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The Orioles and Phillies have split the first two games of their three-game series with both games being decided by a single run. That should be a sign that the rubber match on Wednesday night could go either way. However, the Orioles have a slight edge in pitching with Kyle Bradish facing Philly’s Ranger Suarez. The Phillies have also been in a slump lately, losing five of their last seven games while Baltimore is 13-4 in its last 17 games going back before the all-star break. The Orioles are also 24-10 against left-handed starters this year, giving them the third-best record in baseball against southpaws, which makes us want to go for the value and bet on Baltimore to win comfortably and cover.
Keep in mind that Bradish has been outstanding during the month of July, posting a 1.07 ERA over his four starts. He’s actually lost two of those starts because the Orioles failed to score runs for him twice. However, Bradish has held opposing teams to two earned runs or less in seven consecutive starts and has only allowed three runs on 19 hits over his 25.1 innings in July. Over their last seven games, the Phillies have been shut out twice and averaged just 3.1 runs per game, so they don’t appear to be ready to fare better against Bradish than any of the other teams he’s faced this month.
Philly will need a perfect outing from Suarez to have a chance. That’s unlikely with the lefty posting a 6.14 ERA across his four starts in July. While Suarez is managing to go at least five innings in games, light-hitting teams such as the Guardians, Marlins, and Nationals have gotten the best of him this month. He’s probably not ready to face a Baltimore lineup that has beat up lefties this season. While the Philadelphia pitching staff has held the Orioles in check during the first two games of the series, it won’t be easy to maintain that for a third straight game, especially in a hitter-friendly park with a struggling Suarez on the mound. Look for Bradish to be sharp and the Baltimore bats to wake up in a lopsided win.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
The Cubs could be making one last stand in the playoff race this year. They have won six of their last seven games, including a 7-3 against their Windy City rivals on Tuesday. They’ll now look for a two-game sweep of the South Siders, who have lost four in a row and six of their last seven games. Marcus Stroman pitches for the Cubs while Lance Lynn takes the mound for the White Sox, giving the visiting Cubs a clear advantage on Wednesday night.
For what it’s worth, Stroman hasn’t pitched particularly well in July with trade rumors about him swirling. The Cubs have lost four of his last five starts with Stroman’s ERA going from 2.28 to 3.09 during that stretch. But Stroman isn’t the type of pitcher who’s easy to stay down for long. He also has good career numbers against the likes of Tim Anderson, Yasmani Grandal, and Yoan Moncada, three key members of a White Sox lineup that has been perpetually disappointing this year. With a modest 13 total runs during their current four-game losing streak, the White Sox are the perfect opponent to help Stroman get back on track.
Meanwhile, Lynn will have to face a lineup that’s scored at least seven runs in three straight games and is averaging 7.6 runs per game over the last seven games. Cody Bellinger is red-hot at the moment with two homers and 10 RBIs in his last six games while Yan Gomes, Nico Horner, and others are also heating up. As for Lynn, he’s allowed 10 earned runs on 14 hits over his last 12 innings. He had one brilliant start right before the all-star break but has quickly resorted back to his old ways, giving him a 6.18 ERA on the season. With the way he’s pitching, Stroman doesn’t have to be perfect to position the Cubs to stay hot on Wednesday.
Odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.
Things have reached a fever pitch in the AL West race. The Astros have earned a pair of one-run wins against the Rangers, pulling within one game of Texas in the standings. If the Astros can pull off the sweep on Wednesday, there will be a tie at the top of the division. With the Astros going 8-3 since the all-star break and sending ace Framber Valdez on the mound, look for them to complete the sweep over Andrew Heaney and the Rangers, who have lost four of their last five games.
Heaney isn’t exactly the pitcher Texas wants on the mound in such an important game. He started the year strong but has fallen into mediocrity. The lefty now sits at 6-6 with a 4.58 ERA. Granted, he tossed five scoreless innings against the Astros earlier this month. But he’s also been knocked around by the likes of the Tigers, Nationals, and Dodgers in three of his last five starts. In fact, the Rangers have only one win in his last five starts. Houston is also 19-10 against lefties this year, so they are accustomed to giving Southpaws a hard time.
Meanwhile, Valdez is exactly who the Astros want on the mound in an important game. Even if he hasn’t always looked like an ace in July, Valdez is 8-6 with a 2.94 ERA this season, so his current slump isn’t going to last forever. The Texas lineup is admittedly dangerous, although the Rangers don’t have Corey Seager right now. Plus, Mitch Garver and Marcus Semien are a combined 7 for 38 (.184) in their careers against Valdez, who can neutralize some of the hitters in the Texas lineup. This appears to be a bad time for the Rangers to be facing Valdez in a big game, which is why we’re backing the Astros to finish the sweep and pull even with the Rangers on Wednesday night.
Bryan Zarpentine is a 2008 graduate of Syracuse University and has been working as a freelance writer and editor since 2010. During that time, he has contributed to countless sites while covering baseball, soccer, the NFL, college football, and college basketball.More info on Bryan Zarpentine
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