in 12.1 over 3 starts since returning from an oblique injury that kept him out for several weeks in April.
So far this year, the Mariners are one of the worst defensive teams of all time. They have more errors (69) than the Royals, Diamondbacks and Astros combined.
Since starting out 13-4, Seattle has posted a record of 12 and 33. That’s a 43-win pace over the last 45 games.
So why were they so good at the beginning of the year? And why so bad now? I can’t think of any particular reason why their last 45 games are more representative than their last 72.
It seems completely attributable to their bats “cooling” – whatever that actually means.
In April they scored the 3rd most runs in the MLB. In May they scored the 25th most.
Their pitching has been much more consistent-ly bad. The Mariners allowed the 27th most runs in April, and the 29th most in May.
Combine terrible starting pitching and defense with the 27th worst bullpen in baseball and it’s no surprise the Mariners lead the league in runs allowed.
The Astros have been skyrocketing in the other direction.
They have the best bullpen in baseball. 2nd best pitching staff overall. They also have a top 10 offense for the season.
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San Diego Padres +122 vs. Philadelphia Phillies – 1 Unit
San Diego Padres vs. Philadelphia Phillies Under 7.5 (-102) – .25 Units
I like the Padres as a home dog in a match-up between two comparable, up-and-coming teams.
Both teams are on losing streaks and have talented lineups. Both of these starting pitchers are in solid form. The Phillies have a losing record on the road. The Padres have a losing record at PetCo Park.
In six May starts, Nola has an ERA of 2.73 and the Phillies have gone 6-0 in those games. 2.73 is great and all but it’s not 6 wins in 6 starts type good.
For example, Hyun-Jin Ryu has a Sandy Koufax/Bog Gibson-type ERA and his team is only 8-3 when he starts.
There are currently 8 Pitchers with a sub 2.75 ERA so far this season and none of their teams have won more than 80% of their starts.
Astros with Verlander 10-3
Dodgers with Ryu 8-3
Brewers with Davies 8-4
Reds with Castillo 6-6
Rays with Morton 8-4
White Sox with Giolito 9-2
Twins with Odorizzi 9-3
Rangers Minor 5-7
Combined sub 2.75 ERA pitchers have a 66% winning percentage so far this year. Even if we say Nola’s recent performance supersedes his 1-year and 2-year averages, having 2.75-stuff far from guarantees a Philadelphia win.
More probable, his true ability lies in between his recent hot streak and his season averages.
That level is not very different from what we can expect from Eric Lauer on the Padres side. Over his last 5 starts he has allowed more than 1 earned run just once. That exception was an 8 run shellacking in Denver.
Throw out that one game in the thin-air of Coors Field and Lauer has been only slightly worse than Nola since mid-April, when the Phillies pitcher started to heat up. Excluding that loss in Denver, Lauer has a 2.79 ERA over his last 7 starts.
Phillies and Padres each came into this season with a new acquisition and a whole lot of new expectations. The Phillies have had the better season so far, but not enough to be heavy favorites on the road without a Cy Young type pitcher on the mound.
The Padres have home field and comparable talent. Take the home dog.