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The D'Backs crushed the Padres pitching staff for 15 runs in the first two games with nine pitchers seeing action for San Diego. The Padres send out lefty Joey Lucchesi today and while he has pitched well enough to win in last five games allowing two or fewer runs in each, he doesn't last long with the high inning total of 5 1/3 over that stretch. That's not going to bode well for the bullpen.
Diamondbacks vs. Padres Prediction 7/29/18
The Brew Crew have won five of their last six games scoring five or greater runs in all five victories. They've won the first three in this set, and I'm banking on them taking another this afternoon. Milwaukee starter Junior Guerra is just 3-3 on the road with a 4.30 earned run average and did get beat up in last two road starts. However, he's pitched well in days games going 4-3 with a sizzling 2.06 ERA, so I'm willing to ride that hot bats of the visitor.
The Pirates were killing the ball for the most part in their 11-game win streak scoring six or more runs in nine of the games. The NY Mets starter Steve Matz pitched well in his start against Pittsburgh back on June 26th and has thrown well on the road with a 3.00 earned run average. That said I'm going to lay down on the Pirates with Nick Kingham on the mound. Kingham has been really sharp in his last three starts, and while he does give up the long ball a little to frequently, the Mets aren't a team that is likely to take advantage of that flaw. Pittsburgh won nine of the 11 in their streak by two or more runs, so I feel comfortable betting the run line in this spot.
The offense has been a problem for both clubs recently with the Giants scoring three or fewer in 11 of their last 16 contests and the Mariners surpassing three runs in just 4 of their last 12. Neither pitcher could be considered in good form, but Andrew Suarez before his latest held opponents to two or fewer runs in six straight starts. James Paxton is coming off the DL so I'm not certain how will perform tonight although for the most this season he has been on his game with a 60% QS rate over 20 starts. Only two batters in the Giants lineup have experience against him with Andrew McCutchen going 1 for 3 and Pablo Sandoval 0 for 3 which should give a significant edge to a strikeout pitcher. The total line is low, but I think it still offers value in what could be a 4-2 type game.
The Tigers starter Francisco Liriano has been hot and cold this season, but he has pitched well against the Royals allowing 5 earned runs over 20 innings pitched in three starts this season. Rookie pitcher Heath Filllmyer makes his second start for Kansas City. He struggled in his first career start, but that did come against the Red Sox hitters who are on a much higher plane than the Tigers who have scored two or fewer runs in seven of their last ten.
The Giants Johnny Cueto looked better in his second back after a lengthy stint on the DL, but it certainly wasn’t impressive. Cueto lasted just five innings allowing three runs on six hits but was taken out of the park twice for the second straight game. Oakland has hit an MLB ninth-ranked 127 HRs this season, and with the wind blowing out, he may have his work cut out for him. Lefty Sean Manaea gets the ball for the A's, and he was sharp in his latest against San Francisco one week ago today allowing two runs over six frames of work for his sixth quality start in his last seven outings. Manaea has mixed metrics at home with a 3-4 record and an OK ERA of 3.49 but does possess an outstanding 0.84 WHIP and a 66.7% QS number. I’ll take the team that is at home with the better “current form” pitcher on the mound and the club that is a sizzling 16-5 in their 21.
Toronto exploded for 13 runs in the last meeting between these clubs taking all four games last time they met in Toronto. That said, the game was the first OVER in the previous six games with these teams recording a 2-5 O/U number in 2018. Neither pitcher is on his game right now, but Baltimore's Bundy has excellent historical metrics against the Toronto's hitters holding the starters to a .170 batting average in 47 at bats. The Jays Sam Gaviglio will be making his first lifetime start against the Orioles and while he comes in struggling he has been excellent at home with a 1.97 ERA and 33 strikeouts over 32 innings pitched. I'll follow the trends and play the total in this spot.
The forecast calls for the wind to be blowing out at Wrigley Field tonight and Cubs starter Kyle Hendricks has had his issues with the long ball at home this season. St. Louis starter Carlos Martinez has pitched well in his last two on the road, but he did struggle in back to back road starts in June at Cincinnati and Milwaukee. The Cubs were very efficient scoring in their three-game set in San Diego scoring 7/10 11/13 5/9 23 runs on 32 hits. Martinez has decent back numbers against Chicago with the projected starters hitting .261 in 238 at bats versus him, but his last three against the Cubs haven’t been great allowing 12 runs in 14 2/3 innings pitched.
Rookie starter Eric Lauer has been ultra-sharp in his recent starts allowing one or fewer runs in four of his last five starts. He has the advantage of this being the first time that anyone on the Cub has seen his stuff, but the Cubs haven't had any problems with lefties this season going an impressive 16-6. On the mound for Chicago is lefty Jon Lester who doesn't have a long history against the San Diego batters, but he has held them to 15 hits in 65 at bats, and left-handers have owned them this season winning 20 of the 30 games. Lauer may have a good outing, but the Padres haven't taken advantage of his performances winning just five of his 15 starts, and with the bankroll padding Lester on the mound I'll take my chances laying the big number.
Philadelphia's rookie starter Enyel De Los Santos looked decent in his opener allowing just one run in his first six innings before getting tagged with a pair in the sixth in an easy 7-3 win by the Phillies. That game was against the offensively challenged Mets, but he gets another poor offensive club this afternoon. Miami starter has some bad luck at home this season not getting any run support, but he does struggle in day games with an overall record of 0-5 with a bloated 5.68 ERA.
I’ll wager on the visitor getting back on track today.
Texas starter Martin Perez returns to line up after missing two-plus months from an elbow injury on his non-throwing arm, so I'm not sure what we'll see tonight. What I am sure about is Perez’ dreadful performances this season going 2-3 on the season with a 2.37 WHIP and 9.67 ERA. He hasn't faced Baltimore this season but last season in one start at home and one on the road he was lit up for 13 runs in 10 1/3 innings. Tonight's expected Orioles' starting lineup has a career .323 batting average against Perez in 127 at bats so Perez may have a short night. Baltimore rookie starter Yefry Ramirez has yet to record his first win, but he has pitched well enough to give his team a shot at victory and keep in mind that his three starts this season came against three quality opponents in the Yankees, Phillies and Red Sox. I’ll take the home squad with the better starter at a small price.
Boston has owned Toronto this season winning seven of their nine meeting including all three at Fenway Park. I can't play them at -175, and I'm going to rule out fading them in this spot at the current line of +165 as the value doesn't justify it. The total number though looks like it holds some value giving us the edge on the linesmaker. Ex-Jay David Price gets the ball for the home side, and he's been great historically against Toronto, and of the starters, Randal Grichuk (2 for 4) and Devon Travis (5 for 14) are the only batters that have had success against Price. The Jays send out J.A. and Happ has had his struggles as of late allowing 13 over 8 1/3 in his last two, but both those came at home at the Rogers Center where he has struggled at times this season. On the road, it's been a different a story with Happ going 4-1 with a decent WHIP of 1.11 and ERA of 2.83. He’s owned the Red Sox batters allowing the projected lineup to hit a combined measly .193 in 181 at bats making a return to form a strong possibility tonight. I’m looking at 4-2 type game tonight.
Even with Jacob deGrom on the mound who for the most part has pitched exceptionally well, the Mets are not a good bet going 7-11 in his 18 starts. So backing the host laying money is unlikely to have a positive effect on your bankroll. The total is a different story. deGrom has shown some cracks in recent games allowing an HR in three consecutive starts lasting just six innings in two of his last three allowing a trio of runs in both games. The Phillies counter with Vince Velasquez who is making his first start after going on the DL. Before the injury, he was pitching well on the road, but none of those games were against the Mets who have a quartet of betters who have faced him with overall success. Michael Conforto, Wilmer Flores, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes have combined for 11 hits in 31 at bats with Conforto and Cabrera owning him going 9 for 18. The UNDER has indeed been trending in this matchup this season with a 1-6 mark versus the O/U line, but I think the opportunity to surpass tonight's low total has some value.
We don't have a lot to go on here as far as historical Pitcher vs. Hitter data as neither of today's starters has faced any of the projected starting line-up's hitters. What we do know is that the Cards Miles Mikolas is having the best season of his four-year MLB career with an excellent 70.6 quality start percentage overall and that improves to 80% in his night starts. We also know that Dylan Covey started the season out well enough. He didn’t rack up the innings, but he did hold the opposition to two or fewer runs in five of his first seven starts, but he’s been atrocious since then getting lit up for 19 runs (18 earned) over 10 innings. St. Louis is only 4-3 on their current road trip, but the competition was more difficult and should be able to get by the lowly Sox tonight.
There isn't much historically for either pitcher in the Pitcher vs. Batter metric. LAD starter Alex Wood has faced two Angels starters allowing one hit and one walk in three plate appearances. LAA starter Andrew Heaney has held the Dodgers line-up to a career .182 batting average in 11 at-bats. Current form does favor Wood though with three consecutive quality starts allowing a combined five runs in 21 innings pitched, but the home/away metric favors Heaney. The left-hander has been exceptional at home this season with a 2.18 ERA 0.97 WHIP and Wood holds an unflattering 4.04 ERA. What Wood does have in his favor is that the Angels have been burning their backers’ money against lefties this season with a record of 6-16 scoring over a full run less compared to their scoring against right-handed pitching. This sets up a dual play for me.
The Yanks starter Sonny Gray has been horrible for the most part this season with a bloated overall earned run average of 5.44. He does, however, have a respectable road ERA of 3.28 and has pitched well at Rogers Centre this season allowing one earned run over 12 innings in two starts. Historically he has owned tonight’s projected Jays’ lineup with the hitters combining for a 1.93 batting average in 135 at bats. Toronto sends out Sam Gaviglio who has been real sharp at home this season with a 1.95 era and included in that metric is seven shutout innings against the Yankees back on June 6th. The New York forecasted line-up has one hit in 18 at bats for a 0.56 BA. The Yankees can give the scorekeeper a workout, but in Toronto this season both teams haven’t been quite offensively with four of the five games falling below the total.
The Marlins Pablos Lopez looked good in his debut but got dinged for two home runs, and he'll have to be extra careful tonight with the wind forecasted to be blowing out at Nationals Park. He does catch an opponent that has lost eight of their last nine, and the losses can be attributed to an offense that has been atrocious scoring greater than three runs in all but one of the eight losses and not by much scoring four against Boston two back. Washington starter Jeremy Hellickson was decent enough in his return after missing nearly a month on the DL, and he does have good back numbers versus Miami. That said, even if he has a good outing, he hasn’t been getting deep into games completing six or more just once this season and the Nats BP hasn't been ultra-sharp in recent action. The Marlins haven't beaten the nationals in like "forever," but I think the rook who has been superb is worth a shot at plus money tonight against the struggling Washington batters.
After a rough patch, Houston starter Gerrit Cole has been sharp allowing two earned runs in 11 innings over his last two starts. On the road is where Cole has pitched his best with a scintillating 0.95 WHIP, 2.14 ERA and a 77.8 quality start percentage. He's owned the Rangers this season allowing four earned runs over 20 innings pitched and historically he has held the projected starters to a 1. Batting average! Lefty Mike Minor gets the ball for Texas, and while he hasn't been dominant against the Houston line-up, he did toss a good one last time right here at Globe Life Park getting the QS pitching six innings allowing three earned runs. In 75 at bats, tonight's expected line-up for the Astros has hit an unimpressive .227. Seven of the last nine in this series have gone under the number, and that's what I'm betting will happen again this time around.
They say not to jump in front of a speeding car or get in front of a streaking team, but in this situation, I think it's the correct way to play this game. The Rays have won eight of nine, but all nine of those games were played at Tropicana Field, and the road has not been favorable in their last 12 games getting the money in just two matches. Tampa Bay starter Nathan Eovaldi pitched one of his better games in his previous start but had been struggling before getting tagged with 16 runs over his last four over just 23 1/3 innings. He doesn't have a large historical sample size against today's projected line-up, but in the 17 at bats, six Marlins have combined for a .412 average with all six hitters record at least one hit. Miami's starter Wei-Yin Chen hasn't impressed against the Tamp Bay line-up, but he held his own holding six batters to a combined .275 careers average. I’ll take the money here and back the home squad.
The Giants come into this game ultra-sharp winners of six of their last seven including the first two in this three-game set. The two starters for this afternoons finale have both been sharp in recent starts, and while Zack Godley does possess the better home numbers versus Derek Holland's road numbers, Holland has hands down the better metrics against today's opponent.
The Giants left-hander has held Arizona’s projected line-up to a .200 batting average over 60 at bats which is far superior to Godley’s .371 BA by San Francisco’s expected line-up. I’ll take the hot team with the edge historically on the mound getting plus money.