MLB Handicapping Hot/Cold Pitchers and Hitters Betting Report
by Ricky Dimon - 6/4/2013
Quick. Who is leading the National League in home runs?
Justin Upton? Nope. Carlos Beltran? No sir. Carlos Gonzalez? Negatory. The answer you are looking for is none other than Domonic Brown. The same Domonic Brown who had never recorded more than 187 at-bats in three previous major-league seasons. Suddenly, though, the 25-year-old has emerged as a star for a Philadelphia ballclub that has been in desperate need of another one.
In the latest look at the MLB hot/cold meter, Brown certainly leads the way (all odds provided by Sportsbook.ag).
Pitchers – Hot
Aaron Harang (Mariners) – Harang’s 2013 numbers are still terrible (2-5, 5.82 E.R.A.), but he is finally heating up. Prior to giving up one earned run in six innings on Saturday at Minnesota, the Seattle veteran hurled a complete-game shutout of San Diego while mowing down eight batters. The Mariners (Felix Hernandez) are -150 home favorites over the White Sox (Jake Peavy) on Tuesday.
Johnny Cueto (Reds) – Since missing one month due to a strained lat muscle, Cueto has been in fine form. All three of his outings upon his return have resulted in quality starts, including an especially stellar last two. The Reds right-hander allowed one run in seven innings against the Cubs, then he gave up just a single hit in eight innings during a 6-0 shutout of Pittsburgh last Friday.
Ubaldo Jimenez (Indians) – It’s hard to get worse as a pitcher when you leave Colorado, but Jimenez managed to do it. That being said, Cleveland may finally be getting what it initially anticipated. Jimenez, who has six quality starts in his last seven, allowed two runs in seven innings late last month at Cincinnati before blanking Tampa Bay in eight innings of work on Saturday.
Pitchers – Cold
Zack Greinke (Dodgers) – The Dodgers have been a massive disappointment, and Greinke (4.80 E.R.A.) is not exempt from blame. He has not lasted more than 5.1 innings in any of his last three starts, and he has given up at least nine hits in each of those three. The last time Greinke surrendered fewer than four earned runs in an appearance was on May 15. His squad has plunged to +1200 to win the National League Pennant and +2500 to win the World Series.
C.J. Wilson (Angels) – Wilson has not been terrible, but he is far from ace material at the moment. The Angels’ southpaw has scattered at least six hits in each of his last eight starts. Wilson’s worst and shortest outing of the season came last Monday when he allowed nine hits and six runs in a loss to LAA’s National League Los Angeles counterparts.
Kevin Slowey (Marlins) – Having the last name “Slowey” as a pitcher is bad enough, but playing for the Miami Marlins has to be even worse. Of course, the righty has not helped his own cause. On Sunday, Slowey was torched by the Mets for three dingers and six total runs in just 4.1 innings. He has watched the opposition go deep three times in two of his last four starts.
Hitters – Hot
Domonic Brown (Phillies) – Nobody is hotter than “the Domonator” right now. Philadelphia’s left fielder has eight home runs in his last eight games and 15 RBI in those eight. He has driven in 22 runs in his last 14 outings. Brown has also stolen four bases since May 19 after having previously swiped all of zero for the season. Mainly because of this guy, the field is a +200 co-favorite with Miguel Cabrera to lead majors in home runs this season.
Chris Davis (Orioles) – Davis was the Domonic Brown of the first week of the season. He still leads the bigs in homers with 20 thanks to continued stellar play, especially of late. Baltimore’s first baseman has gone yard four times in his last six games, and he has 13 hits in his last seven contests. Davis has 10 multi-hit performances in his last 17 games.
Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers) – Lucroy has hit safely in eight of his last nine outings, with three yahtzees in that span. Last Friday at Philadelphia he went 5-for-5 with two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored. Milwaukee’s catcher has eight RBI in his last four games.
Hitters – Cold
Vernon Wells (Yankees) – From May 8 to May 15, Wells homered four times and batted in 10 runs. Since May 15, he has no dingers and just one RBI. The 34-year-old has only one hit in his last four games, and he has not had a multi-hit showing since May 13. The Yankees are +350 to win the AL East, trailing Boston (+180), Tampa Bay (+225), and Baltimore (+300).
Dan Uggla (Braves) – A walk-off single followed by a home run the next game qualifies as a veritable breakout for teammate B.J. Upton. Uggla, though, cannot even muster that much. Atlanta’s second baseman is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, and he does not have a homer or an RBI since May 26.
Chris Young (A’s) – After returning from a quadriceps injury on May 18, Young had eight hits in his first six games. In seven contests since, however, he has three hits in 26 at-bats. In that span, Young has no home runs and one RBI. He has not swiped a base since April 24.
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