Ryan Dempster was one of the key players available at the July 31 Trade Deadline, but didn’t fare too well in his first start with the Rangers last week. Let’s take a look at Tuesday’s matchup at Fenway Park and two other games from a betting perspective.
Texas Rangers vs. Boston Red Sox
New York Yankees vs. Detroit Tigers
Ryan Dempster (5-5, 2.82 ERA) wasn’t acquired from the Chicago Cubs to allow eight runs and nine hits in 4.2 innings, but that’s exactly what he did in his first start with the Rangers in a no-decision effort against the Angels last Thursday in the Lone Star State. The right-hander lands in a much better spot in his second American League start of 2012, as he tallied a 3-0 victory over the Red Sox at Wrigley Field on June 15, tossing seven shutout innings.
Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester (5-9, 5.36 ERA) is suffering through his worst year as a professional, as he looks to notch his first victory since June 27, with the club losing five of his last six efforts overall. The left-hander was absolutely hammered by the Rangers at home on April 17, allowing seven runs and eight hits over just two innings of work. Sports bettors will find that Boston has lost 10 of its last 11 home games versus winning opposition with Lester on the mound.
The Rangers will bounce back from a 9-2 setback in the series opener on Monday night, improving their record to 20-15 versus southpaw starters.
Pick: Texas Rangers +105
Phil Hughes (11-8, 3.96 ERA) must be respected, having ended the Tigers current nine-game win streak at Comerica Park, considering his 3-1 record and 1.93 ERA in four career efforts at the ballpark. He earned a 5-1 complete-game victory in this spot on June 3, allowing one run and four hits, while striking out eight batters. In 30 career appearances (18 starts) in August, Hughes has gone 10-6 with a 4.71 ERA.
Tigers starting pitcher Rick Porcello (8-6, 4.65 ERA) has led the club to seven wins over his last 10 starts, which has been made possible by allowing just one home run in that span. That’s an important statistic when facing a lineup that leads the majors in home runs. The right-hander didn’t factor into the decision of a 4-3 home win over the Bronx Bombers on June 2, giving up one run and six hits over six frames. It’s important to note that he was throwing in Bob Davidson’s strike zone in that outing, who gets the call as home plate umpire in the Motor City on Tuesday night.I recommend backing the red-hot Tigers in this spot
, especially with a rested bullpen due to Justin Verlander’s complete-game effort in the series opener. Detroit has also won seven of 10 games as a home underdog with Porcello on the mound.Pick
: Detroit Tigers -102
San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals
Barry Zito (8-8, 4.27 ERA) is definitely going to be considered fade material inside the SBR baseball forum in this matchup, considering he’s compiled an 0-3 record and 11.25 ERA in three starts at Busch Stadium. He will also be facing a lineup that ranks tied-for-first with the Texas Rangers in hitting .285 against left-handed pitching.Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn
(13-4, 3.40 ERA) isn’t going to land on my MLB picks card very often down the stretch, as he is in unchartered territory in terms of pitches thrown over the course of his career, but I like his chances here. =The hard-throwing right-hander is 3-0 with a 2.79 ERA in five starts versus NL West opponents this year, and has thrown 12 shutout innings in his last two outings at home.
Sports bettors should back the Cardinals with confidence, especially due to their five-game win streak as favorites of -151 to -200.Pick
: St. Louis Cardinals -190