Is there such a thing as the Home Run Derby Curse? It sure seemed to hit young Pittsburgh Pirates star Josh Bell. He had been in an 18-for-84 slump since the break but snapped a 26-game homerless drought with a pair of two-run shots in the Pirates’ loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. Sometimes it only takes one game to get things going. Here’s a look at two interesting MLB games early this week. Check back for Mybookie MLB Odds.
Top MLB Betting Picks of the Week – August 12th Edition
LA Dodgers at Miami Marlins
- When: Tuesday, 7:10 PM ET
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
Kershaw (11-2) pitched seven innings and allowed one run on four hits and a walk while striking out nine to earn the win over St. Louis last Tuesday. The southpaw limited the Cardinals to a second-inning run to pick up his 11th win and 17th quality start of the season. He effectively kept hitters on their heels by inducing 18 swinging strikes and has now struck out nine or more batters in four of his last six outings after failing to do so in each of his first 14 starts.
Those six appearances represent the southpaw’s best stretch this season, as he has gone 4-0 with a 1.63 ERA over that span. Kershaw has been particularly effective at home, compiling an 8-0 record along with a 2.26 ERA and 81:15 K:BB over 79.2 innings this season. Kershaw started the season on the injured list and didn’t pitch until April 15, but he has thrown at least six innings in each of his 20 starts.
Kershaw last faced the Marlins on June 20 at Chavez Ravine, where he tossed 6.0 scoreless innings while allowing only two hits and striking out 10 batters. In 12 career starts against Miami, he has a 5-5 record with a 2.55 ERA, posting a 1.00 WHIP while holding batters to a .196 average.
If Dodgers star Cody Bellinger finishes the season at his current clip, he will become one of 14 Dodgers with an OPS over 1.000 and the youngest Dodger to ever carry an OPS over 1.000 for a full season, passing Adrian Beltre who had a 1.017 OPS at age 25.
Yamamoto (4-3) allowed four runs on five hits with one walk and six strikeouts across six innings while taking a loss against the NY Mets on Wednesday. Since starting his MLB career on a tremendous hot streak, Yamamoto has come back down to earth in his last four starts, posting an 0-3 record with an 8.55 ERA since July 21. He still has an impressive 1.04 WHIP and .175 batting average against, but Yamamoto is also 4-3 with a 4.17 ERA and 55 strikeouts in 54 innings this season.
Texas Rangers at Toronto Blue Jays
- When: Wednesday, 12:37 PM ET
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
Texas took 2 of 3 from Toronto from 5/3-5 in Arlington, outscoring the Jays 18-8. The Rangers have won 5 of 8, 6 of 10, and 8 of last 14 games vs. Toronto, going 10-8 since 5/14/16. Toronto leads the all-time series, 216-211, holding the advantage in Toronto (121-87) and at Rogers Centre (75-63). Rangers manager Chris Woodward played the majority of his career with Toronto, appearing in 362 games for the Blue Jays from 1999-2004 and in 2011.
This is the first game on Wednesday. The Rangers go with former Atlanta Braves touted prospect, Kolby Allard. He didn’t factor into the decision in Friday’s 6-5 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers, allowing two runs on three hits and three walks over 4.1 innings while striking out seven. The strikeouts are encouraging, as was the fact that he didn’t serve up any home runs in a tough venue at Miller Park, but Allard’s debut with Texas wasn’t great — the young lefty threw only 57 of 93 pitches for strikes and exited the game in line for a loss. He was acquired from the Braves on July 30 in a trade for reliever Chris Martin.
Rangers pitchers have posted a lower ERA on the road (4.82) than at home (4.96) this season…the staff ranks 5th in the A.L. in road strikeouts (495), as the club’s 8.84 strikeouts per 9 figure is higher on the road than at home (8.49).
It’s 23-year-old Sean Reid-Foley (2-2) for the Blue Jays. Reid-Foley allowed one run on five hits with two walks and five strikeouts across five innings while earning a victory against the Yankees on Friday. Reid-Foley gave up just one solo home run on his way to victory. He’s only 2-2, but Reid-Foley has settled into the MLB and has allowed just two earned runs in his last 17 innings. While his 1.50 WHIP isn’t great, Reid-Foley has shown some real progress lately. He owns a 2.36 ERA, .233 batting average against and 23 strikeouts in 26.2 innings.
Expert MLB Betting Picks
Back Blue Jays and Dodgers.