We’ve got just two teams that are left fighting it out on the MLB betting lines this year, and we know that the most important aspect of the game come this time of year is in the starting pitchers. Check out some of the horses that are going to be on the mound and which ones we are watching to bet on and to fade in the World Series.
FADE: Michael Wacha, St. Louis Cardinals – You’re going to get the theme here right away. There’s a point that there should be some regression to the mean for a lot of pitchers. Whether that point comes here in the World Series or at some point in 2014, we don’t know, but we are going to be taking our chances fading Wacha for the most part. Yes, you might think that we are out of our minds, but there is no doubt to us that he is going to be a favorite on the road at Fenway Park. If that’s the case, there’s no way that we are going to have all that much confidence in Wacha, and even if he does lead his team to a win, we can’t imagine that he is going to be anywhere near as dominating as he has been in his first three starts.
FADE: John Lackey, Boston Red Sox – Herein could lie the problem if Lackey ends up pitching Game 2 at home. We really don’t like his prospects either. Lackey has sort of been all over the place, though he did pitch the game of his life against the Detroit Tigers in the ALCS when his team needed it most in Game 3 with RHP Justin Verlander staring at him on the other side of the mound. Lackey is a big game pitcher, and he could have some success here as a result, but generally speaking, we don’t like the fact that he has allowed four runs in three of his last five starts dating back to the regular season.
FADE: Clay Buchholz, Boston Red Sox – We said coming out of that series against the Tampa Bay Rays that Buchholz was a pitcher to fade. He ended up burning us twice, but it was nothing that Buchholz did that earned those wins. Big hits came from all over the lineup to bail this righty out, and we know that that isn’t going to continue when push comes to shove. The righty hasn’t survived more than six innings in a game here in the postseason, and he hasn’t left a game with the lead. That’s a recipe for disaster against the Cardinals, who shouldn’t collapse the same way that Detroit did down the stretch of games.
BACK: Adam Wainwright, St. Louis Cardinals – There’s just nothing that Wainwright is doing wrong right now. He gave up two runs against the Dodgers in Game 3 of the NLCS, but in that game, he pitched well enough to get a win, and he definitely wasn’t bad enough to deserve a loss. Quality starts are a given when Wainwright is out there for the Redbirds, and he knows what it’s like to come up big in the Fall Classic. There’s definitely one arm that we are not fading under just about any circumstance on either side of this series, and this is the one. Wainwright will have had nine days in a row off before making this start in Game 1 of this series, and that should really bode well for him.
BACK: Jake Peavy, Boston Red Sox – Peavy is the only pitcher that we know we are looking forward to backing here in this series for the Red Sox. This righty had the worst start of any pitcher on either side at any point during the postseason, as he allowed seven runs in three innings when he was beaten up in the ALCS. That doesn’t mean that it’s all over for him. Peavy still has good stuff, and he is going to be counted upon in this series to score an upset of a win on the road. The kicker here? The price that we are going to get on Peavy when it is his turn should be tremendous. If Lackey can outduel Verlander for a win, so too can Peavy against whatever the Cards through his way.
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.