Detroit versus Cleveland
Looking at the general trend of the two teams, according to the Team Volatility Oscillator, neither are in the top 10. This means that the teams are not the most consistently winning when favored to win or lose when the underdog. It’s best not to look at the game lines for this series. The Power Ranking Indicator shows the Indians at +15, while the Tigers are at +3, both on a downward trend, so neither team is playing its best at the moment. This is also indicated in the MLB Team Strength Oscillator, with the Tigers at -10.7 and the Indians at -5.4.
Taking a look at the pitching match ups:
Friday, July 7: Jordan Zimmerman versus Carlos Carrasco
Zimmerman is 5-6 with a 5.58 ERA. The Tigers have lost seven of his last ten starts. Although he’s been a good bet, coming in at +1290 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator, he’s down 600 since the start of the season. Carrasco has a 9-3 record with a 3.50 ERA. Although he got roughed up in his last start, the Indians have won nine of his last ten starts. While Carrasco’s Profit Oscillator number is only +24, the Indians have fared very well with him on the mound. That combined with the fact the Zimmerman is struggling and the Indians are at home, I give the edge to Cleveland in this one.
Saturday, July 8: Justin Verlander versus Mike Clevinger
Verlander is 5-5 with a 4.96 ERA. He’s not been pitching well, having allowed 7 runs in this last start versus the Indians. He’s been a bad at, coming in at -1779 on the Profit Oscillator, his lowest of the season and has been negative in this category since 2012. Clevinger is 4-3 with a 3.33 ERA. Although he’s only pitched in 28 career games, Clevinger has been more consistent than Verlander and I give the edge to the Indians in game two.
Sunday, July 9: Michael Fulmer versus Corey Kluber
Fulmer is 8-6 with a 3.20 ERA. He’s been a relatively steady pitcher all season, and his Profit Oscillator number is +1270, making him a very solid bet. Kluber is having an excellent season, striking out way more than an inning pitcher and is 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA. However, this hasn’t translated into a good bet, coming in at -445 in the Profit Oscillator and has been negative in his category since 2015. While this might seem to be an upset pick, go with the Tigers in the last game to avoid the sweep.
Pittsburgh versus Chicago Cubs
In a battle between two National League Central division clubs, I first take a look at the overall trend of the two teams. It’s best not to look at who is the favorite and who is the underdog since neither team is in the top 10 in Team Volatility. The teams are fairly evenly matched in terms of strength, with the Cubs holding a +14 to +9 edge in the Power Ranking Indicator. The MLB Strength Oscillator shows similar results, although both teams are on a downward trend. The Pirates come in at -4.71, while the Cubs are lower at -7.12.
Taking a look at the pitching match ups:
Friday, July 7: Trevion Williams versus Eddie Butler
Williams is 3-3 with a 4.67 ERA. While he’s pitched to a 3.75 ERA over the last four starts, the Pirates have lost each of those games. Williams has been a solid bet at +228 on the Pitcher Profit Oscillator, but that number is down 400 over the last month. Butler is 4-3 with a 4.18 ERA and has been inconsistent. He has been a poor bet at -554 and has always been negative. Although the Cubs are at home, all signs indicate the Pirates have the edge. Give this one to Pittsburgh.
Saturday, July 8: Ivan Nova versus Jake Arrieta
Nova is having a fine season at 8-6 with a 3.24 ERA. While a solid bet with a Pitcher Profit Oscillator number of +788, he’s been a bit inconsistent. Arrieta is having a worse season in terms of pure statistics, with a record of 8-6 and a 4.33 ERA. In terms of betting, he’s provided a better profit, coming in at +1123. A word of caution is that number has been down 400 since the start of the season. I still feel that Arrieta is the better bet and with the Cubs at home and unlikely to lose the first two games of the series, I go with the Cubs in game two.
Sunday, July 9: Jameson Taillon versus Jon Lester
Taillon is 5-2 with a 2.73 ERA and hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts. The corresponds to a Pitcher Profit Oscillator number of +539, which is his highest ever. Lester id 5-5 with a 3.94 ERA. He’s pitched relatively well over his last ten starts, but has had three clunkers in there. That has contributed to an up and down Profit Oscillator number, which is at -741. An alarming note is that number has been negative since 2012. Go with Taillon and the Pirates in the series finale.
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