Fourth of July Free Sports Pick from Oskeim Sports; Start Winning Today

Jul 4, 2014


St. Louis Cardinals (-146) over Miami Marlins

Analysis:  St. Louis right-hander Lance Lynn has performed exceptionally well before the home crowd at Busch Stadium during his career, and investing on Lynn at home remains one of my favorite angles on the diamond.

Lance Lynn – Busch Stadium

2013:  9-3 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.18 WHIP

2012: 9-4 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.20 WHIP

2011: 0-1 with a 2.50 ERA and 0.61 WHIP (18.0 IP; 1 start, 7 relief appearances

Lynn is once again enjoying a very strong campaign at home this season as evidenced by his 3.22 ERA and 1.25 WHIP. Lynn is also 6-2 with a 2.47 ERA and 1.08 WHIP at night and now faces a weak-hitting Miami squad that is batting just .241 with a .299 on base percentage on the road (3.8 runs per game).  I also like the fact that Lynn is supported by a very strong St. Louis bullpen that owns a 3.28 ERA and 1.16 WHIP in 2014, including a 3.27 ERA and 1.09 WHIP at home and a 0.40 ERA and 0.88 WHIP over the last seven games.

Lynn had gone 2-1 with a 0.82 WHIP prior to his last start wherein he yielded six earned runs in just two innings against the Dodgers.  While Lynn was dealing with blister issues on his throwing hand, he would not use that as an excuse.  “Honestly, I have blister problems every time I start,” Lynn said.  “I’m missing a lot of the top part of my (middle) finger – the whole tip, pretty much.  I think it dried out and it just ripped off. But that’s a part of pitching. You try to get through those things, and I wasn’t able to do that.”

Reports from St. Louis indicate that Lynn’s throwing hand should be fine for tonight’s start.  “Everything looks good. It’s something we’ll have to continue to keep an eye on,” St. Louis manager Mike Matheny said. “Those things can end up causing you more trouble than what you want.  But he seems to be toughening up that weak skin.”  Meanwhile, Miami starter Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound in poor form with a 4.66 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over his last three outings and a 6.00 ERA over his last four starts.  “It will come around, that’s just how baseball is,” Eovaldi said.  “I have to do a better job.”

Overall, Eovaldi is 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA and 1.24 WHIP this season, including posting a 3.99 ERA and 1.43 WHIP at night.  Eovaldi now has the task of facing a St. Louis offense that finally appears to have woken up after plating seven runs on 14 hits in yesterday’s 7-2 win over the Giants.  The situation also favors St. Louis as the Marlins suffered a demoralizing 5-4 loss in the 9th inning of last night’s game against the Phillies. With that blown save in hand, Miami now has to travel to St. Louis over the 4th of July holiday to face a re-energized Cardinals’ squad.

Much has been made of the Cardinals’ offensive woes, but that issue may not matter in this series in light of the fact that Miami is 8-34 (-22.9 units) on the road versus teams averaging 4.3 runs or less per game and 7-34 (-25.6 units) on the road versus teams with an on base percentage of .315 or worse.  More importantly (from a technical standpoint), St. Louis is 36-10 (+19.7 units) at home versus teams with a losing record, 26-8 (+13.1 units) at home versus teams batting .255 or worse, 24-6 (+14.8 units) at home versus N.L. East opponents and 21-4 (+15.6 units) at home after batting .225 or worse over a five-game span.  For the technical geeks like me, here are some additional trends favoring our investment on the Cardinals:

  • Miami is 40-86 in its L/126 road games;
  • Miami is 28-61 in its L/89 road games vs. right-handed starters;
  • Miami is 17-39 in its L/56 games vs. N.L. Central opposition;
  • Miami is 0-7 in its L/7 games vs. teams with a winning record;
  • Miami is 0-6 in Eovaldi’s L/6 starts vs. N.L. Central foes;
  • St. Louis is 13-3 in its L/16 home games following an extended road trip (7+ days);
  • St. Louis is 42-13 in its L/55 home games vs. teams with a road win % of .399 or worse;
  • St. Louis is 61-23 in its L/84 home games vs. .499 or worse opposition;
  • St. Louis is 9-3 in Lynn’s L/12 starts vs. N.L. East opponents;
  • St. Louis is 20-9 in Lynn’s L/29 starts as a home favorite

Oskeim Sports Free Sports Pick: St. Louis Cardinals