Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 10:03 AM
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|Streaky Teams (through Friday's games)|
Does Defense Matter?
Everyone has heard the saying 'Defense Wins Championships', but does that equate to the national pastime? Not necessarily. Some of the best defensive clubs in baseball actually have a poor overall winning percentage, as offense, pitching, etc. can overcome defensive deficiencies. So if you like to target certain aspects of the game, avoid the best defensive clubs theory, as it can be hit or miss. For instance, the Chicago Cubs rank 23rd in fielding percentage at .983, but they are just a half-game back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place. And the Brewers are just ahead of them at 22nd on the list. The Kansas City Royals are one of the best defensive clubs in the American League, ranking third with a .987 fielding percentage. However, K.C. has the worst winning percentage in baseball at .280.
|Fielding Percentage vs. Winning Percentage|
Saturday, July 14
The Giants and Athletics continue their Bay Bridge Series on Saturday night from AT&T Park. San Francisco pounded Oakland in Friday's game by a 7-1 score as the total pushed. The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for the A's against National League West teams and a 6-0 run in interleague games. Despite the loss they're still 19-8 across the past 27 games overall. Oakland looks to bounce back, and they're 4-1 in their past five during the second game of a series, and they're 5-1 in the past six against right-handed starting pitchers. However, Brett Anderson isn't exactly a key to success. The A's are just 3-7 over his past 10 starts against a team with a winning record, and 2-5 in his past seven on the road against a team with a winning overall mark. The Giants improved to 19-7 in their past 26 at home with Friday's victory. They'll really put that to the test with Jeff Samardzija on the hill. The Giants are 1-4 over his past five home starts, and 0-6 in his past six overall. San Francisco is also just 9-26 across Samardzija's past 35 starts against a team with a winning overall mark.
The Brewers and Pirates hook up for a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon. Remember, approximately 26 percent of all double dips result in a sweep, meaning nearly three-quarters end in a split. Pittsburgh has won five of the past six in the opening game of a doubleheader. Of coure, they're 4-0 in the past four seconds games of a doubleheader, too. That doesn't sound good for the Brewers, especially since they're 2-6 in their past eight against the National League Central Division, while going 1-6 in their past seven road outings. It sounds all Pittsburgh all day according to the trends, but the Bucs are 1-7 in the past eight Saturday contests, for whatever that's worth.
The Yankees and Indians have split the first two games of the series. They'll face former Indians hurler CC Sabathia while countering with Mike Clevinger. The current assortment of Indians haven't handled the twig against the hefty lefty very well, as the current Indians roster is collectively hitting .212 against CC, with just two homers, 16 RBI, 14 walks and 53 strikeouts over 208 at-bats with a subpar .547 OPS. Edwin Encarnacion is the only Cleveland batter with any measure of success, going 15-for-57 (.263) with four doubles and four RBI. The Yankees are 20-6 in Sabathia's past 26 starts against a team with a winning record, and 41-19 in the past 60 against AL Central foes. However, they're 1-4 in the past five road outings by Sabathia.
The Royals and White Sox might have some difficulty getting started on Saturday. There is a 45 percent chance of thunderstorms at first pitch, and the forecast calls for 60 percent of greater chance of precipitation throughout the late afternoon and evening hours. The Diamondbacks and Braves will also experiencing a 50 percent or greater chance of thunderstorms from 4:10pm ET through at least 8pm, so a lengthy delay or postponement is possible.
In New York, the Nationals and Mets won't be worrying about precipitation. However, there will be a stiff wind affecting play. The forecast calls for winds from 12-15 mph blowing out from home plate to straightaway center field.
Sunday, July 15
The Tigers will face former ace Justin Verlander and the Astros on Sunday. It will be his first time facing the Tigers since being traded at the non-waiver trade deadline last season. While he has been impressive overall this season with a 9-4 record, 2.05 ERA and 160 strikeouts over 131 2/3 innings over 20 starts, he has been even better at home. Verlander is 2- with a 2.10 ERA in 11 starts at home with 97 strikeouts over 73 innings while holding the opposition to a .166 average. Only two current Tigers have faced Verlander more than 13 times, with Victor Martinez with the longest history. He is 13-for-46 (.283) with three doubles, four homers and nine RBI while posting a .907 OPS.
The Angels have hit the skids after starting the season on the roll away from home. The Halos have dropped another one against the Dodgers on Friday night, 3-2. The Angels slipped to 4-14 across the past 18 road outings, and they're now 7-16 over the past 23 against a team with a winning overall record. For the Dodgers, it's the complete opposite, as they have won five in a row at home, while going 24-9 in the past 33 interleague games at Dodger Stadium. They also improved to 20-8 in their past 28 against teams with a winning record after Friday's outing.
The under cashed in Friday's Freeway Series battle, and is now 7-1 in the past eight meetings overall in this series. The under is also 12-5 in the past 17 at Chavez Ravine, not including Saturday's battle. For the Angels, the under is 6-1-1 in the past eight on the road, and 4-0-1 in the past five against NL West clubs. The under is also a whopping 15-2-1 in the past 18 interleague battles aginst a team with a winning overall mark after Friday's result. The under is also 6-2 in the past eight for the Angels against winning teams. For the Dodgers, the under on Friday was their first in five tries at home. However, the under is an impressive 7-1 in their past eight overall heading into Saturday.
The Cubs will finish off the second half with a battle against the Padres. Chicago is 5-0 in Jon Lester's past five road outings, and an impressive 32-6 in the past 38 starts against a team with a losing record. Chicago is also 11-4 in the past 15 starts against National League West foes. They're also 15-3 in the past 18 road outings against a team with a losing record, and 50-21 in his past 71 starts overall. He is working on six days of rest, and the Cubbies are 6-2 in his past eight when facing six or more days of rest. On the flip side, the Padres are 6-18 in the past 24 against left-handed starting pitchers.
On Sunday, it looks like a day free of precipitation. However, winds will be a factor in at least two California venues. at AT&T Park, the battle between the A's and Giants will see winds gusting from 17-20 mph from home plate to straightaway center field. For the Cubs-Padres game, the winds will be blowing from left to right at a 10-13 mph clip.