Tuesday 7/31 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers
Two potential playoff teams fight for positioning when the LA Dodgers take on the Brewers Tuesday from Miller Park. This pairs up Waker Buehler with Wade Miley. In this matchup you have the 24-year-old up-and-coming Buehler taking on the veteran 31 years old.
Buehler came out of the gates, but suffered an injury and has not looked the same since. He has given up 12 runs in his last 10.2 innings. However, that has only come in two starts as he is set to make start number three off of the DL. While the raw figures show issues, Buehler finished his last outing on a strong note and may have shaken off the rust.
On the other side, Wade Miley comes in with some substantial numbers. Signed recently, he has only made five starts. However, that has resulted in a 2.01 ERA. The issue is that underneath those numbers is some bound regression. There is a reason he has just come along as a veteran. His FIP is 3.97, and his xFIP is 5.07. He is waiting for a team with some decent bats to go in and expose him.
The raw numbers tell you to roll with Miley. The undercover stats say this may be a chance to find value on Walker Buehler and the Dodgers.
Wednesday 8/1 Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates
Cole Hamels is set to make his first start with the Chicago Cubs after being traded earlier this week. He gets to take on a Pittsburgh Pirates lineup that is going to be competitive. Hamels has been rough this season but has a new awakening and a chance at redemption in Chicago.
While his numbers have shown issues, he is still mixing his pitches well and has shown upticks in velocity over the past month. On top of that, he now sees one less batter per nine hitters thanks to the loss of the DH. The Cubs may have noticed that Hamels is putting the pieces together for a late run, and may think that they have the right changes to get him rolling.
On the other side is Nick Kingham, who has spent most of his season in AAA. Kingham is arguably the Pirates third best pitcher, but the team is keeping him in the minors for contractual reasons. However, they call on him at home against the Chicago Cubs.
With Hamels and his poor numbers, nobody wants to back him. However, the see a minor leaguer on the other side. Some may expect to see fireworks. However, knowing Hamels could be in a great spot and knowing Kingham is better than his reputation presents value in a first five-inning under.
Saturday 8/4 Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
A World Series rematch is underway with the Astros heading west to take on the Dodgers. This matchup sees two young up and comers who are destined to give us a first five under in this matchup.
Lance McCullers ERA is a bit inflated, but his FIP and xFIP are showing signs of regression. Heading to a National League park to take on an NL lineup should help. On the other side, Ross Stripling has been everything McCullers can be and more. He comes in with a 2.86 ERA and decent sabermetrics to back it up.
The issue with both pitchers is that they do not have a long shelf life. Both can give you five strong, but get shaky come the sixth inning. Neither has gone five innings in their last two starts.
However, in a World Series type of environment, we are expecting these two to bring a strong performance. For just five innings of course. The bullpen will decide this game, but the starters on each side should get them there. Look to the under in the first five innings.