A 15-GAME slate of Major League Baseball awaits fans on Wednesday, kicking off with Detroit visiting Cleveland and finishing off with a midday matinee between Bay Area rivals San Diego and San Francisco.
We’re going to take a look at a few of the games and see if we can’t nab a winner or two for our keen BettingPlanet.com punters.
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Detroit Tigers (J.Verlander) @ Cleveland Indians (C. Carrasco)
June 24, 12.10pm EST
MVP, Cy Young Award winner, six time all star, triple crown winner, rookie of the year, two time MLB wins champion. There’s not much Detroit Tigers (36-34) star pitcher Justin Verlander hasn’t done in his sparkling career.
But a triceps injury that sidelined him for two months has ensured this game against the Cleveland Indians (32-37) will be just his third start of the season.
In his 300th start for the Tigers, Verlander went 0-1 on the season by giving up three home runs in a 7-2 loss to the New York Yankees.
But he was almost more disappointed that he allowed Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez to register his 3000th hit.
You’d think, with a pair of outings to warm up, Verlander will come out breathing fire in this one, spelling trouble for the likes of Indians’ leader Jason Kipnis (.346 average with 94 hits) and the versatile Michael Brantley (36 runs batted in).
Starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco has had an up and down year that has yielded an 8-6 record, but he most recently allowed three runs and 10 hits against Tampa Bay in a 4-1 loss.
The Indians have lost three of their last four, including an 8-5 result against the Tigers today.
The Tigers have been ok on the road, going 18-16, while the Indians have really struggled to protect home, going 14-22, winning fewer games at Progressive Field than they have travelling abroad.
We’re going with the Tigers in this one.
St Louis Cardinals (J. Garcia) @ Miami Marlins (M. Latos)
June 24, 7.10pm EST
Our tip: St Louis Cardinals win
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The National League chart topping St Louis Cardinals at 45-24 boast the best record in baseball and travel to the lowly 30-41 Miami Marlins for this clash.
Having bashed 22 runs against the Philadelphia Phillies in a pair of away wins, the Cardinals gave up nine runs in their last outing, falling 9-2 and failing to clean sweep the series.
Before that they suffered a pair of defeats at the hands of the Minnesota Twins to add a few recent blemishes to their otherwise sterling record.
And they’ll be delving into the depth chart, with pitcher Jaime Garcia taking the mound.
Last time out Garcia fired through six scoreless innings against the Twins, striking out four while allowing four hits and two walks, but the bull pen couldn’t get the job done in a 2-1 loss.
Garcia had five walks in his first start, but has only seven for the season, indicating the brilliant control he possesses. He has a 1.76 ERA, with a modest 28 strike outs in 41 innings.
He’ll have to worry about the one-two punch of Dee Gordon, who boasts a whopping .356 average, and Giancarlo Stanton, who has hammered 25 homers this season.
The Marlins have lost four of their last five, although did manage a 5-0 away win over the Cincinnati Reds last week.
First choice pitcher Mat Latos isn’t in the greatest form, but will look to make life tough for the St Louis offence.
He gave up three runs on nine hits and a pair of walks in his last outing against the new York Yankees, so he will be keen to atone.
At home plate, the Cardinals will rely on superstar Jhonny Peralta to deliver the offence – he leads the team in every category that counts, with a .311 batting average, with 11 home runs, 40 runs batted in and 80 hits.
Peralta went down town in his last outing against the Phillies and we reckon he’ll be able to get the job done again against the Marlins.
San Diego Padres (I. Kennedy) @ San Francisco Giants (R. Vogelsong)
June 24, 10.15pm
National League arch rivals San Francisco and San Diego go head-to-head in this fascinating series.
The Giants won three on the trot before being pummelled 10-2 at the hands of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday, denying them a clean sweep of the mega bucks men.
Right handed monster Ryan Vogelsong is coming off a sensational night against the Seattle Mariners, providing the Giants with 6.2 scoreless innings to come back from an indifferent month of pitching.
While he went a perfect 4-0 in May, Vogelsong hadn’t looked like it in June, going 0-3 before the effort against the Mariners.
If it’s the beginning of an uptick in form, then that spells trouble for the Padres.
The Padres have alternated wins with losses over their past four and will be hoping their visit to San Francisco continues that trend, after they were soundly beaten by the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-2, last time out.
The offence has been ugly viewing for the Padres, with Justin Upton leading the way in almost every measurable offensive category – including batting average, at just .271.
They need more out of the likes of Derek Norris and Matt Kemp if they’re going to turn this thing around and challenge the Giants.
Work horse Ian Kennedy will pitch for the Padres and, while he has had a torrid run, his past two starts have produced a pair of one run outings that will warm the hearts of Padres fans.
He has however, given up 14 home runs in 12 starts and the Giants’ high powered offence will look to add to that figure.
Nori Aoki (.317 batting, 83 hits), Buster Posey (team leading 10 homers) and Joe Panik lead the charge at the plate for the Giants and their power, coupled with Vogelsong’s precision pitching, should be enough to get them over the line against the triers from San Diego.