Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:04 AM
Ballpark Figures - Week 9
Editor's Note: Don't miss out on 30 days of Winning Baseball Picks from Joe Williams for the 2017-18 MLB regular season. Click to win!
|Streaky Teams (entering Monday)|
Show Me Unders
The Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals have been ticking off plenty of unders, as the two Major League Baseball teams from the Show Me State have been favorites of total bettors at the window lately. The lowly Royals entered play on Monday evening on a 5-1-1 'under' streak across their past seven outings, and the under is 30-20-3 in their 53 games overall this season. They have had trouble generating offense at home, and they're 14-6-1 in their past 21 at Kauffman Stadium. The under is also 15-6-1 in their past 22 games inside the American Central Division. East acros Interstate 70, the Cardinals have also had plenty of under results, but it's mostly due to solid pitching and not a lack of offensive fireworks. The Cards boast a plus-24 run differential, and that's thanks to some impressive work on the road. The under is 6-3-1 over their past 10 games on the road. They have allowed four or fewer runs in 14 of their 24 away games this season.
Not So Super Nova
The Pittsburgh Pirates continue their series with the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday at PNC Park, but they'll be in a difficult way against Jon Lester. The Pirates entered play on Monday just 1-5 across their past six at home, and they'll be facing the southpaw Lester. Chicago is 7-3 across Lester's past 10 outings, and they're 7-1 in his past eight assignments against NL Central foes. Conversely, Ivan Nova has been awful lately, as have the Bucs when he is on the hill. The Pirates are 1-4 over Nova's past five outings, they're 1-5 in his past six tries against winning teams and they're 1-6 across his past seven assignments against divisional foes. The Pirates are also 1-10 over Nova's past 11 starts following a team loss in their previous game. It could be a high-scoring game, as the 'over' is 4-0 in Lester's past four assignments against the Cubs, 4-0 in his past four starts in the Steel City and the over was 14-6 in the past 20 between these divisional mates entering play on Monday.
Tuesday, May 29
The game on Tuesday between the Blue Jays and Red Sox feature two pitchers who know the opposition well. Marco Estrada takes the ball for the Jays, while the BoSox counter with Rick Porcello. Justin Smoak has amassed just a .250 average (8-for-32) against Porcello in his career, but when he hits it he hits it. He has two doubles, three homers, 10 RBI and a stellar .978 OPS against the right-hander in his career. Kendrys Morales has also accounted for two bombs and seven RBI over 39 ABs against Porcello. Josh Donaldson hasn't powered up against Porcello, but he is hitting a solid .308 (12-for-39) with two doubles and a homer. Porcello has managed to dance around the trouble spots, however, as Boston is 5-1 in his past six starts at Fenway against Toronto.
The Blue Jays haven't been as fortunate with Estrada against the Red Sox. They're 1-4 in his past five road outings against the BoSox, and 0-8 in his past eight outings overall against Boston.
In late-night action, the resurgent Mariners host the Rangers and they'll have Felix Hernandez on the bump. The M's are 5-2 over King Felix's past seven outings, while going 16-5 in their past 21 outings against right-handed pitching entering play on Monday. They're also 6-0 in their past six against losing teams. Seattle boasts a 5-1 record over their past six against Texas with Hernandez on the hill, while going 5-1 in his past six against the Rangers at Safeco, too. The under is also 5-2 in his past seven starts against Texas.
The winds will be blowing in from right field to home plate at Progressive Field in Cleveland for the battle between the White Sox and Indians. The winds will be anywhere from 10-13 mph, which might be the only thing to aid the ailing Indians bullpen at the moment. Across Lake Erie in the Motor City, winds will also be gusting 10-13 mph at Comerica Field for the game between the Angels and Tigers. However, winds will be blowing from left field to first base across the diamond. In Oakland, the winds will be blowing out from home plate to straightaway center field at a 12-15 mph clip for the contest between the Rays and A's.
In Atlanta, precipitation will be the issue for the game between the Mets and Braves. Thunderstorms are forecasted all afternoon and into the evening at a 60-80 percent chance. The chances taper off to 30 percent after 11pm ET, so it could be a weather-delayed game and a long night in Georgia. When they do get the game in the winds will be howling from 11-14 mph in from center field to home plate.
Wednesday, May 30
If the Cubs and Pirates are able to play (see below), Kyle Hendricks will likely shine. The current collection of Pirates have managed a .263 average (40-for-152) against him, with one player doing most of the damage. Gregory Polanco is 10-for-25 (.400) with two doubles, two homers and three RBI with a 1.143 OPS against Hendricks in his career. Perhaps Hendricks will be the elixir to cure Polanco's hitting woes, as he entered play Monday with no homers or RBI across the past 10 outings. The way Polanco is going, Hendricks should be able to mow him down, as well as the rest of the Bucs.
If the Indians are able to get underway against the White Sox, Corey Kluber will be spot on. He has held the current collection of White Sox to a .236 opponent average (39-for-165) with six homers and 15 RBI. One player has had his number, however, as Jose Abreu is a .356 (16-for-45) career hitter against the Klubot with three doubles, five homers, 12 RBI and a 1.156 OPS. If Kluber can steer clear of Abreu, and weather doesn't shorten his night, he'll have his way with the scuffling Pale Hose.
Few have been able to hit James Paxton lately, and the current roster of Rangers have managed just 11 doubles, two homers and 17 RBI in 131 career at-bats against him, striking out 30 times. Only Adrian Beltre has had any measure of success against the southpaw, and he is on the 10-day DL. In fact, Beltre accounts for nine of the hits and seven of the RBI against Paxton. If you factor out Beltre, the current Texas players have managed just 10 doubles, a homer and 10 RBI in 114 at-bats against the southpaw. In explicably, they did tune him up for five earned runs, six hits and three walks in just four innings in a no-decision in Arlington on April 21, so this will be a revenge game for Paxton. He hasn't lost since March 31, a span of 10 starts.
There will be several trouble spots on Hump Day. In Cleveland, wind and rain will be the issue. There is a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms at first pitch, bumping up to 80 percent from 2-4pm ET. Chances drop somewhat in the early-evening hours, but the White Sox and Indians are likely to be dancing through the rain drops or enduring a long delay. The winds will be blowing out from 13-16 mph from home plate to the left-center power alley when they do get underway.
Over the Memorial Day weekend the Baltimore suburbs of Catonsville, and especially Elliott City, were hammered by flash flooding of the Patapsco River. Unfortunately for that area and the game between the Nationals and Orioles, more rain is coming. There is a steady chance of rain all day on Wednesday, picking up to 50 percent at game time for the Nats and O's. This game is likely to be delayed and/or postponed. The same holds true for the Cubs-Pirates tilt in the Steel City. There is a 45 percent or greater chance of rain all day, and since these two NL Central rivals see each others so frequently, a day-night doubleheader in the future is the likely course of action.
In Detroit, weather will also be a problem, as there is an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms for first pitch from Comerica. The chances die down to 60 percent by 10pm ET, but the weather will not move out until at least 11pm ET and that will make for a long day for both of these clubs and the fans. It's almost summer, and it's Atlanta...so you will see the Braves on this report rather frequently. There is a 60 percent chance of storms all evening, dying off to around 25 percent by 11pm ET. Again, these are division rivals, so a reschedule is possible sooner rather than later.
At Fenway Park, the Jays and Red Sox will not have to deal with any precip, but the winds will be gusting in from Pesky's Pole to home plate at 10-13 mph, keeping the ball down for left-handed hitters. The winner of the night in the wind category will be Oakland Coliseum, as the winds will be gusting anywhere from 19-23 mph from home plate to the right-center field power alley. 'Over' anyone?