Another perfect day has our Double-Plays on a 6-0 run over the last three days. Today we look at a pitcher who's rocky on the road when the Giants visit the Cardinals. Plus, analysis on today's games as well as tips on weather, umpires, and other betting trends with our daily MLB Line Drive.
The San Francisco Giants pulled out of their season opening tail spin in recent days, winning six of their last eight games. Now they embark on a tough seven-game road trip against arguably the top two teams in the National League Central and that begins Friday night in St. Louis as they send a pitcher who has struggled on the road this season to the mound for the opener.
Matt Moore is slated to take the ball for the Giants, but the southpaw has not enjoyed starting away from pitcher friendly AT&T Park in San Francisco. The 27-year-old Moore has a 5.67 ERA, with a 1.543 WHIP in eight starts this season, but those numbers balloon on the road. In four starts away from home, Moore is 0-3 with a 10.50 ERA, a 2.167 WHIP and has nine walks to just 15 strikeouts.
Moore faces off against Cardinals right-hander Michael Wacha. The 25-year old has been solid in 2017, pitching to a 3.19 ERA with a 1.145 WHIP in six starts this season and like Moore he also prefers to pitch in the comforts of home. Wacha is 2-0 at home witha 2.92 ERA, a 0.973 WHIP and a 4-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The Giants are also one the worst road teams in the majors going 6-15 in 21 away games thanks in large part to some disappearing bats in those games. San Francisco is hitting just .229 away from home ranking 27th in runs scored.
Pick: Cardinals -140
The Braves played some inspired ball in their first three games against the Blue Jays this week, but after an emotional third game, with two bench clearing incidents and the loss of their best player for an extended period of time, the Braves had a let down and got pounded 9-0 by Toronto last night. It doesn't get any easier for Atlanta as they welcome the division leading Nationals to town for a weekend series.
Atlanta was just starting to find their stride on offense, scoring 27 runs in the first three games versus the Jays, but know they have lost first baseman Freddie Freeman for an expected 8 weeks. It leaves a big hole in the Braves' lineup.
You can't lean on the pitching for help either. The Braves rank 27th in team ERA, 24th in WHIP and are dead last in the bigs in strikeouts.
Atlanta sends veteran R.A. Dickey to the mound for the series opener. Dickey has had a mediocre season, pitching to a 4.22 ERA and giving up at least two runs in each outing.
The knuckleballer has the task of trying contain the league's best offense. The Nationals rank first in runs, batting average, OPS and are second in home runs.
Washington counters with Gio Gonzalez. The lefty has had a bounce back year, pitching to a 2.47 ERA in eight starts and has allowed more than two earned runs in a start just once this year.
This Nats team is too much and the Braves have a big hole to fill.
Pick: Nationals -1.5 (+103)
Yesterday's Picks 2-0
Season to Date: 38-27-3
*** 6-0 the last three days! ***
Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
The Dodgers left-hander is starting to find his form since joining the rotation after starting the year off in the bullpen.
Wood has won his last two starts, allowing zero earned runs on just seven hits over 11 innings of work. He is also striking out batters at an alarming rate, racking up 21 K's to just two walks in those two starts. Wood and the Dodgers are big -240 home chalk tonight against the visiting Marlins.
Pickings are a little slim for today's slumping pitcher, as today's slate is full of good pitching matchups, so the Twins Hector Santiago gets the call.
Santiago was roughed up for six earned runs on seven hits in just 2.2 innings of work in his last start against the Indians. He gets the ball today at home against the Royals, whose bats are starting to heat up. The Twins are very slight -102 dogs.
Friday's Top Trends
* Phillies are 3-15 in their last 18 overall. +113 vs. Trevor Williams and the Pirates.
* Rangers are 9-0 in their last 9 overall. +126 vs. Daniel Norris and the Tigers.
* Over is 10-1 in Red Sox last 11 overall. Total 7 vs Oakland.
* Marlins are 0-8 in their last 8 vs. a team with a winning record. +214 vs. Alex Wood and the Dodgers
Weather to Keep An Eye On
Rain is going to be an issue this afternoon in Chicago where the Cubs are hosting the Milwaukee Brewers. There is a 65 percent chance of rain at first pitch and 16 mile per hour wind blowing in from center field according to the forecast. In Cincinnati, there’s a chance of thunderstorms throughout the day. The total is currently off the board.
Hitters will be given a bit of help this afternoon at Comerica Park, where there will be a moderate 12-14 mile per hour wind blowing out to right field for Rangers vs. Tigers. The total is currently at 9, down a full run from the opening number. In Houston it’s more of the same, winds will range from 13-16 miles per hour blowing out to left at Minute Maid Park as the Astros are scheduled to host the Cleveland Indians. The total opened at 9 and is down a half-run to 8.5.
Meanwhile in New York, the wind is on the pitchers side of things, with a 13-16 mile per hour wind blowing in from left field for tonight’s interleave contest between the New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels at Citi Field. The total opened at 7.5 and hasn’t moved off the opening number.
Friday's Top Consensus