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Take #903 L.A. Dodgers over N.Y. Mets (1 p.m., Thursday, April 25)
Hyun-Jin Ru has had a nice start to his season so far with three quality starts in his first four outings. Even more impressive is the 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio he has carried and the fact he is averaging over a strikeout per inning. These are big-time numbers from a guy who came into the year with a lot of question marks. Keep in mind also that these have been some quality offenses that the lefty has had to face thus far.
Not a lot of good to say here about the Mets starter Jeremy Hefner here early on in 2013. The right-hander may be pitching himself out of a rotation spot here early on this season as he hasn't made it past the fourth inning in either of his last two starts. Add in a WHIP of nearly 1.80 and an ERA over 7.00 so far on the season.
A guy like Ru can dominate teams the first time he sees them. Look for him to shut this light-hitting Mets team down in this one. Play the Los Angeles Dodgers here in this one.
(913) HOUSTON ASTROS VS (914) BOSTON RED SOX
Take: UNDER THE TOTAL.
A bad Houston offense comes north to Fenway, 17th in runs scored, 23rd in on-base percentage. That offense will struggle against Clay Buchholz (4-0, 0.90 ERA), who keeps the ball down and is off to a sizzling start. And the Astros have never faced him. The under is 11-3 in the Astros last 14 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. Buchholz has allowed three runs in his first 30 innings with 29 strikeouts. Boston's offense has some weak hitters in the No. 7-9 slots and Houston starter Philip Humber doesn't walk anyone, allowing just 5 free passes in 19 innings. The under is 5-0 in the Buchholz's last 5 home starts. Play the Astros/Red Sox under the total.
Thursday features a number of starting pitchers that have satisfied over bettors so far this season. Here is a look at three that take the bump.
Team over/under record in pitcher's starts indicated in italics. All stats prior to Wednesday's games
Jeremy Hefner, New York Mets (0-2, 7.07 ERA)
Hefner has just 14 innings pitched in four starts this season. The Mets have lost all four games in which he gets the start and the over is 4-0. Hefner has not pitched more than four innings in any of his last three starts.
The Mets host the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday in the second game of their series. They are tops in the National League with a 14-4 over/under record.
Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals (1-1, 5.85 ERA)
Gonzalez has gone cold after a sparkling start to the season. The Nationals' lefty has a loss and two no-decisions in his last three games, all of which have gone over the total. According to fangraphs.com, Gonzalez has lost about one mile per hour off of his fastball and his percentage of strikes is down four percent from 2012.
The Cincinnati Reds visit the Nationals Thursday. The teams have played three games this season. All have gone over the total.
Jarrod Parker, Oakland (0-3, 7.50 ERA)
Oakland is king of the hill in the over/under standings at 17-4. The A's pitching has been decent and is third in the majors with 13 quality starts. Jarrod Parker has just one of those quality starts. He's coming off a loss against the Tampa Bay Rays, giving up just one earned run in 6 1-3 innings. Despite that outing, his 7.50 ERA is worst among Oakland's starters and his 18 innings pitched are the fewest among the starting rotation.
Oakland open its series with Baltimore Thursday. It will be the first meeting between the two clubs.
-- Lee is 2-1, 3.14 in four starts this season.
-- Ryu is 2-0, 4.42 in his last three starts.
-- Arroyo is 1-0, 2.25 in his last couple starts.
-- Slowey is 0-2, 1.90 in his first four starts.
-- de la Rosa is 1-1, 1.50 in his last three starts.
-- Verlander is 2-2, 2.13 in four starts this season. Shields is 1-2, 3.00.
-- Lester is 4-0, 0.90 so far this month.
-- Kuroda is 2-0, 1.66 in his last three starts.
-- Hellickson is 1-1, 2.37 in his last three starts.
-- Tepesch is 1-1, 3.07 in three starts this season.
-- Richards is 1-0, 2.70 in his first two starts this year.
-- McDonald is 2-2, 6.41 in his four starts this season.
-- Hefner is 0-1, 10.29 in his last couple starts.
-- GGonzalez is 0-1, 12.00 in his last two starts.
-- Jackson is 0-2, 7.79 in his last three starts.
-- Cahill is 0-3, 3.96 in four starts this season.
-- Humber is 0-3, 8.78 in his last three starts.
-- Buehrle has a 6.65 RA in his first four starts for Toronto.
-- Sale is 0-2, 6.87 in his last three starts.
-- Worley is 0-2, 8.10 in four starts this season.
-- Parker is 0-3, 7.50 in four starts so far this season. Hammel is 1-1, 4.82 in his last three starts.
-- Maurer is 1-3, 7.91 in four starts this season.
-- Six of last eight Pittsburgh games stayed under total.
-- Ten of last twelve Met games went over the total.
-- Last four Washington games stayed under the total.
-- Eight of last eleven Cub games stayed under the total.
-- Eight of last ten Arizona games stayed under the total.
-- Six of last nine Detroit games went over the total.
-- Seven of last nine Boston games went over the total.
-- Nine of last twelve Toronto games stayed under the total.
-- Under is 3-1-1 in last five Tampa Bay games.
-- Under is 9-4-1 in last fourteen Texas games.
-- 18 of last 21 Oakland games went over the total.
-- 13 of last 15 Angel games went over the total.
-- Pirates won 11 of their last 15 games.
-- Mets won five of their last seven home games.
-- Reds won eight of their last ten games.
-- Rockies won eight of their last eleven games. Arizona won three of four.
-- Royals are 5-1 in game following their last six losses.
-- Red Sox won nine of their last twelve games.
-- Bronx won 10 of its last 15 games.
-- Rays won six of their last eight games.
-- Texas won six of its last eight games. Minnesota won five of last six.
-- Orioles won five of their last seven games.
-- Angels won four of their last six games.
-- Phillies lost seven of their last ten games.
-- Dodgers lost seven of their last nine games.
-- Nationals lost eight of their last eleven games.
-- Miami lost seven of its first nine home games. Cubs lost 12 of their last 16 games overall.
-- Detroit lost four of its last five games.
-- Houston lost seven of its last ten games.
-- Blue Jays lost six of their last nine games.
-- White Sox lost four of their last five games.
-- Oakland lost five of its last six games.
-- Mariners lost 11 of their last 15 games.