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Reply To: MLB Previews, Articles, Info, etc, Tuesday 9/15/15

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Coach Fletcher’s Tuesday Scouting Edge

4:05 pm Chicago Cubs at Pittsburgh Pirates

Happ and Lester Vie in Race to Catch Cards

At one point in time the St. Louis Cardinals were coasting to the finish line. Unfortunately for them, the Cubs and Pirates didn’t back down. But this series could put some separation between the teams. In the second game of the double header, the Cubs send out Jon Lester, 9-10, 3.50 era, against J.A. Happ,9-7 with a 3.87 era. Happ came to the Pirates at the trade deadline and has turned his season around. He’s 5-1 with a 1.79 era in 7 starts since joining the Bucs. He’s fanned 42 in those 7 games and given up only 6 free passes. Leste4r has gone 1-1 in his last 3 with an era of an even 4.00. Happ’s era for his last 3 is 1.45. Lester made one start versus the Pirates this year and went 7 innings and allowed 1 run on 9 hits, fanning 7 and walking 1. Happ has started once against the Cubs and was roughed up a bit in August to the tune of 4 runs and 8 hits in 4 1/3 innings. The Pirates opened at -107.

4:05 pm Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles

Kelly Has Hit the Jackpot for Bosox

I’ve kind of made a running joke about Boston hurler Joe Kelly. Potential. Potential. Potential. That’s all we ever heard as he continued to post an era above 5.00 for ages. But it looks like people knew what they were talking about after all. Even though Kelly is just 10-6 with a 4.70 (finally under 5.00) Kelly has won 8 straight starts for the floundering Red Sox., Kelly has had just a 2.59 era in his last 48 2/3 innings and has held opponents to 2 runs or fewer in seven consecutive starts. Tomorrow will be a good test for Kelly’s potential as he goes up against the Orioles where he is 0-1 with a 6.75 era in two games this year. Baltimore opened at -115 and has gone up from there.

Yanks Continue to Track Toronto

4:10 pm New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays

Momentum may be with the Yanks as they pulled on out of their hat on Monday to beat the Rays. The NYY scored 4 in the top of the 9th to win 4-1. Things aren’t going to get any easier tomorrow when NY sends Adam Warren to the bump. This will be Warren’s first start since June 25. It is thought he will have a pitch limit around 65. Warren 1s 6-6 with a 3.29 era. He’s made 39 appearances for the Yanks, but all but 14 came from out of the bullpen. He’s given up 2 runs and 4 hits in his last 4 2/3 innings of relief. He’ll face Jake Odorizzi who is 7-8 with a 3.21 era. Odorizzi pitches well at Tropican. This season he is 3-3 with a 2.61 era at home. In Jake’s last start he went 6 scoreless against the Tigers.

Cards Once A Lock Now Must Turn it On

5:10 pm St. Louis Cardinals at Milwaukee Brewers

For most of the season the Cards were considered a lock to make the playoffs if not win it all. But a late season swoon has them guessing. In this 10 game road trip over 11 days, the Cards started off losing 3 of 4 to Cincinnati. Now they take on the Brewers who just finished losing 3 of 4 to the 2nd place Pirates. Now the Cards only lead the Pirates by a slim 2.5 games and the Cubs by 6.5. Carlos Martinez goes for the Cards and he appears to be a tired pitcher. He’s 13-7 with a 3.12 era on the season. But Martinez has allowed 3 or more runs in each of his last 8 starts. He has only pitched past the fifth inning in 3 of those 8 starts. He has made one start against the Brewers and shut them out for 7 innings at Miller Park. Ariel Pena will make his second MLB start. He’s 1-0 with a 4.50 era. He allowed 2 runs on 3 hits and walked 4 in his debut against the Marlins. St. Louis opened at -160.

Tropeano is Sacrificial Lamb Against King Felix

7:20 pm Los Angeles Angels at Seattle Mariners

I have been an ardent Angel fan for a long time and I am disgusted by what has gone down there lately. Yesterday’s game was the final straw. Ahead 3-0 with 2 outs in the 9th inning against the division leading Astros, manager Mike Scoscia left close Huston Street in long enough to give up 5 runs and steal the game from the Angels. When one guy homered and another tripled, you’d think Scoscia would have gotten the message. But after a couple of more hits a pinch hit home run did them in and likely their chances for post season action. Of all the pitchers he could choose from, Scoscia is starting Nick Tropeano today as Matt Shoemaker sits out the most important time of the season with right forearm tightness. Tropeano is 1-2 with a 5.66 era. He tossed 6 scoreless in his first start, but in his last three he has an era of 7.98. He faces the inconsistent Felix Hernandez who is 3-0 with an 0.67 era against the Angels in 4 starts. After a tough August, Felix has won his last 3 with a 1.88 era. Hopefully Scoscia goes to the Dodgers next year. Seattle opened at -208 but have been bet down to the -180’s for no discernable reason.