The All-Star break approaches, and so one must wonder which pitchers will make the All-Star teams in both leagues. Some surprising candidates such as Francisco Liriano want to be called.
Pittsburgh Pirates @ Chicago Cubs
This is a sneaky-good matchup on the MLB odds on Friday in the Windy City. Jeff Samardzija used to play football at Notre Dame, but he’s made a fine career for himself as a starting pitcher in the majors. Samardzija has a solid 3.34 ERA, and he allowed just two runs over seven innings in his most recent start against Seattle this past weekend. Samardzija, though, is the inferior pitcher in this specific confrontation, and that’s because he’s going against a reborn version of Francisco Liriano. Once an ace for the Minnesota Twins, Liriano watched his career get sidetracked by injuries. This season, however, he has rediscovered his old form. He owns a sparkling 2.23 ERA and has allowed more than two runs in only one of his last six starts. Don’t expect a lot of scoring (and expect a low total in the sportsbook) in this collision of impressive pitchers.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ San Francisco Giants
Friday’s late tilt in the Bay Area is a pitcher’s delight. Hyun-Jin Ryu of the Dodgers and Madison Bumgarner of the Giants should light up this fierce rivalry. Ryu has been terrific for the Dodgers this season, posting a 2.83 ERA and doing his best to overcome his team’s lack of consistent hitting. Ryu hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since May 5. Bumgarner struggled in April, but he’s been outstanding since then. He owns a 3.08 ERA, in Ryu’s same zip code, and he hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game since June 1.
San Diego Padres @ Washington Nationals
We’ll see on Saturday if Jason Marquis can reach back for something extra. San Diego’s starting pitcher, with a 3.74 ERA, will try to outpitch Washington’s ace this season, Jordan Zimmermann. On a team with Stephen Strasburg and Gio Gonzalez, Zimmermann has become the Nationals’ most reliable hurler, registering a 2.46 ERA to this point in the season.
Check out all of the latest odds at WagerWeb.com on every MLB matchup on the board.