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Sure Cleveland starter Josh Tomlin pitched well earlier this season at home against Detroit’s pitching five scoreless innings, but the majority of his starts in 2018 have been disastrous. He brings only moderate numbers against the projected lineup with the Tigers’ batters hitting .260 over 96 at bats. Francisco Liriano gets the ball for Detroit and his been ultra-consistent over seven starts allowing three or fewer runs per outing but not always reaching the minimum of six innings to get the quality start. He was sharp in his outing back in early April against the Indians getting the QS throwing six innings allowing just two runs. Tomlin has better historical numbers especially in the W/L versus opponent metric, but the value tonight is with the Detroit.
I expect Hill to be better today than his last start that he was making after a stint on the DL. However, how much better is the key. Cincinnati has hit left-handed pitching well this season and has been getting it done on the scoreboard scoring four or more runs in six of their last seven. They send out Luis Castillo who has looked better in his previous two, but they were at home, and this is on the road where he's 1-1 with a 7.20 ERA. The Dodgers haven't been lighting up the scoreboard, but they did get three yesterday on 12 hits and may break out here.
Arizona has had a difficult time scoring runs over their last ten games, and sure they have faced a pretty solid group of starters over that stretch. That said they managed to surpass four runs just once over that span of games and that came on the road against the Dodgers lefty Rich Hill who was making his first start since going on the DL. At home, they've scored two or fewer runs in six of their last seven and face Jeremy Hellickson who has not allowed a run the previous two times he has been handed the ball pitching a total of 12 1/3 innings striking out 12 and walking none. Zach Godley has been brilliant at home this season with a 1.96 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, but historically he hasn't fared well against the Nationals lineup allowing them to hit .362 as a group over 58 at bats.
Brewers starter Chase Anderson has poor career numbers in Colorado, but that is skewed by two poor outings, one in late 2014 and one in the middle of the 2015 season. He's pitched OK at Coors Field in his last two starts allowing four earned runs over ten innings. He has impressive historical numbers against the Rockies projected lineup holding them to a .216 batting average over 125 at bats. Kyle Freeland has made just two starts at home this season, and both were excellent recording a quality start in both and comes into this game sharp with three consecutive QSs. He doesn't have a lot of experience against the Brew Crew with the starters having 15 at-bats and his pitcher vs. batter statistics aren't impressive .267 ERA with five walks, but he's pitching at his highest level in his career right now and can turn those numbers around today.
Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz will look to rebound from his latest when the Giants rocked him. He was brilliant last season against Miami recording four quality starts in four outings. The Marlins Justin Bour has walloped him, but he comes in ice-cold hitting .143 over his previous seven games. Miami sends out Caleb Smith who has rounded into top form as the season has progressed in his first year in the starter role. He's been ultra-nasty in his last three allowing two runs over 18 2/3 frames and striking out 26. With the wind expected to be blowing in at game time and the starters current and historical metrics the total feels like the right play.
Historical pitcher versus batter numbers for both starters against tonight’s expected line-ups is atrocious. LeBlanc has been torn up by Josh Donaldson who has a .444 batting average and has taken him out of the park twice in just nine at-bats. Russell Martin has also lit up LeBlanc for a .444 average going an identical four for nine. That said, both players are in a tailspin right now with Martin hitting .067 in his last four games and Donaldson .160! That's certainly not the case for a couple of the five Seattle batters who have had success against Toronto starter Jaime Garcia. Ryon Healy and Dee Gordon are real sharp right now with Healy hitting .333 and Gordon crushing it with a .517 average over the last seven games. It doesn’t hurt that the visitor is 12-6 this season on the road. The Jays seem ripe for an upset.
When we have two teams that have a combined 19-49 won/loss record on the season picking a winner is not the easiest task. However, the Royals have been playing better ball with six wins over their last ten games, and they can thank the offense for that scoring four or more runs in eight of their previous nine. They face Dylan Bundy who has owned them, but it's a small sample of 28, and he's beat rocked in his last two. The Orioles struggled at the plate on their roads trip scoring eight runs over their previous four and face Danny Duffy. The Kansas City starter who like Bundy has had success against his opponent, but Duffy has done it long term. His form is off, and the Royals have lost all seven of his starts this season, but the value is their getting plus money against a team on a lengthy losing streak.
It's typically not a smart move to go against a streak in MLB, and that's precisely what I'm going to do on two fronts. Chicago has dropped four straight, but they were in three of the four, and they did outhit the Cards in their last two. The metrics on today's starters appear to be comparable for the seasonal numbers, but historically it is a different story. Cubs lefty Lester has owned the Cards and has impressive pitcher versus batter back numbers holding the St. Louis projected starters to a .231 batting average and a .309 on-base percentage. Those statistics tower over Wacha’s .315 and BA and embarrassing .624 SLG career numbers versus the Chicago batters.
At first glance, I was looking towards playing the UNDER for this game. Both starters have pitched well this season allowing a combined three or fewer runs in 12 of their 13 starts. We get an umpire behind home plate that has favored the UNDER this season with three of his four games behind home plate resulting in an UNDER. After going more in-depth, I have a different opinion. The Giants starters have destroyed Brandon McCarthy hitting as a group .314 versus the right-hander in 121 at-bats. The sample size on Ty Blach is a very small facing three hitters totaling nine at-bats picking up four hits for a .444 batting average. The two offenses have been lighting up opponents with San Francisco scoring four or more runs in seven of their last eight and Atlanta in10 of their previous 12. The number is a little high, but I'm bitting.
Both starters have been impressive this season wherever they’ve pitched, and I just don’t see a lot of runs being scored tonight. The Pirates starter Nick Kingham will be making his first MLB road start and could find the going a bit more difficult tonight, but even if they get to him, the Brewers starter Junior Guerra hasn’t allowed a run at home this season and is capable of extending that streak tonight.
The Toronto offense has been hitting the ball well racking up seven or more runs in four of their last six games, and they've scored four or more in eight of their previous nine. Tampa Bay's offense fell off in the tail end of a long road trip scoring three or fewer runs in their last four games. They have been hitting lefties well, but Jays starter Happ may be pitching the best in his career. I think that the Jays could extend the margin in this spot against what should be a string of relievers.
The Dodgers got the win last night on the backs of the bullpen who pitched 7 2/3 innings. The offense continued to struggle, scoring three or fewer runs for the fourth time in the last five games. LA doesn't hit left-handed pitching well averaging just 3.61 runs per game (based on nine innings), and today they’re up against one of the top pitchers in the Majors lefty Patrick Corbin. It's a considerable number for me to lay, but I think that it's justifiable based on Corbin's form and the lack of production by the Dodgers.
Sure Marlins starter Jose Urena is 0-4, and the team has lost all six of his starts this season, but he's pitched OK at home with two quality starts this season out of four. He'll face a team that had scored one run in three of their last four games with the only exception being against Dan Straily who was making his seasonal debut when they scored four. Philadelphia starter Aaron Nolan was thrashed in three of his four starts last season against Miami allowing 18 earned runs over 21 1/3 innings. He does have an impressive pitcher vs. batter numbers holding tonight's projected starters to a .222 batting average, but a few hitters skew that; Brain Anderson, Miguel Rojas and Martin Prada have hit him well. The value tonight is on the home team.
Oakland’s starter Andrew Triggs historical numbers against the Seattle are not impressive with the expected line up holding a lifetime .395 batting average against him over 43 at bats. He does have on record two starts in Seattle with one earlier this season and one last year; both were decent allowing a combined three runs over 11 innings pitched. Seattle starter Felix Hernandez has always stepped up his game at home and this season is no exception with two earned runs allowed over 11 1/3 innings. He has excellent numbers against the A's with three consecutive quality starts dating back to last season. Both teams haven't had any difficulty scoring runs this season and Seattle comes into this game on fire after scoring 32 runs in their previous four games. That said, the Mariners offense has been dreadful at times at Safeco Field and is in the midst of scoring drought tallying seven runs in their last five home games.
This is a game that I could make an argument for either team to get the money, but I do believe that the Giants hold a small edge. San Francisco starter Ty Blach has started against the Dodgers six times in his career including four at home where he has recorded three quality starts not allowing more than two runs in any of the four. The Dodgers weakness is against left-handed pitching scoring 1.91 fewer runs per nine innings when compared to their numbers against righties. LAD starter Kenta Maeda pitched well at home earlier this season against the Giants throwing five scoreless innings, but he was rocked in his only career starts in San Francisco. I'll take the value here.
The Yanks starter Masahiro Tanaka has been either excellent or dreadful this season in his four games, He does have an excellent back record against both Los Angeles and the projected line-up, so I'm going to call for one of those of those good ones tonight. Angels starter Garrett Richards has atrocious numbers against the Yankees in his career, but his pitcher vs. batter history against the current line-up is OK but limited facing only Gregorius (1 of 1), Gardiner (2 of 7) and Hicks (0 for 4). Richards could continue his dominant pitching in this match, but the Yankees haven't been held to fewer than four runs in nine straight games, and I feel confident rising that streak in this one.
We had the same starting pitching match-up earlier this season when Detroit registered a 4-2 home win over Baltimore. I think it goes the other way this time around. Cashner has pitched well enough to win in four of his starts this season but carries a 1-3 mark into this game. The offense has been the problem with the team scoring a meager six runs in his last three outings. The team has picked up the scoring in the previous few games averaging five runs per game, and with the ice-cold bats of the Tigers in town, I like Cashner’s chances of being at least part of the equation in a win tonight. I also think that we could see a 4-2 type scoring again making the total a play I'll be on.
The Rangers starter Mike Minor has solid back numbers against Toronto, but note that two of his three starts came in 2013 and 2011. His pitcher versus batter stats are decent, but Pillar, Pearce, Solarte, and Granderson have all had success against him. The Texas lefty has one start on the road this season, and he wasn't sharp getting tagged for five runs over five innings. The Jays send out Marcus Stroman for his fifth outing of the campaign, and he'll be looking for his first quality start of the season after four subpar performances. Stroman has had control issues this season, and Texas took advantage of it their earlier meeting roughing him up for five runs on six hits and five walks over 4 2/3 innings. Texas has a lengthy injury list which has hampered their scoring somewhat, so I'm going to pass on a Rangers plus the money bet, but I'm willing to take a shot at the total.
Lucas Giolito has pitched OK on the road with a 4.38 earned run average over two starts both of which he recorded a QS. He’ll face a Royals team that has scored the least runs in the Majors this season. Kansas City starter has three quality starts from four outings and also faces a struggling offense with Chicago ranked 26th in overall runs scored. This game has UNDER written all over it.
Both starters have been pitching well this season and have good back numbers against the opposing team. The Indians Trevor Bauer does have superior historical pitcher versus batter stats in a limited sample size and the Cubs Jon Lester doesn’t have the best numbers in this metric, but some of the data is based on seasons long past. The Cubs bats have been on fire, but they haven’t been facing top wrung starters and can be contained tonight.