It’s going to be a much shorter picks and analysis write-up here today thanks an overnight ER visit and today’s edition of BangTheBook Radio coming up rather quickly. There are 12 games total on the slate, including a handful of day games. We’ll focus solely on tonight’s games, with four in here and three discussed on the show today. Every game today is -140 or lower at time of writing, so that means that technically everything falls into our usual playing range. Let’s see if we can make some money.
Before we do that, we’ll look back at yesterday’s action. A resounding winner in the Colorado vs. Los Angeles game was the highlight of the night. BangTheBook Radio listeners were treated to that winning gem. The Phillies scored a massive upset over the Giants yesterday, but Aaron Nola, the subject of that game in the breakdown, was scratched and is likely out for the season. That’s big news. Otherwise, it was another tough day on the diamond. My apologies.
Our focus, as it always is, will be on the games that provide a lot of line value and those that give us the opportunity to dig deep and find the wagering angles and betting tips that will produce winners.
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Per usual, the games with big lines will be overlooked, unless there is something particularly noteworthy about them or a play on the underdog is a possibility. Also, day games are usually skipped due to the lead time of the article. That will not be the case on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Sundays when there are a lot of day games.
New York (NL) vs. New York (AL) (-135); Total: 8.5
I have to say, I don’t really get why this line is as high as it is. Certainly the Mets have had their struggles and I’ve discussed just how bad their outfield defense is, but Nate Eovaldi is not a high-quality pitcher and the Yankees bullpen is nowhere near its pre-Trade Deadline level of strength. This just seems like a mispriced game to me. I do realize that I’ve talked about some regression for Bartolo Colon, mostly based on his age and the increasing workload in the second half in recent seasons, but I’m not ready to throw in that towel just yet.
Purely from a value on the line price, I think the Mets have it. Will they win? I don’t know, but this is one of those numbers and not teams plays that sharp players talk about so often.
Oakland at Los Angeles (AL) (-140); Total: 9
Jesse Hahn squares off against new arrival Ricky Nolasco when the A’s and Angels get together in AL West action. Hahn’s eight starts at the big league level have not gone well this year. He has a 5.53 ERA with a 5.12 FIP and a 4.73 xFIP. He did return to the Majors on July 24 for a spot start and threw 7.2 terrific innings against Milwaukee. Now he makes MLB meal money for another day. I like the raw stuff and the arsenal can play in these pitcher’s parks, but he’s not a great guy to trust just yet.
The same can be said of Nolasco, acquired from Minnesota in a swap that included arch-nemesis Hector Santiago. Nolasco sports a 5.13 ERA with a 4.29 FIP and a 4.45 xFIP. For a while, his ERA-xFIP discrepancy was pretty noticeable, but he stopped striking guys out and that started to raise his FIP and xFIP. Home runs have been an issue for Nolasco, so maybe being at Angel Stadium will help him.
This is probably a no play game because Nolasco could go out here and get blown up and so could Hahn. On the other hand, those two could get all the batted ball luck that Kendall Graveman and Jered Weaver didn’t get last night.
Pittsburgh (-130) at Atlanta; Total: 9
A Las Vegas oddsmaker friend of mine tweeted a couple weeks ago that Tyrell Jenkins was the lowest-rated starting pitcher in all of baseball based on the lines. The Braves are a short underdog tonight in Ryan Vogelsong’s return to the big leagues. Vogelsong was hit in the face by a pitch and nearly lost his eye, but he’s back on the bump tonight.
Vogelsong owned a 3.74 ERA with a 4.98 FIP and a 4.79 xFIP prior to getting hit in the face, but that was in just two starts and 10 relief appearances. Vogelsong isn’t exactly highly-rated by the oddsmakers either given this line. I’d almost go so far as to say that the oddsmakers are begging you to take Pittsburgh with this small price on a name that people kind of know and an opponent that is in a rebuild and doesn’t have many household names.
I can’t back Tyrell Jenkins, but I’m reading into the context and that’s what I’ve come up with.
Boston (-130) at Seattle; Total: 8.5
Drew Pomeranz and Ariel Miranda meet in a battle of left-handers at Safeco Field on Thursday night. Pomeranz’s talents and skills are well-documented, and so are his stats. He’s been terrific overall this season and has started to settle in with his new team.
Miranda is a Cuban import that can run his fastball up into the mid-90s. Dan Farnsworth called his stuff “solid-average” when he wrote about him for Fangraphs last December. Miranda has shown above average command and decent control in the minor leagues. He made one relief appearance with the Orioles and struck out four. He also gave up three runs on four hits.
Perhaps this is a situational fade on Boston? The Red Sox are playing another late game in this series. The line has been tilting Miranda’s way. He’s got three seemingly viable pitches. If Miranda is getting some respect, I’d rather look at the under than the side. Pomeranz should have suggest here against this Mariners lineup.
Be sure to catch today’s BangTheBook Radio with breakdowns of Texas vs. Baltimore, Los Angeles vs. Colorado, and Toronto vs. Houston.