MLB Handicapping: Hot/Cold Pitchers and Hitters Betting Report
by Ricky Dimon - 7/26/2013
There never fails to be a few second-half sensations in every Major League Baseball season. The Dodgers as a team may be this year’s example. They returned from the all-star break to win six in a row and storm ahead of the pack in the NL West. For others, however, the second half has been an unmitigated disaster. And we’re not just talking about Ryan Braun.
All odds provided by Sportsbook.ag.
Pitchers – Hot
Jorge De La Rosa (Rockies) – In two starts since the all-star break, De La Rosa is 2-0 with a 0.75 E.R.A. Even more impressive is that both games were played at home. Granted they came against the Cubs and Marlins, but any such performance in Colorado is an outstanding one. JDLR has not allowed more than three runs in eight straight starts.
Hisashi Iwakuma (Mariners) – The Seattle right-hander blanked Minnesota over six innings on Thursday in an 8-2 victory. He is 3-0 in his last three appearances and has 23 strikeouts in 20 innings during that stretch. So far in the second half Iwakuma boasts a 1.38 E.R.A. and a 1.08 WHIP.
Gio Gonzalez (Nationals) – How bad have the Nationals been of late? Well, Gonzalez has a 2.31 E.R.A. and 22 strikeouts in two starts since the intermission, and he has zero wins to show for it. The southpaw has made 10 consecutive quality starts dating back to June 1. Washington is +350 to right the ship and win the NL East.
Pitchers – Cold
John Danks (White Sox) – Danks went into the break on a string of four consecutive quality starts. In two second-half outings spanning 14 innings, the lefty has given up 11 runs on 18 hits while taking the loss in both games. He has been taken deep five times since the break while walking six. The White Sox (Jose Quintana) are +109 home underdogs against Kansas City (James Shields) on Friday night.
Jeremy Hefner (Mets) – Nobody has been worse since the all-star break than Hefner, who was torched for 10 hits and eight runs by Philadelphia last Thursday. On Wednesday, the Mets righty allowed five earned runs and three yahtzees to Atlanta. Just like that, his E.R.A. of 3.33 after a July 12 outing is suddenly 4.17.
Bud Norris (Houston) – In two of his last three starts, Norris has been roughed up for at least five runs in no more than 5.2 innings. His E.R.A. for May was 3.27, and his mark for June was 2.77, but he is giving up 6.38 earned runs per nine in July. You know it’s bad when three runs in 6.1 innings of a losing effort can be considered a smashing success. That was Norris’ effort against Oakland on Wednesday.
Hitters – Hot
Jayson Werth (Nationals) – Washington has lost six of seven since the break and nine of its last 11. The team is four games under .500 and eight games back of Atlanta in the NL East. Werth, though, has already gone deep five times in the proverbial second half of the season. That’s the best such mark in the entire league.
Wil Myers (Rays) – Tampa Bay’s right fielder caught fire before the intermission, with four multi-hit performances in his last five games and six such outings in his last 10. Since the break, all four of Myers’ games have been of the multi-hit variety. He is 13 for his last 24 with two homers, three doubles, six RBI, and three stolen bases. The Rays are +600 to win the AL Pennant and +1200 to win the World Series.
Junior Lake (Cubs) – The 23-year-old center fielder has played in seven games this season (and in his whole career). What’s his hitting streak? Yep, seven. Since making his MLB debut on July 19, Lake is 15-for-31 with two home runs, five RBI, and a stolen base. It won’t help the Cubs much right now, but it will in the future.
Hitters – Cold
Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox) – The Red Sox gave Pedroia an eight-year, $110-million extension earlier this week. They better hope the next eight years aren’t like the last six games. Since the all-star break, Pedroia is 2-for-23 with one extra-base hit, no homers, and just one run scored. Still, Boston is the best team in the AL…just barely. The Sox are even money to hang on in the AL East and +800 to win the World Series.
Ian Desmond (Nationals) – Desmond has a 10-game strikeout streak going, five of which have been of the multi-strikeout variety. Washington’s shortstop had two hits in his first contest after the break, but he is two for his last 19. In his last five games, Desmond has no extra-base hits, no RBI, and one run scored.
Jed Lowrie (Athletics) – The A’s have lost four of seven since the break, but they are still three games up in the AL West. Lowrie and Seth Smith have barely been able to hit the ball for Oakland. Lowrie is 2-for-21 in his last five outings with no extra-base hits, no RBI, and one run scored. After hitting .330 in June, the slumping shortstop is hitting .178 in July.
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