MLB bettors - beware of these burnt-out bullpens
Plenty of MLB clubs had to dig deep into their bullpens Wednesday with four games needing extra innings. That could leave those teams dangerously thin on relievers if their Thursday starters get into trouble.
Here’s a look at the teams involved in those extra-inning affairs and how their pitching staff stacks up versus Thursday’s opponent:
Toronto Blue Jays (+130 vs. New York Yankees)
The Blue Jays needed 11 innings to get by Baltimore Wednesday, going through four relievers in the process after starter Brandon Morrow lasted 6 1/3 innings. Aaron Loup, who blew a three-run lead in the seventh, Darren Oliver, Esmil Rogers and Casey Janssen all saw action out of the pen.
Toronto goes with lefty Mark Buehrle, who went seven solid innings vs. the Yankees in his most recent start but had Loup spoil the day in a 5-3 loss last Saturday. The Blue Jays bullpen has a 3.08 collective ERA and a 4-6 record in 22 games.
Baltimore Orioles (+113 at Oakland A’s)
The Orioles went five deep into the bullpen Wednesday after starter Josh Stinson lasted just under six innings versus Toronto. Tommy Hunter, Darren O'Day, Troy Patton and Jim Johnson all worked at least one inning while Brian Matusz threw just three pitches in the extra-innings loss.
Baltimore has one of the better bullpens in the bigs, posting a 2.44 ERA. The O’s handed the ball to Jason Hammel, who has gone at least six innings in each of his four starts this season.
Colorado Rockies (+112 at Arizona Diamondbacks)
The Rockies took a 6-5 extra-innings thrilling over the Atlanta Braves (who are off Thursday) Wednesday, using up four relievers over those 12 innings. Colorado looked to Adam Ottavino, Rex Brothers, Rafael Betancourt and Matt Belisle out of the bullpen. Ottavino and Belisle each put in two innings of work for the win.
Jorge De La Rosa gets the nod for the series opener at Arizona. The lefty has worked six inning in each of his last three starts, allowing just three runs total – including back-to-back scoreless efforts – in that span.
Arizona Diamondbacks (-121 vs. Colorado Rockies)
The Diamondbacks could also be depleted in the bullpen Thursday after some overtime versus the San Francisco Giants. Arizona switched up four different relievers in the 3-2 road win, calling out Brad Ziegler, Heath Bell, David Hernandez and Matt Reynolds.
The D-backs bullpen owns a 2.58 ERA – third lowest in the National League. Arizona goes with right-hander Trevor Cahill versus the Rockies Thursday. He’s been solid in his last two starts, pitching seven innings in each while giving up just three runs on 12 total hits.
Los Angeles Dodgers (-115 at New York Mets)
The Dodgers lost to the Mets on a walk-off Grand Slam in the 10th inning Wednesday and burned through a big chunk of bullpen in the process. Los Angeles used J.P. Howell, Ronald Belisario, Kenley Jansen, Brandon League and Josh Wall over the final five innings, giving up a one-run lead in the ninth.
The Dodgers go with rookie Hyun-Jin Ryu versus the Mets Thursday. He’s pitched at least six innings in all four starts. Los Angeles relievers combined for a 4.08 ERA and have two blown saves, including Wednesday’s, this year.
New York Mets (+106 vs. Los Angeles Dodgers)
New York needed four relievers to come back against the Dodgers Wednesday. The Mets leaned on LaTroy Hawkins, Scott Rice, Scott Atchison and Bobby Parnell out of the bullpen after starter Matt Harvey went six innings. New York’s bullpen lugs the second-highest ERA for a group of relievers in the majors at 5.13.
The Mets march Jeremy Hefner to the mound Thursday. He’s pitched just seven total innings in his last two starts and served as a reliever in last week’s 11-3 thrashing at the hands of the Rockies. Hefner is 0-2 with an ERA north of 7.00.