MLB Handicapping: Hot/Cold Pitchers and Hitters Betting Report
by Ricky Dimon - 8/22/2013
Was it just last fall that the San Francisco Giants were celebrating another World Series title? Hard to believe now, but it was. The Giants are 56-70 this season, a mark that is just two games better than the Chicago Cubs. A big reason for all of it is Tim Lincecum, who is pitching like a shadow of his former self.
At the other end of the spectrum, the Pittsburgh Pirates are locked in an epic NL Central race with St. Louis, and ace Francisco Liriano is positively on fire.
All odds provided by Sportsbook.ag.
Pitchers – Hot
Jarrod Parker (Athletics) – Battling in both division and wild-card races, the A’s have won four of Parker’s last five starts. The right-hander has not taken a loss since May 22. Last Wednesday against Houston he gave up one run in 8.1 innings. On Monday against Seattle, Parker pitched a complete game while allowing only one run and striking out eight. Oakland is +125 to win the AL West and +600 to win the AL Pennant.
Francisco Liriano (Pirates) – You have to wonder just what the heck happened to Liriano (other than the altitude) on Aug. 9 when he was torched by the Rockies for 12 hits and 10 runs in 2.1 innings. Other than that, Pittsburgh’s southpaw has been unhittable since the third week of July. In five of his last six outings, Liriano has went at least seven innings while allowing no more than one run.
Addison Reed (White Sox) – Chicago’s closer has been getting a ton of opportunities, and he has been lights out every time. Reed is 5-for-5 in save opportunities since last Friday. For those counting, that’s five saves in six days. In his last 11 innings dating back to Aug. 7, the right-hander has yielded just five hits, two walks, and no runs.
Pitchers – Cold
Matt Garza (Rangers) – Garza ended his Cubs tenure with six consecutive quality starts. The right-hander has not been particularly good, however, since his first two outings with Texas. He has surrendered at least four runs in each of his last four appearances, including five on eight hits in 6.2 innings on Monday against Houston. The Rangers are tied for the sixth choice at +1000 to win the World Series.
Tim Lincecum (Giants) – The Giants have been terrible this season, and so has Lincecum. He is 6-13 with a 4.53 E.R.A. Lincecum’s last two starts have not been any better; he allowed six runs in six innings last Wednesday at Washington before getting roughed up for nine hits and five runs in five innings on Monday against Boston.
Joe Blanton (Angels) – It’s gone from bad to worse for Blanton (2-14, 6.12 E.R.A.) since moving from the rotation to the bullpen in late July. In four appearances since Aug. 7, the 32-year-old righty has given up a ridiculous 15 earned runs in 7.1 innings. Blanton has allowed at least two runs in each of last four, including six in two innings last Tuesday against the Yankees.
Hitters – Hot
Marlon Byrd (Mets) – Byrd is on a four-game hitting streak, and he has hit safely in nine of his last 10. The Mets’ right fielder has seven multi-hit performances since Aug. 9. In his last eight contests, Byrd has four home runs and 10 RBI. Speaking of home runs, Chris Davis is a -300 favorite to lead the majors. The field (any other player) is +220.
Robinson Cano (Yankees) – The power surge is not limited to Flushing, but it is also on display right now in the Bronx by both Cano and Alfonso Soriano. Cano has an incredible 11 hits in his past four games, with four straight multi-hit performances (3, 4, 2, 2). The lefty’s .310 batting average is his best since May 12.
Martin Prado (Diamondbacks) – Justin Upton was the main piece of the Arizona-Atlanta trade, but it’s the third basemen (Prado and Chris Johnson) who have been lighting it up. Prado is in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak, and he boasts an unbelievable six multi-hit games in his last seven. He has 11 multi-hit performances in August, with three dingers and 18 RBI.
Hitters – Cold
Jimmy Rollins (Phillies) – Rollins apparently didn’t get the memo that the season is still going on even though Philly’s long-time manager, Charlie Manuel, has been fired. The shortstop has one hit in his last six games and no RBI in his last eight.
Nate McLouth (Orioles) – McLouth went 2-for-4 on Wednesday with a double and a run scored. Prior to that, Baltimore’s left fielder had no hits in four contests. McLouth still has a mere one homer since Aug. 2, and he has fanned eight times in his last four games.
Allen Craig (Cardinals) – The Cardinals’ first baseman went deep on Wednesday and had two hits, so perhaps he is coming around. In his previous six games, though, Craig had two total hits. He had not delivered an extra-base knock since Aug. 11, and he still has just the one homer since Aug. 2. St. Louis (Kelly) is a -150 home favorite over Atlanta (Maholm) on Thursday night.
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