Friday's Top Action
August 30, 2013
By Kevin Rogers
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Cardinals at Pirates - 7:05 PM EST
Probables: S. Miller (12-8, 2.90 ERA) vs. F. Liriano (14-6, 2.74 ERA)
Last series recap: The Cardinals failed to pull off the sweep of the Reds after getting shelled by Cincinnati on Wednesday, 10-0. St. Louis finished its homestand at 5-2 against Atlanta and Cincinnati, but lost each of the series finales. Pittsburgh looks to bounce back after dropping two of three at home to Milwaukee, including a 4-0 defeat last night. The Bucs have lost four of their last five games, entering tonight's action one game behind the Cards in the NL Central.
Pitching notes: Shelby Miller has lost all three starts against the Pirates this season, including a 5-1 defeat earlier this month as a home favorite. The Cardinals have won three of Miller's past four road outings, while the right-hander shut down the Braves in his previous start, a 6-2 win as a $1.30 home favorite.
Francisco Liriano makes his first home start since August 3 as the Pirates' southpaw is coming off four consecutive road outings. Liriano tossed a complete-game shutout against the Cardinals on August 14, his second complete game victory on the season (both on the road). The Pirates own a 7-1 record at PNC Park when Liriano takes the mound, including a 4-1 mark against division foes.
Indians at Tigers - 7:05 PM EST
Probables: Z. McAllister (7-7, 3.51 ERA) vs. R. Porcello (10-7, 4.49 ERA)
Last series recap: Cleveland heads into Detroit on a three-game skid after getting swept in Atlanta the last three days. The Indians' offense struggled to score runs by putting up just three runs, while all three games finished 'under' the total. The Tigers were on the verge of getting the broom treatment by the A's, but rallied for four runs in the ninth inning of a 7-6 triumph on Thursday. In spite of the victory, Detroit has won just two of its last seven games at Comerica Park.
Pitching notes: Zach McAllister's last loss came against the Tigers at Comerica Park on August 8, allowing six runs in 2.1 innings of work. Since that defeat, the Indians' righty has won each of his past three starts, including a pair as a road underdog. Each of McAllister's last four road outings has finished 'under' the total.
The Tigers have alternated wins and losses in each of Rick Porcello's last five trips to the mound, coming off a victory as a road favorite over the Mets this past Sunday. Porcello has been listed as a home favorite of at least $1.90 in each of his last four outings at Comerica Park, as Detroit is 3-1 in this stretch.
Orioles at Yankees - 7:05 PM EST
Probables: M. Gonzalez (8-6, 3.77 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (11-11, 4.81 ERA)
Last series recap: Baltimore managed to avoid the sweep at Boston by holding off the Red Sox, 3-2. The O's need all the wins they can get heading into September, as Baltimore sits four games out of the second Wild Card spot in the American League. The Yankees also need to turn it on after dropping two of three at Toronto, while finishing their AL East road trip at 2-4 against the Blue Jays and Rays.
Pitching notes: CC Sabathia's numbers have gone down this season (4.81 ERA), but the southpaw has good career stats against the Orioles, including a 2-1 record in 2013. However, the Yankees have won just once in Sabathia's previous four home starts, while posting a 1-4 record the last five outings in the favorite role.
Miguel Gonzalez returns to the Baltimore rotation following a short stint in the bullpen, as the O's have won only one of his last five starts. Gonzalez pitched well in his previous start against the Yankees in early July, allowing four hits and one earned run in six innings. However, the Orioles' bullpen blew a 2-1 lead in a 3-2 walk-off victory by the Yankees.
You can reach Kevin Rogers via e-mail at email@example.com
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