A Saturday doubleheader will be on Fox Sports 1 as the playoff races in both leagues heat up with just one-quarter of the season left to be played. The first game, at 4:10 p.m. ET, features a couple of familiar AL East foes as the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays continue their series at Tropicana Field. The nightcap, at 7:15 p.m. ET, features the surging San Diego Padres against the host St. Louis Cardinals.
Matchup: New York Yankees at Tampa Bay Rays
Date/Time: August 16, 4:10 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
Probable Starters: NYY: Shane Greene (3-1, 2.89) v. TB: Drew Smyly (7-10, 3.73)
Moneyline: Tampa Bay -131
Total: 7 -122/112
Saturday’s pitching matchup at the Trop in Tampa Bay features a couple of pitchers that started the season with different teams than the ones they currently play for. Shane Greene was in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre of the International League and Drew Smyly was in Detroit with the Tigers. Injuries pushed Greene up the depth chart, while the David Price trade sent Smyly to Tampa. One of the two will help his team to victory in the middle game of a key three-game weekend set for both teams. The Rays won 5-0 on Friday night in front of a rare sellout crowd at Tropicana Field. The win pushed the Rays to .500 on the season and the Yankees fell to 61-59, now 4.5 games out of the AL Wild Card.
Greene has been a pleasant surprise for the Yankees this season. After posting a 4.61 ERA in Triple-A, the better defense at the Major League level has been helpful to Greene and his results show it with a 2.89 ERA over six starts and one relief appearance. The 25-year-old grew up in Clermont, FL, about an hour and a half from Tampa and he played his college ball at Daytona Beach Community College. He has allowed just three home runs in his 37 innings so far and has a 2.8/1 K/BB ratio.
Smyly is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA in his three starts with the Rays. He worked as a starter in his 2012 rookie season and moved to the beleaguered Detroit bullpen in 2013. Back as a full-time starter in 2014, Smyly has been pretty solid overall. With the Rays, Smyly has limited hard-hit balls, but he has thrown four wild pitches in just 13 innings. Unfortunately, one of Smyly’s problems is a huge platoon split. He owns lefties with a .178/.201/.267 slash line against, but righties are doing a lot of damage with a .302/.364/.508 slash line.
Greene will be facing the Rays for the first time in his Major League career. He’s coming off his best start as a Major Leaguer when he fired eight shutout innings against the Tigers. The Yankees are 4-2 in Greene’s six starts for a profit of 1.96 units.
Smyly will be facing the Yankees for the fifth time, but only the second time as a starter. That start came back in his rookie season in 2012 and he has yet to face the Yankees this season. He retired 16 of the 18 Yankee batters he faced in relief last season. The Rays are 1-1 in Smyly’s two starts for no loss or gain.
Free MLB Pick: Tampa Bay Rays
The Shane Greene Express is probably due for a little bit of regression in the near future and Drew Smyly can be tough on hitters that don’t have a lot of experience against him. The Rays are playing very well of late while the Yankees are gradually fading out of the playoff picture. With another big crowd expected, expect Joe Maddon’s bunch to deliver.
Matchup: San Diego Padres at St. Louis Cardinals
Date/Time: August 16, 7:15 p.m. ET
TV: Fox Sports 1
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: SD: Jesse Hahn (7-3, 2.52) v. STL: Shelby Miller (8-9, 4.17)
Moneyline: St. Louis -133
Total: 7 -120/110
A day after Tyson Ross and Lance Lynn squared off in one of Friday’s premier pitching matchups, a couple of promising youngsters face off on Saturday at Busch Stadium as Jesse Hahn takes on Shelby Miller. A very controversial decision altered Thursday night’s game as the Padres had a chance to tie the game in the top of the 9th, but Bob Davidson’s half-hearted call was upheld on replay. Friday’s game was different as the Cardinals won 4-2. The Padres are now 9-4 since the start of August, while the Cardinals, despite being outscored in August, are now 8-6.
Hahn has been a big reason why the Padres have had better results of late. Since coming up from Double-A San Antonio, Hahn is 7-3 with a 2.52 ERA in 11 starts. He only made 46 minor league starts at Double-A or lower after coming out of Virginia Tech. Unlike most Padres pitchers, Hahn has actually been better on the road, with a 2.11 ERA in 29.2 innings compared to a 2.86 ERA in 34.2 innings at home. Since failing to complete the fourth inning in his MLB debut, Hahn is 7-2 with a 2.08 ERA.
Miller has seen a major drop in strikeouts and a sizable spike in walks this season. His chase rate has fallen four percent this season to explain the difference. That’s a sign that Miller’s stuff hasn’t been as sharp as it was last season. Over his last seven starts, with one relief appearance mixed in, Miller has a 5.18 ERA and a .796 OPS against. It’s been a double-edged sword for Miller, who has gotten just 3.53 runs of support per start, but he also hasn’t pitched as well as he did last season.
Hahn will be facing the Cardinals for the second time. He threw seven strong innings in a 12-1 win on July 30 with just one run allowed on four hits. The Padres are 8-3 in Hahn’s 11 starts for a profit of 6.83 units, which puts him among the top 20 most profitable pitchers this season.
Miller will be facing the Padres for the third time as a starter and fourth time overall. In 14.2 innings against the Padres, Miller has a 4.30 ERA. In his start against them this season, he allowed two runs on three hits over six innings in which he didn’t walk a batter and struck out five. The Cardinals are 10-13 in Miller’s 23 starts for a loss of 4.90 units.
Free MLB Pick: San Diego Padres
The oddsmakers have yet to catch up with how much of a struggle it has been for Shelby Miller this season. Jesse Hahn has been throwing the ball well and the Padres have one of the league’s top offenses since the All-Star Break. Paying a premium on the Cardinals at home with Miller on the bump doesn’t seem like a profitable endeavor.
Adam Burke is a freelance writer and amateur handicapper with a knack for finding value through matchup analysis and a deep understanding of the sports betting market. His main area of expertise is baseball, with a background in sabermetrics and advanced statistics. He is the host of The Gridiron Gambling Report and our college football and college basketball BangTheBook.com podcasts on the BlogTalkRadio Network.