Three Friday Hitters who Thrive against their Weekend Rivals
Friday marks a busy night of divisional matchups in Major League Baseball. With pennant races starting to heat up, the focus will be on hitters who have thrived against their division rivals.
Here are three batters with terrific numbers against their weekend opponents.
David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox (.327, 23 HR, 75 RBI)
Ortiz has feasted on the Yankees so far in 2013, batting 8-for-22 with a homer and four walks in six games. The gargantuan slugger was even more dominant last season, posting an absurd .619 average and .714 on-base percentage in six meetings with the Bronx Bombers.
Boston hosts the rival Yankees in a pivotal three-game series beginning Friday.
Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals (.330, 8 HR, 54 RBI)
Molina was activated from the disabled list earlier this week - just in time to face the Chicago Cubs, against whom he has had tremendous success. The 31-year-old catcher is hitting a sizzling .429 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 10 games against the Cubs this season.
The Cardinals visit the Cubs for a three-game set beginning Friday.
Kyle Seager, Seattle Mariners (.285, 17 HR, 54 RBI)
Seager's surprise breakout season has come largely at the expense of the rival Rangers. The 25-year-old third baseman is batting .418 in 55 at-bats against Texas, with 10 doubles, two home runs and eight RBIs.
The Mariners travel to Texas and face the Rangers in a three-game series beginning Friday.
Friday's National League Betting Cheat Sheet
Check out our quick-hitting betting notes on Friday's National League games:
St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs (+128, 8)
Cold pitching stat: Cardinals right-hander Jake Westbrook has been dreadful away from St. Louis, going 2-6 with a 5.14 ERA in 10 road starts.
Hot batting stat: Cardinals C Yadier Molina is hitting .429 in 10 games against the Cubs this season, while OF Matt Holiday is batting .412.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with sunny skies. Wind will blow in from right field at 7 mph.
Key betting note: The over is 19-7 in Westbrook's last 26 starts on grass.
Arizona Diamondbacks at Pittsburgh Pirates (-145, 7.5)
Cold pitching stat: Pirates right-hander Gerrit Cole has surrendered a home run in four consecutive starts, going 1-2 with a no-decision in that span.
Cold batting stat: Pittsburgh slugger Pedro Alvarez is hitless with four strikeouts in eight at-bats against the Diamondbacks.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow in from left-center field at 3 mph.
Key betting note: The Pirates are 22-6 in their last 28 games as a home favorite.
Los Angeles Dodgers at Philadelphia Phillies (+100, 7)
Cold pitching stat: Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke has surrendered more than two earned runs just once in his past seven starts.
Hot batting stat: Phillies OF Domonic Brown has four home runs and 11 RBIs in 13 games since the All-Star break.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the mid-70s with partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow out to center field at 4 mph.
Key betting note: The Dodgers have won eight consecutive games against the National League East.
San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins (-101, 7)
Hot pitching stat: Giants right-hander Chad Gaudin limited Miami to two hits over 4 1/3 scoreless innings in their previous encounter June 20, and has allowed one run or fewer in seven of his last eight outings.
Cold batting stat: San Francisco C Buster Posey hasn't homered since July 20, and has just two RBIs since.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low 80s, but with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms at Marlins Park, the roof may be closed. Wind will blow out toward left field at 7 mph.
Key betting note: The over is 42-20-2 in the Giants' last 64 games as a road favorite.
Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (-165, 7.5)
Hot pitching stat: Braves left-hander Alex Wood is 2-0 with a 1.89 ERA over his last three starts, striking out 17 while walking just four.
Hot batting stat: Atlanta OF Jason Heyward has recorded multi-hit efforts in six of his past seven games.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with a 60 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms. Wind will blow in from right field at 7 mph.
Key betting note: Atlanta is 41-13 in its last 54 games against a right-handed starter.
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers (+124, 8)
Hot pitching stat: Cincinnati right-hander Mike Leake dominated the Brewers in their last encounter, limiting them to a pair of runs on four hits over 8 1/3 innings en route to a 6-2 victory.
Hot batting stat: Reds OF Jay Bruce is batting .343 with three homers and nine RBIs in nine games against Milwaukee this season.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-70s with sunny skies. Wind will blow in from right field at 5 mph.
Key betting note: The under is 20-6-2 in Leake's last 28 appearances in the second game of a series.
New York Mets at San Diego Padres (-142, 7)
Hot pitching stat: Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy is 4-0 with a 3.45 ERA in five career starts versus the Mets.
Cold batting stat: Only one Mets player has more than one home run so far in August (Juan Lagares, 2).
Weather: Temperatures will be in the high-60s with partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow out to right field at 5 mph.
Key betting note: The over is 14-3 in the Padres' last 17 games against the National League East.
** Odds, stats, probable starters and weather forecast as of 10:43 p.m. ET.
Friday's American League Betting Cheat Sheet
Check out our quick-hitting betting notes on Friday's American League games:
Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers, Game 1 (-159, 7.5)
Cold pitching stat: Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander was tagged for six runs on eight hits over 5 2/3 innings in his previous encounter with the Royals, a 6-5 defeat back on July 20.
Hot batting stat: Royals 1B/DH Billy Butler is hitting .345 in 29 at-bats against the Tigers this season.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the mid-70s with partly cloudy skies. Wind will be calm.
Key betting note: The over is 19-7-1 in the Royals' last 27 opening games of a doubleheader.
Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers, Game 2
Cold pitching stat: Royals starter James Shields is 0-1 with a 3.27 ERA in three starts versus the Tigers this season..
Cold batting stat: Tigers 3B Miguel Cabrera, who leads the American League in batting, is hitting just .259 in 27 at-bats versus Kansas City.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-70s under sunny skies. Wind will blow in from center field at 4 mph.
Key betting note: The under is 23-4 in the Tigers' last 27 closing games of a doubleheader.
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox (-174, 9)
Cold pitching stat: Yankees left-hander Andy Pettitte is winless in his last five starts, a streak that kicked off with a 4-2 loss to Boston in which he surrendered a pair of home runs over 6 1/3 innings.
Cold batting stat: Yankees OFs Vernon Wells and Ichiro Suzuki are hitting just .219 apiece against Red Sox pitching, with only one homer between them.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the high-60s under sunny skies. Wind will blow toward left-center field at 7 mph.
Key betting note: The under is 17-4-1 in the Yankees' last 22 road games against a left-handed starter.
Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays (-137, 8)
Hot pitching stat: Despite his season-long struggles, Toronto knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has fared well against Tampa Bay - going 2-1 with a 2.48 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 29 innings.
Cold batting stat: Blue Jays 1B/DH Adam Lind has just four RBIs in 85 at-bats since the All-Star break, after driving in 37 runs in the first half.
Key betting note: The Blue Jays are 5-0 in Dickey's previous five starts as an underdog.
Seattle Mariners at Texas Rangers (-164, 8.5)
Hot pitching stat: Seattle right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma is one of only six qualified major-league starters with a WHIP of 1.00 or below, joining Clayton Kershaw, Matt Harvey, Max Scherzer, Madison Bumgarner and Yu Darvish.
Hot batting stat: Rangers 3B Adrian Beltre is hitting .396 with two home runs and 12 RBIs in 13 games in August.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the high-80s under partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow in from left field at 6 mph.
Key betting note: The Rangers are 37-14 in their last 51 games against American League West opponents.
Chicago White Sox at Minnesota Twins (-125, 8.5)
Hot pitching stat: Minnesota right-hander Kevin Correia is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 20 2/3 innings versus the White Sox in 2013, and threw seven shutout innings against them in their last encounter Sunday afternoon.
Hot batting stat: Twins C Joe Mauer has tormented Chicago this season, batting 17-for-44 and posting a .509 on-base percentage in 12 meetings prior to Thursday's game.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the high-70s under clear skies. Wind will blow toward left field at 5 mph.
Key betting note: The under is 33-15-3 the last 51 times Chicago has played the second game of a series.
Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels (-164, 9)
Cold pitching stat: Astros right-hander Brad Peacock has surrendered 11 home runs in just 42 innings, including one to the Angels in a 1 1/3-inning stint back on June 2.
Cold batting stat: Angels OF J.B. Shuck has just five hits in 36 at-bats against the Astros this season.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-70s under sunny skies. Wind will blow out toward center field at 5 mph.
Key betting note: The Astros are 12-50 in their last 62 road games against a team with a losing home record.
Cleveland Indians at Oakland Athletics (-127, 7)
Cold pitching stat: Indians right-hander Justin Masterson has struggled mightily against Oakland in his career, going 2-5 with a 7.42 ERA and eight home runs against in 43 2/3 innings.
Hot batting stat: Cleveland OF Michael Brantley hit 6-for-14 and stole a pair of bases in a series against the Athletics earlier in the season.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the low-60s with clear skies. Wind will blow out toward center field at 7 mph.
Key betting note: Oakland is 23-9 in its last 32 Friday games.
Colorado Rockies at Baltimore Orioles (-180, 9)
Hot pitching stat: Orioles lefty Wei-Yin Chen hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 1 against the Seattle Mariners.
Hot batting stat: Baltimore 1B/DH Chris Davis has eight home runs and 15 RBIs in 17 games against National League opponents in 2013.
Weather: Temperatures will be in the mid-70s under partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow out toward left field at 6 mph.
Key betting note: The over is 21-7-1 in Baltimore's last 29 interleague games against a team with a losing record.
** Odds, stats, probable starters and weather forecast as of 10:35 p.m. ET.
Los Angeles Dodgers -112 over Philadelphia Phillies
Today's MLB Picks
Cleveland at Oakland
The A's look to build on their 11-2 record in A.J. Griffin's last 13 home starts against teams with a winning record. Oakland is the pick (-130) according to Dunkel, which has the A's favored by 1 1/2. Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-130). Here are all of today's picks.
FRIDAY, AUGUST 16
Time Posted: 7:00 a.m. EST
Game 951-952: St. Louis at Chicago Cubs (4:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: St. Louis (Westbrook) 14.971; Cubs (Arrieta) 13.435
Dunkel Line: St. Louis by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: St. Louis (-145); No Run Total
Dunkel Pick: St. Louis (-145); N/A
Game 953-954: Arizona at Pittsburgh (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Arizona (McCarthy) 16.088; Pittsburgh (Cole) 14.984
Dunkel Line: Arizona by 1; 7
Vegas Line: Pittsburgh (-145); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Arizona (+125); Under
Game 955-956: LA Dodgers at Philadelphia (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: LA Dodgers (Greinke) 15.342; Philadelphia (Lee) 16.425
Dunkel Line: Philadelphia by 1; 6
Vegas Line: LA Dodgers (-120); 7
Dunkel Pick: Philadelphia (+100); Under
Game 957-958: San Francisco at Miami (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: San Francisco (Gaudin) 15.450; Miami (Eovaldi) 13.952
Dunkel Line: San Francisco by 1 1/2; 8
Vegas Line: San Francisco (-115); 7
Dunkel Pick: San Francisco (-115); Over
Game 959-960: Washington at Atlanta (7:30 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Washington (Jordan) 15.345; Atlanta (Wood) 16.781
Dunkel Line: Atlanta by 1 1/2; 7
Vegas Line: Atlanta (-160); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Atlanta (-160); Under
Game 961-962: Cincinnati at Milwaukee (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cincinnati (Leake) 15.807; Milwaukee (Gorzelanny) 16.674
Dunkel Line: Milwaukee by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Cincinnati (-135); 8
Dunkel Pick: Milwaukee (+115); Over
Game 963-964: NY Mets at San Diego (10:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Mets (Niese) 15.941; San Diego (Kennedy) 13.982
Dunkel Line: NY Mets by 2; 6
Vegas Line: San Diego (-150); 7
Dunkel Pick: NY Mets (+130); Under
Game 965-966: Kansas City at Detroit (1:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Duffy) 15.399; Detroit (Verlander) 16.929
Dunkel Line: Detroit by 1 1/2; 9
Vegas Line: Detroit (-155); 7 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Detroit (-155); Over
Game 967-968: Kansas City at Detroit (7:08 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Kansas City (Shields) 16.807; Detroit (Alvarez) 15.762
Dunkel Line: Kansas City by 1; 7
Vegas Line: No Line
Dunkel Pick: N/A
Game 969-970: NY Yankees at Boston (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: NY Yankees (Pettitte) 14.954; Boston (Doubront) 16.249
Dunkel Line: Boston by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Boston (-175); 9
Dunkel Pick: Boston (-175); Over
Game 971-972: Toronto at Tampa Bay (7:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Toronto (Dickey) 15.354; Tampa Bay (Hellickson) 14.267
Dunkel Line: Toronto by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Tampa Bay (-140); 8
Dunkel Pick: Toronto (+120); Over
Game 973-974: Seattle at Texas (8:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Seattle (Iwakuma) 13.171; Texas (Holland) 16.077
Dunkel Line: Texas by 3; 7
Vegas Line: Texas (-165); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Texas (-165); Under
Game 975-976: Chicago White Sox at Minnesota (8:10 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: White Sox (Quintana) 16.269; Minnesota (Correia) 15.173
Dunkel Line: Chicago White Sox by 1; 9
Vegas Line: Minnesota (-130); 8 1/2
Dunkel Pick: Chicago White Sox (+110); Over
Game 977-978: Cleveland at Oakland (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Cleveland (Masterson) 15.181; Oakland (Griffin) 16.602
Dunkel Line: Oakland by 1 1/2; 6
Vegas Line: Oakland (-130); 7
Dunkel Pick: Oakland (-130); Under
Game 979-980: Houston at LA Angels (10:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Houston (Peacock) 14.985; LA Angels (Williams) 13.898
Dunkel Line: Houston by 1; 8
Vegas Line: LA Angels (-170); 9
Dunkel Pick: Houston (+150); Under
Game 981-982: Colorado at Baltimore (7:05 p.m. EST)
Dunkel Ratings: Colorado (Nicasio) 14.667; Baltimore (Chen) 16.167
Dunkel Line: Baltimore by 1 1/2; 10
Vegas Line: Baltimore (-180); 9
Dunkel Pick: Baltimore (-180); Over
2* Toronto Blue Jays +120
StatFox Super Situations™ - FoxSheets
MLB ST LOUIS at CHICAGO CUBS
Play On - Home teams (CHICAGO CUBS) off 4 straight losses vs. division rivals against opponent off a one run win over a division rival
66-36 since 1997. ( 64.7% 32.8 units )
3-2 this year. ( 60.0% 1.4 units )
StatFox Situational Power Trends™ - FoxSheets
MLB CHI WHITE SOX at MINNESOTA
MINNESOTA is 14-4 (+12.2 Units) against the money line vs. AL teams scoring 3.7 or less runs/game on the season this season.
The average score was: MINNESOTA (5.5) , OPPONENT (3.6)
This is a 1* free play on the "under" between the LA Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night (7:05 EST).
Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.21 ERA) gets the call for the visitors; Greinke is coming off a 5-0 win over the Rays on Saturday, scattering six hits over 6 2/3's innings of work, walking one and striking out seven. Greinke is now 7-1 over his last 10 starts with a sparkling 2.49 ERA; he'll take his respectable 4-2 road record into Philadelphia to throw opposite Cliff Lee (10-5, 3.18 ERA) who gave up three earned runs off seven hits and two walks while striking out six over six innings in a no-decision vs. the Nationals on Saturday. Lee will be looking to improve upon his 4-3, 4.09 ERA home record. This is the fifth time in 2013 that these teams have faced off against each other, with the O/U currently sitting at 3-1. But this is however the first time these two starters have been matched up and as such, I'm expecting runs to be at a premium between these two competent hurlers; consider a second look at the "under" in this one.
Play On: NY Yankees w/Pettite
When Andy Pettite takes the hill against the Red Sox in the opener of this key AL East division duel at Fenway Park Friday evening, Pettitte will do so knowing he is 11-5 in his career team starts in this park, including 6-2 the last eight.
In addition, Pettitte is 9-3 in his last twelve team starts during August, including 5-1 his last six away. With the Red Sox 2-4 against southpaws behind Felix Doubront this season, look for the Pinstripes to improve to 10-4 their last fourteen games in this park here tonight. We recommend a 1-unit play on the NY Yankees.