The match between the Detroit Tigers at the St Louis Cardinals on Friday night brings together two teams prominent in the Futures betting to win the World Series. These two sides could emerge over the season as potential winners of the American League and National League respectively. There are also key matches this evening in which the Colorado Rockies visit the LA Dodgers and the Washington Nationals travel to the San Diego Padres.

Betting Guide to the World Series

Greene and Martinez Pitching

Detroit are favourites to win the American League Central while St Louis are odds-on to win that National League Central. In fact the home team in this match-up are the third shortest priced of any team to win their division in either league. The Washington Nationals and LA Dodgers are both shorter in the betting than the Cardinals to win their divisions in the National League. It is too early in the season to be certain but the respective betting markets suggest the winner of the World Series will be a National League team.

Shane Greene will be pitching for Detroit while Carlos Martinez will be the Cardinals first man with the ball and ready to pitch in the first inning. Coaches tend to bench pitchers sooner in the National League than the American League and there’s a chance Martinez could be off the field by the fourth innings while Greene could go further down the game. Both starting pitchers and their replacements will be striving to produce a perfect game, the Holy Grail of pitching.

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The Perfect Game

A perfect game is one in which a pitcher or combination of pitchers plays nine innings without any batter reaching base. This means there are no hits, walks or hit batsmen or any chance for an opposing player to reach first base. The feat is also known as “27 up, 27 down” due to the fact that three batsmen have been dismissed in nine innings without giving up a hit or run. There have been 23 perfect games in MLB history, most recently by Felix Hernandez of the Seattle Mariners in 2012.

There have been twelve instances in MLB history of a perfect game being thwarted by the 27th batter. The effort in each case was spoilt by the third and final out in the ninth innings reaching base. In most cases the pitcher finished the game without allowing any more base runners. There have also been fifteen occasions when a MLB pitcher recorded 27 or more outs but not from the start to the end of regular play but also including extra innings when the match was tied after nine innings.

Earned Runs Average Stats

Pitcher stats are vital in identifying good matches to bet on in MLB. The Earned Runs Average provides the average number of runs a pitcher concedes through poor pitching during a game. It is an average for the current season. If you are assessing a game and team A’s pitcher has an ERA of 2.5 and team B’s an ERA of 5.6 you will see straight away that team A should have a significant advantage. To take the analysis further it is possible to compare the Total Runs Average to discover the total average number of runs a team concedes when a particular pitcher is playing for them.

A pitcher’s TRA can be calculated by taking the total number of runs scored against the pitcher, multiplying this by nine, the number of innings in a game, and divide this by the number of innings he has played throughout the season. There are so many games played in a baseball season that the best approach is to use a long-term strategy for the summer using TRA statistics. Typical odds are 10/11 so a 70% strike rate is required for a decent return and anything below 56% will result in overall losses.

Friday Night’s Matches

The St Louis Cardinals are the favourites in the match with the Detroit Tigers as home advantage is seen as key to determining the outcome. They have the second best home record in MLB this season and only the Dodgers have won more matches at their own stadium. Overall the Cardinals have won 24 of 34 matches and no other side has won as many. Detroit have lost 6 of 16 road matches and have a better win percentage on their travels than at home so something must give in this match.

Greene for Detroit has an Earned Run Average of 4.71 though he has only played five matches this season. In 42 innings he has given up 39 hits and 23 runs which equates to an average of .255. Martinez has an ERA of 4.89 from four matches. He has pitched for 35 innings, been hit 33 times and conceded 19 runs for an average of .250. The stats are similar for both players and the outcome will be determined by which pitcher finds his best game.

The Dodgers and Nationals can both maintain their decent run of form by winning their matches on Friday. Los Angeles are the shortest priced favourites on the night’s schedule of fixtures and they should beat the Rockies at home. Clayton Kershaw has an ERA of 4.26 and an average of .263 achieved in 44.1 innings. Eddie Butler will be pitching for Colorado and his ERA is 3.73 which suggests the contest will be more even than the odds imply.

The Washington Nationals are on the road and are seen as marginal favourites for their trip to San Diego and a match against the Padres. Jordan Zimmermann is first pitcher for the visitors on the back of a season ERA of 4.20 and an average of .286 having given up 24 runs in 40.2 innings. Odrisamer Despaigne is his opposite number for San Diego and he comes into the match with an ERA of 5.13 and average of .220. The stats suggest Washington can win this road game.

European odds can be found at British bookmakers William Hill

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