Baseball retakes center stage on Tuesday night as we have our first day without football since last Wednesday. All 15 teams are in action under the lights with some interesting pitching matchups and some intriguing lines. Some overnight line moves indicate the thoughts of the betting market and there seem to be quite a few road favorites this evening. Here’s a breakdown of some of Tuesday night’s action.
If you don’t already have an account at BetDSI, head on over there and take advantage of the exclusive 300 percent deposit bonus by using the promo code ‘BANG300’. Consider making an account for our forums and chat with like-minded sports betting enthusiasts. Compare picks, compare notes, lament losses, and celebrate wins with other handicappers all in one fun and friendly environment. Finally, let us track your picks in our Sports Monitor. Upload your picks, track your results, and, once football season returns, enter our free contests.
After a lot of discussion regarding innings limits and shutdowns, Matt Harvey will take the mound for the Mets against Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals. It might be a good thing that this start is on the road for Harvey, given all the hot takes in the New York media that have influenced fans’ opinions. The Mets had a big test on Monday and passed it with flying colors. This is a huge game. They can guarantee a series win and leave Washington with no less than a five-game lead.
There’s a lot to love about Matt Harvey’s season. He looked just fine in his return from Tommy John surgery until a couple of seven-run blow-ups in late May and early June. Some people began panicking, asking what was wrong with the 26-year-old. After giving up seven runs to the Giants on June 10, Harvey threw seven shutout against Toronto and owns a 1.66 ERA with a .203/.252/.316 slash against over his last 13 starts. With 158 strikeouts and 34 walks in 166.1 innings of work, it’s pretty clear that the stuff is sharp and explosive.
Jordan Zimmermann is no slouch himself and every start is critical for him in September. He has regressed a tad from the last couple of seasons, but he still has a 3.38 ERA with a 3.60 FIP and a 3.84 xFIP with impeccable control. An increase in home run rate is to blame for the elevated peripherals. The 29-year-old will hit free agency this season and is probably in line for somewhere around 6/120. The one thing you notice about Zimmermann is his consistency. His stats look very similar over his four full seasons as a starter.
This is a tough game to pick. On one hand, the Nationals have seen some inflated lines over the last week or 10 days as they appear to be playing up to their potential, but this number isn’t inflated at all. On the other hand, Matt Harvey needs a dominant start to get everybody to forget about his recent PR nightmare. The Mets, after a small hiccup, are back to playing like the team with nothing to lose. The Nationals are a little tight and Matt Williams is showing his lack of managerial skill while the team tries to play catch up. I’d go with the Mets here, but there are better games to bet on the card. Probably not better games to watch, though.
As mentioned on Monday’s edition of The Bettor’s Box, the Tigers are a major fade team for me the rest of the way. Oddsmakers seem to agree since Erasmo Ramirez is a clear-cut road favorite against the Tigers and Matt Boyd. There’s not a whole lot to like about Erasmo Ramirez, with a 3.84 ERA, a 4.09 FIP, and a 4.15 xFIP. He pitches to a lot of contact and has a surprisingly low BABIP (.263) against for a guy with his GB/FB split. Regardless, he’s comfortably favored on the road. Doesn’t that seem strange?
Matt Boyd owns a 6.97/6.01/5.67 pitcher slash over 31 innings with the Tigers. The swing-and-miss stuff is non-existent and the command is horrible. Not to mention, the Rays dominate left-handed pitching with a top-five wOBA. Boyd’s location problems have led to 12 home runs in just 37.2 innings of work and he now has a 19/11 K/BB ratio with the Tigers. This line certainly looks off on the surface, but Tampa Bay has to be the play here. The Tigers aren’t interested in being a team that plays catch up once they get down. Again, for more analysis of the Tigers, check out Monday’s MLB betting podcast.
I’m still waiting for Taylor Jungmann’s regression to show up this season. Maybe it’s not going to. The command profile is really good throughout stops at each minor league level and the strikeout rate seems to be legit. Jungmann has a 2.42/3.04/3.95 pitcher slash on the season and has been worth 2.4 fWAR for the Brewers. In a lost season, he’s been a major surprise. I feel like regression will show up in one or two of his remaining starts, especially with a 3.94 SIERA and an average line drive rate that should drive up his BABIP a little bit, but I’m not looking for it against the Marlins. The Marlins have the worst offense in baseball against RHP.
Adam Conley also has a friendly matchup here, as the Brewers are among the worst teams in baseball against left-handed pitching. Conley hasn’t fared particularly well this season with a 5.02/4.50/4.32, but, like most Marlins pitchers, he is much better at home than on the road. Marlins Park is a cavernous ballpark that suppresses offensive power and that’s part of why (small sample size alert) Conley has a 3.60 ERA with a .243/.329/.394 slash at home and a .306/.367/.535 slash and a 6.62 ERA on the road. Numbers are easy to skew with those sample sizes, but because it’s more of a trend than a coincidence, it’s worth noting.
In this one, I don’t see the Marlins doing much offensively. On the other hand, I don’t expect much from the Brewers either. I’d look at the Brewers and the under in this one. Conley has only pitched six innings once in his six starts, so he does get pulled before he goes through the lineup a third time and that will help the total in this one.
The winner for oddest line goes to this one. After correctly nailing the Circadian Rhythm game for the Pirates on Monday afternoon with an awfully quick turnaround to take on the Reds, Francisco Liriano is a small favorite over Raisel Iglesias. I love both of these pitchers, so this is a really fascinating line in my opinion. Everybody already knows about Liriano, so let’s talk about Iglesias. The Cuban import has quietly posted a 27 percent strikeout rate with a slightly above average walk rate of 7.3 percent. He has a 3.81 ERA with a 3.54 FIP and a 3.22 xFIP over his 14 starts and two relief appearances.
Since the start of August, Iglesias has fired six straight quality starts. Over his last three starts, he has racked up 33 strikeouts against eight eights. He still has in-game command inconsistencies, but so do most young pitchers. I’ve been beating the Iglesias drum for a while and hopefully you’ve been able to cash in. I like him in this start again, but mostly from a totals perspective because I don’t think he’s going to get a lot of offensive help.
The Reds are now 10th in wOBA against lefties, which is still pretty good, but Francisco Liriano is not your average lefty. Liriano has a 3.40/3.32/3.29, which is pretty close to what he did last season, just with a much lower walk rate that has helped his advanced metrics. Liriano has had some control problems of late, with 18 walks over his last five starts against 24 strikeouts. The amazing thing to me is that Liriano hasn’t faced the Reds since April 6, his first start of the season. A lot of pitchers are facing division foes for a third or fourth time this month. That’s not the case with Liriano. The control issues are always there for him, but he often works through them.
The Reds caught the Pirates in an awful situational spot on Monday. That’s not the case on Tuesday. I’m a big Raisel Iglesias fan, but if you give me the Pirates bullpen at -120 against the Reds bullpen, I’ll take it every time. That’s the way I’m looking at this game, because I expect it to be close and low-scoring. With that, I’ll take Pittsburgh and also look at the under.
San Francisco at Arizona (-120); Total: 9
Monday’s podcast pick was the Diamondbacks over the Giants and that was an easy winner. Guess what? I’m going back to the well with the Diamondbacks again. As a courtesy, the Giants are giving Tim Hudson a start in this one as Hudson winds down a pretty terrific MLB career. Hudson hasn’t started since July 26 and has just two appearances out of the bullpen. He was placed on the DL to open up a roster spot and the Giants squandered that opportunity while he was gone.
Hudson’s stuff isn’t what it once was. The ground ball rate is still bordering on elite, but the command has dropped off in a big way and missing bats is like pulling teeth. Hudson should have called it quits after last season to go out on top, but he had guaranteed money sitting there and who wouldn’t want that? He may get another start or two in September to ride off into the sunset, but he shouldn’t be taken that seriously when he’s on the mound.
The Giants might get off the mat to support Huddy, but I’d be surprised if they do much offensively against Chase Anderson. Anderson, a guy I really like, has disappointed me this season. A massive drop in strikeouts had led to a ground ball increase, but I’d rather see some swing-and-miss stuff. His swinging strike rate is below league average and the reason why is because hitters are chasing less and making a lot more contact outside the zone. There’s just not a lot of consistency from Anderson.
In this one, though, I like the Diamondbacks anyway. I don’t see much potential for Hudson and, as I discussed on Monday’s podcast, the Giants have thrown in the towel for the season. (If you haven’t picked up on it yet, Monday’s podcast was really good and you should listen.)
Because there were so many day games on Monday, the podcast included a pick on this game for listeners. There has already been a 25-cent line move overnight, but there’s still money to be made on this pick. Take a listen to hear which side you should take.