MLB: Pitching Matchups have bettors thinking



MLB: Pitching Matchups have bettors thinking




In the National League, two games standout Tuesday, one because of its importance and who the starting pitcher’s are, and the other strictly because the two hurlers have dominating potential. These two contests overshadow the rest the other six games in t

2009-07-28

In the National League, two games standout Tuesday, one because of its importance and who the starting pitcher’s are, and the other strictly because the two hurlers have dominating potential. These two contests overshadow the rest the other six games in the senior circuit and should be entertaining for sports bettors and baseball fans alike. Get the latest key numbers for these games on the LIVE ODDS, BETTING TRENDS, and TEAM STATISTICS pages.

Houston at Chicago

The Chicago Cubs (52-45, -1.9 units) played liked they preferred first place, as Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 13th inning last night that allowed the Cubs to stay at the top of the division. Chicago has played fewer games to date than any NL Central team; however is three games clear of any competitor in the loss column.

Ryan Dempster (5-5, 4.09) comes off the DL today for Chicago, after missing just over three weeks with a fractured toe after jumping over the dugout railing to go on the field and celebrate a win over Milwaukee on July 5. Dempster has loved pitching at Wrigley Field and is 4-1 there this season. Sportsbook.com has established the Cubs as -110 money line home favorites, which suits Dempster, who is 32-12 at home when the money line is +125 to -125 during his big league career. (Team's Record)

He will go to battle against Roy Oswalt (6-4, 3.66) of Houston. Earlier this season, whispers were circulating maybe Oswalt was no longer a first-rate pitcher. In his last six starts, Oswalt has proven otherwise to his critics. The right-hander has 2.00 ERA in his last six outings, with the Astros having won the last five. He and his Astros teammates are 20-5 vs. a NL team with an on-base percentage .325 or worse.

The Cubs will be chasing a sixth straight win and are 47-24 as a favorite of -110 or higher this season. This division battle begins at 8:05 Eastern on WGN.

Philadelphia at Arizona

The Phillies (57-40, +10.2 units) are thankful Arizona has a retractable roof in downtown Phoenix, since tonight’s game time temperature is expected to be around 115 degrees again. Philadelphia hopes Cole Hamels (6-5, 4.66) can regain late season form from a year ago and put some heat on the Diamondbacks. With the Phillies having won 18 of last 21 games, they will be facing one of the hottest pitchers in baseball all season in Dan Haren (10-5, 2.14).

Many have speculated Hamels heavy workload from a season ago has taken a toll this season, with a number poor performances and missed starts. The lefthander has looked better lately, allowing four runs in 12 innings in his last two starts. This will be a good test for Hamels to see if he really has regained prior form, since he is 2-3, with hefty 5.81 ERA on the road. In the past, Hamels and the Phils have feasted on revolting teams like Arizona (43-57, -16.2 units), with 13-3 road record against losing teams.

The D-Backs play a whole lot better when Haren in on the mound, winning 13 of 20 games, with the strong possibility of emerging victorious five other times if they would have had any offensive production. Haren showed a human side in his last start, charged with four runs on eight hits in five innings against the Pittsburgh, as he struggled with command. That was only the second time all season Haren surrendered more than three runs, his first such outing since May 23 in Oakland.

Haren has been a shutdown starter, with 7-0 record after the opposing team scored five or more runs. (D-Backs Record) Arizona opened as a -135 money line favorite, but sports bettors quickly pounded that line and the Snakes are now -112. That doesn’t change the fact Haren and Arizona are 9-3 as -110 to -150 home favorites, with the Phillies 11-3 in road games after a win by four runs or more this season.

Haren will throw the first pitch in the desert at 9:40 Eastern and fans can watch in local markets or on MLB.TV.

StatFox Power Line –Chicago -122, Philadelphia -104

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