Aug 07 ’17, 7:05 PM
MLB | Tigers vs Pirates
Play on: Pirates -154 at BetOnline
Play – Pittsburgh Pirates vs Zimmerman (Game 960).
Edges – Tigers: Zimmerman 3-9 with 5.95 ERA and 1.66 WHIP away this season; and 2-11 team starts at night this season… With the Pirates 3-1 the last four home in Game One of a series, we recommend a 1* play on Pittsburgh. Thank you and good luck as always.
Aug 07 ’17, 8:10 PM
MLB | Brewers vs Twins
Play on: Twins -109 at BMaker
Dave’s Monday Free Play:
1* on Minnesota Twins -109
The Key: Ervin Santana continues to lack the respect he deserves from the books. He is 12-7 with a 3.28 ERA and 1.11 WHIP in 22 starts and has shown no sign of slowing down. He just tossed a complete game in his last start and now he’s ready to take down the slumping Brewers, who have scored a total of just 20 runs in their last 9 games overall for an average of 2.2 RPG. Brent Suter has put up good numbers in limited action this season, but that has him overvalued. The Brewers are 1-5 in Suter’s last 6 road starts and 1-6 in his last 7 road starts vs. a team with a losing record. The Brewers are 34-78 in their last 112 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15. The Twins are 21-9 in their last 30 interleague home games vs. a left-handed starter. Take Minnesota.
Minnesota does nothing well except play great outfield defense. They’re simply playing over their heads. No team is outplaying their third-order winning percentage by more. It’s possible to squint and see them sustaining that but not likely. When the Twinkies are favored, they are fade material and we’ll gladly step in against them here.
Ervin Santana boasts a 3.28 ERA and 1.11 WHIP through 22 starts in 2017. However, after 13 starts, he had a 2.20 ERA and a 0.89 ERA so things have been heading south and they are not about to stop. You see, Santana’s actually posting some of the worst skills of his career. Pay attention to the near two-run gap between xERA (5.06) and ERA. Santana’s benefited from an unsustainable low hit rate of 23% and high strand rate of 80%. Santana’s posting fewer Ks than ever before and it corresponds with a drop in his swing and miss rate. He’s been unable to sustain 2016’s control improvement and his underlying first-pitch strike rate and Ball% remain mediocre. Santana’s current pace simply isn’t sustainable. With fewer strikeouts, more walks, and an insane amount of luck, it’s time to cash out and sell Santana, as things will get much worse from here.
Minnesota ranks 26th out of 30 teams in OPS against lefties and will face one here in Brent Suter. Suter looked like an upper-tier starter in July, at least on the surface (1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP). His underlying skills were intriguing too: 7.5 K’s/9, 1.5 BB’s/9 and 47% grounders. With soft-tossing stuff and elite first-pitch strike ability (71%), Suter is looking like a lefty version of Josh Tomlin. That’s good enough for us to get behind in this spot as Milwaukee is simply superior in every offensive category and every pitching category too.
CINCINNATI -1½ +177 over San Diego
If you watched or bet the Reds over the weekend against the Cardinals, it’s real difficult to come back on them here. At the same time, if you have watched the Padres lately, they’ve been extremely tough with nine wins in their past 16 games, which included giving the Pirates much more than they bargained for over the entire weekend series. The Padres lost two of three in Pittsburgh but they scored 15 runs against a tough staff in a tough park and they led in all three games at some point. Recency bias is in play here, as San Diego has more public appeal right now, which is our prompt to step in.
Jhoulys Chacin does not match up well against the Reds’ above-average offense (.327 OBA-seventh) vs. RHP. Even though his groundball profile (52%) could help at Great American Ball Park, opposing offenses have hit a number of line drives (25% line-drive %) and home runs (1.7 HR/9 and 24% hr/f) off of Chacin in his away (7.35 ERA) starts. LHB have hit well (.828 OPS) with harder contact (35%) against him too. Chacin has been batting practice on the road and this is about the worst possible park for him to succeed in.
Tim Adleman is not as bad as his 5.42 ERA suggests. For one, he registers more strikeouts (9.3 K’s/9) in his home starts. Secondly, his xERA of 4.86 isn’t even as bad as it looks because xERA does not take park factors into consideration. Adleman’s weak stats on paper does not show that there are some life to his skills that are backed by a strong 12.3% swing and miss rate and decent 62% first-pitch strike rate. A low 69% strand rate and high 17% hr/f have wreaked havoc on his actual ERA but at the end of the day, we’re getting a bargain price on the better offense and better starter. There’s some real value here on the Reds and we’re on it. Play Cinci -110 if you prefer but we like to go for the kill and will therefore spot the runs with a big take-back.
The set-up: Cincy’s Joey Votto needs just one more HR to reach 30 in a season for the first time since his 2010 MVP campaign but so many of his dingers have gone to waste on this last-place club. The Reds have lost 17 of 23 since the All-Star break and get set to open a four-game series with the visiting San Diego Padres on Monday, as the lone team in the NL Central to have lost touch with the other four teams. The Red are 45-66, 13 1/2 games out of first, while their four division rivals are all with 4 1/2 games of each other. The Padres have the misfortune of playing in the NL West, where the Dodgers own MLB’s best record at 79-32. The Padres are 49-61, 4 1/2 games better than the Reds, but a whopping 29 1/2 games back of the Dodgers! San Diego swept three from Cincinnati at home by a combined score of 19-7 earlier this year and would need just one victory in this four-game set to clinch the season series for the fourth consecutive campaign.
The pitching matchup: Jhoulys Chacin (11-7 & 3.99 ERA) will take the ball for San Diego, opposed by Tim Adleman (5-9 & 5.42 ERA) of Cincinnati. Chacin’s 11 victories on a 49-win team are impressive and he comes into this contest 7-2 with a 2.30 ERA over his last 10 starts, including a win and seven solid innings pitched against the Reds at home June 14. That gives him a 2-2 record (3.06 ERA) in five career starts vs. the Reds (teams are 2-3). In a stark contrast to Chacin as of late, Adleman has only one quality start in his last eight appearances and finished July at 0-5 with a 7.34 ERA in six starts (Reds were 1-5). He has never faced San Diego.
The pick: Sure, Chacin is the pitching much better right now but let’s not ignore the fact that he owns a 7.35 ERA and 1.69 WHIP in 10 road starts in 2017. Meanwhile, Adleman is a respectable 7-5 in his career at home (Reds are 9-8 in his 17 home starts since 2016). I’ll back the Reds in this one.
This is a big series for both teams. Both are in contention for a Wild Card spot despite being below 500 on the season. The Angels blew a big lead at home against the A’s yesterday. Baltimore are playing great baseball. They are 7-2 in their last nine games.
The Baltimore Orioles completed a 5-2 homestand with a pair of victories but now begin a 10-game West Coast trip with the first of three contests against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday night. The Orioles fast start (22-10 to open the season) didn’t last long, as before winning their final two games before the All Star break, the Orioles were just 40-46, meaning they had lost 36 of their previous 54 games (.333). Baltimore returned from the break and still sat six games under .500 (48-54) in games played through July 28 but before going 5-2 on its just completed homestand, Baltimore had won its last two games at Texas, giving them seven wins in the team’s last nine games. The Orioles are unlikely to win the AL East (sit 7 1/2 games back in fourth place) but they are only 2 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second wild card in the American League.
Los Angeles fell three games behind the Royals in that wild card chase after squandering a five-run lead and dropping an 11-10 decision to Oakland on Sunday. The Angels wrap up a nine-game homestand (currently 4-2) with the Orioles Monday-Wednesday. Mike Trout turns 26 today and is riding a nine-game hitting streak (he has three HRs and six RBI in his past five games). He’s batting .343 with 22 HRs and 51 RBI in 67 games.
Dylan Bundy (10-8, 4.24 ERA) will start for Baltimore and JC Ramirez (10-9, 4.03 ERA) for LA. Bundy would tie a career-high with an 11th win this season. He comes off allowing just one unearned run and three hits in eight innings of a 7-2 win over Kansas City last Tuesday. That said, let’s not ignore that he had surrendered at least five runs in five of his previous seven starts. Bundy will be making his first-ever start against Los Angeles, after yielding four runs over 1.1 innings of relief in his only career appearance versus the Angels.
Ramirez is also making his first-ever start against the Orioles, but has faced Baltimore twice in relief during his career, allowing one run and three hits over 1.2 innings. Like Bundy, he is coming off an excellent start, as he scattered six hits over eight scoreless innings in a 7-0 triumph over Philadelphia last Wednesday. He has won two straight at home but still owns just a 3-5 record and 4.50 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts) at Angel Stadium this season.
The pitching matchup seems like a ‘wash,’ so I’ll bet on “the Birthday Boy” and play the Angels.
MLB Daily Line Drive: Monday’s picks, betting odds and analysis
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals (-310, 8)
The Marlins visit the nation’s capital today for the first of four games against the National League East leading Washington Nationals. Welcome to town, Miami – here’s Max Scherzer. Good luck.
These two clubs met last week in Florida with the Marlins taking two of the three games and “Mad Max” only lasted one inning in his start during that series after being removed with a stiff neck. That can only mean bad news for The Fish today as Scherzer is well rested and will be more cranky than usual after having to endure a week of rehab/treatment.
The Nats have lost both of Scherzer’s starts against the Marlins this season, but it’s certainly no fault of his. In his first outing against Miami he flirted with a no-no and last week he only participated in one inning. His combined numbers this season against the Marlins add up to nine innings pitched, zero earned runs, two hits allowed, 11 strikeouts, and one walk.
Lefty hurler Chris O’Grady will get the start today for the Marlins and he has just five major league starts under his belt. O’Grady was actually the opposing starter in the game last week that Scherzer was removed from after only one inning. He didn’t exactly run with the opportunity – instead he gave up six runs, seven hits, and two walks in only three innings of work.
One thing to really watch for from O’Grady today is his walk total. In two career starts on the road he has an ERA of 5.40 and a WHIP of 1.70 and a major contributing factor to these high numbers is that he has allowed eight bases on balls in just 10 innings of road work. That is 7.2 walks per nine innings – not a good number.
The Nationals own the top run producing offense in the National League, averaging 5.486 runs per game and their team batting average is higher against left-handed pitching (.281) than against righties (.272).
Pick: Nationals -1.5 (-110)
San Diego Padres at Cincinnati Reds (-115, 9.5)
The Padres and Reds open their four-game series Monday evening with a meeting of two starting pitchers headed in exact opposite directions.
San Diego has won all three previous meetings with Cincinnati this season and will send their ace to the mound today on the road at Great American Ball Park. Jhoulys Chacin is as hot as they come in the category of major league starting pitchers right now. The Padres have won Chacin’s last six starts and they closed as underdogs in every one of them. Guess What? They’re dogs again today.
Chacin has not allowed more than three earned runs in a start since May 23 and during his current six-game team winning streak he owns an ERA of 2.02 and a WHIP of 1.0935.
Critics of Padres backers today will point to Chacin’s 7.35 road ERA this season, but over his last three starts on the road he has an ERA of just 2.45 and a WHIP of 0.982. He appears to have figured it out.
The Reds will counter with right-hander Tim Adleman and he hasn’t done much of anything right this season other than eat up innings and assist the Reds in securing a better draft position. Adleman’s team win/loss this season is 7-12 and his ERA currently sits at 5.42. Over his last four starts he has an ERA of 8.27 and a WHIP of 1.742.
Keeping the ball in the ballpark is a big issue for Adleman as he has surrendered at least one home run in 12 consecutive starts and has allowed 24 home runs in 20 starts this season.
The Reds have lost eight of Adleman’s last 10 starts and it won’t get any easier today with an emerging star opposing him.
Pick: Padres +105
Yesterday’s Picks: 1-1
Season To Date: 106-97-12
Streaking and Slumping Starting Pitchers
Streaking: JC Ramirez, Los Angeles Angels (10-9, 4.03 ERA, $476)
This isn’t exactly the highest profile Streaking Starter, but JC Ramirez has been very good for the Angels and deserves a bit of shine.
The Halos have won two of his last three starts and during those three appearances he owns an ERA of 1.31 in 20.2 innings of work. His high walk rate continues to be a bit of an issue, but if he keeps inducing ground balls and double plays all will be forgiven.
Ramirez and the Angels are -125 favorites at home against the Orioles tonight.
Slumping: Matt Moore, San Francisco Giants (3-11, 5.80 ERA, $-1159)
Giants’ starter Matt Moore is a regular in the Slumping Starter section and with a team loss in his last start he has actually surpassed teammate Madison Bumgarner as the least profitable starting pitcher in all of baseball at $-1159.
The Giants have lost 10 of Moore’s last 13 outings and tonight he will get the National League Central leading Chicago Cubs as a big +165 home underdog.
Monday’s Top Trends
* Over is 11-0 in the Detroit Tigers’ last 11 vs. National League Central. Tigers/Pirates Total: 9.
* Under is 12-3 in the Milwaukee Brewers’ last 15 road games. Brewers/Twins Total: 9.
* Over is 9-0 in the St. Louis Cardinals last nine interleague games. Cardinals/Royals Total: 9.
* The Chicago Cubs are 11-1 in their last 12 road games. -185 today @ Giants.
Weather To Keep An Eye On
There is a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms late this afternoon/early this evening in D.C. where the Nats are scheduled to take on the Marlins. It’s should clear out in time for first pitch, but thunderstorms are very unpredictable.
As usual, the wind will be blowing straight out to center field tonight (12-16 miles per hour) at AT&T Park in San Francisco. The total for tonight’s game between the Cubs and Giants is currently set at 8.
Aug 07 ’17, 8:10 PM
MLB | MIL vs MIN
Play on: UNDER 9 -102
Take Under the Total in the game between the Milwaukee Brewers versus the Minnesota Twins listing both starting pitchers Brett Suter and Ervin Santana. Minnesota (53-56) has won two of their last three games with their 6-5 with over the Rangers. The Under is then 19-6-1 in the Twins’ last 26 games after a victory. The Under is also 14-6-1 in Minnesota’s last 21 home games against teams with a winning record on the road. Milwaukee (59-54) looks to bounce-back from a 2-1 loss to the Rays in Tampa Bay yesterday. The Under is then 5-0-1 in the Brewers’ last 6 games after allowing no more than two runs in their last contest. Milwaukee has also played 6 of their last 7 road games Under the Total against teams with a losing record. Take the Under while listing both starting pitchers. Best of luck — Frank.