MLB: Hot starting pitchers on the hill for Thursday night
The Thursday night baseball betting board has a handful of hurlers taking the mound looking to extend a run of hot pitching. All five of them are favorites, but of varying degrees, meaning there is still some value to be found. Let's take a look at these surging starting pitchers and whether or not it's worth laying some chalk tonight with any. For more key betting info on all of Thursday's games, be sure to visit the GAME MATCHUPS page.
(907) SAN DIEGO (LATOS) at (908) WASHINGTON (ATILANO) 7:05 PM
No one in all of Major League Baseball is hotter than Mat Latos of San Diego right now, and that includes Ubaldo Jimenez, Josh Johnson, or any other team's ace. Latos has been near unhittable for the last two-plus months. In fact, in his last 12 starts, Latos boasts a WHIP of just 0.819 and an ERA of 1.70, having yielded just 15 earned runs in 79-1/3 innings.
Oddsmakers at Sportsbook.com list the Padres as -145 favorites right now on the road in Washington as the N.L. West Division leaders look to salvage a win in their 3-game set with the Nationals. Having lost the first two games by a run on each occasion, bettors may be interested to know that:
• SAN DIEGO is 9-1 (+9.1 Units) against the money line after 2 or more consecutive losses this season. The average score was SAN DIEGO 5.1, OPPONENT 2.3 - (Rating = 1*)
(909) CINCINNATI (CUETO) at (910) PHILADELPHIA (KENDRICK) 7:05 PM
Everyone's degree of hot from here on out won't reach the level of Mat Latos of San Diego, but still there are some noteworthy recent performances that you'll want to consider as you handicap Thursday night's action. Cincinnati's Johnny Cueto is one of the pitchers to note. He has had a pair of 4-game hot stretches this season in which he has sparkled. His current stretch finds him having allowed just a pair of earned runs in his last 25-2/3 innings, for an ERA of 0.70.
Cueto has been really solid on the road against good teams of late:
• CUETO is 6-0 (+7.6 Units) against the money line in road games vs. teams outscoring opp by 0.5 or more runs/game on the season over the last 2 seasons. (Team's Record) The average score was CUETO 6.0, OPPONENT 3.0 - (Rating = 1*)
Perhaps most important though, Cueto's teammates are playing as good as they have all year long, having gone 12-4 in their L16 games to open up a 3-game lead in the N.L. Central over the Cardinals. Sportsbook lists Cincinnati as a slight -115 favorite over slumping Philadelphia.
(913) CHICAGO CUBS (WELLS) at (914) LA DODGERS (KERSHAW) 10:10 PM
The Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw has been relatively quietly putting up one of the best seasons for a starter in the National League, quietly because he isn't even an all-star. Since being roughed up by the Brewers back in his first start of May, Kershaw has been on fire. In 11 starts since, he has gone 73-2/3 innings while allowing just 18 earned runs for an ERA of 2.20 and WHIP of 1.032. Perhaps the best indicator of his dominance has been the fact that he has struck out 80 hitters in that span.
Kershaw's dominance combined with the Cubs recent struggles at the plate make him a -195 favorite for Thursday, but according to this extremely powerful betting system, that price shouldn't even be given a second thought:
• Play Against - Road underdogs with a money line of +175 to +250 (CHICAGO CUBS) - cold hitting team - batting .250 or worse over their last 20 games against opponent with a hot starting pitcher- WHIP <= 1.000 over his last 5 starts. (54-5 over the last 5 seasons.) (91.5%, +42.6 units. Rating = 4*)
(921) BALTIMORE (GUTHRIE) at (922) TEXAS (HUNTER) 8:05 PM
Tommy Hunter has only been in the Texas rotation since the start of June, but his solid pitching has been one of the catalysts behind the Rangers' recent surge. They are 6-0 in his starts, and while his stats are impressive (1.98 ERA, 1.156 WHIP), perhaps the most unbelievable number comes from the fact that Rangers' hitters have provided him with 9.6 runs per game of support.
Texas is a heavy -260 favorite according to Sportsbook.com but according to the following trend, the Rangers should be nearly automatic against the lowly O's:
• BALTIMORE is 1-19 (-17.3 Units) against the money line vs. a starting pitcher whose gives up 5.5 or less hits/start this season. The average score was BALTIMORE 2.8, OPPONENT 6.7 - (Rating = 4*)
(923) NY YANKEES (PETTITTE) at (924) SEATTLE (VARGAS) 10:10 PM
Andy Pettitte has to be given some props for his performance of late as well, and you can trace his run of success back all the way to the 2009 ALCS. Including three postseason starts, the Yankees are 16-3 in his last 19 outings, and he owns a personal record of 13-2 in that span. While not as scintillating as some of the other numbers posted earlier, Pettitte has been in a word "solid". In those 16 starts, his ERA has been 2.99 with a WHIP of 1.184. Most importantly, the Yankees have been winning with him on the hill. Matched against another southpaw in Jason Vargas of Seattle, Pettitte and New York are -155 favorites.