All the dust has settled on the Trade Deadline and we’re left with 15 games to decipher on Tuesday night. Keep in mind that waiver deals are still permissible, but teams often can’t find a deal and just subject players to waivers as a paper transaction. There are still some moves that could be made, so stay vigilant on the latest MLB news. As for August 2, it’s the 15 games that we’re looking at now that new players are on their new teams and the push for the playoffs is fully underway.
Before focusing on Tuesday night, we’ll look back at Monday night’s small card. The Mets ended up closing a big underdog, but they couldn’t hold a lead against the Yankees. The Rays got a decent start from Chris Archer, but Danny Duffy flirted with a no-hitter in Kansas City’s win. It was a tough day for us because the Padres were also victorious. Our lone winner was a comeback victory for Boston. We’ll try to be better today.
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.
Texas (-115) at Baltimore; Total: 9
Yu Darvish and Dylan Bundy form what could be a pretty good pitcher’s matchup in Baltimore tonight. Both teams made some moves to bolster the offense yesterday, although the Rangers certainly did a bit more than Baltimore. It’s a tough assignment for both guys, so we’ll have to see which one fares better.
Darvish has made six MLB starts since coming back from Tommy John and looks like the Darvish of old with an elite strikeout rate, good command, and a 3.09/2.57/2.70 pitcher slash. He did battle some shoulder discomfort upon his return, but he’s struck out 26 in his last 16.1 innings since the return to the rotation. Bundy is the most promising thing in the Orioles rotation. In three starts, Bundy has allowed eight runs, seven earned, in just 14 innings. The Orioles haven’t been able to stretch him out because Bundy hasn’t been all that efficient with his pitches.
Because of that, the lean has to be on Darvish tonight. Both of these offenses are capable of hitting good pitchers, but it does seem like Darvish will last longer than Bundy in this outing. The Rangers really strengthened their lineup yesterday and it might even be enough to hold off the Astros in the AL West.
New York (AL) at New York (NL) (-125); Total: 6.5
The premier pitcher’s duel of the night is in the interleague matchup between the Yankees and the Mets. Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound for the Yankees and the Mets counter with Jacob deGrom. One of the things that I’ve been cautioning readers and listeners about is the outfield situation for the Mets. That has to be in the back of your mind with every Mets game and it’s such a bad situation that it should automatically place fading the Mets and the over in your head at the start of every game breakdown.
So, does that mean to fade the Mets tonight? Let’s see. Masahiro Tanaka is clearly spectacular, with a 3.16 ERA, a 3.34 FIP, and a 3.64 xFIP. His declining K rate has been an occasional issue in that when he pitches bad, he pitches really bad. Tanaka has allowed five or more runs on four occasions, but has held the opposition to two runs or less in 13 of his 21 starts. His velocities are pretty consistent, so his health seems to be pretty good right now. It’s never a bad idea to give Tanaka a shot as an underdog and the Yankees’ comeback win showed me a lot about their character on Monday.
On the year, deGrom has a 2.56 ERA with a 3.07 FIP and a 3.31 xFIP. His K% has been steadily rising since he had a tough start to the year with his wife’s first pregnancy and all the complications that came along with that. Since May 27, JDG has a 2.26 ERA with a 2.87 FIP and xFIP, a 9.92 K/9, and a 1.76 BB/9. He’s done an excellent job of stranding runners. He definitely tilts more to the ground ball side than the fly ball side, so there’s some hope that the outfield situation won’t bother him too much.
I’d lean Yankees because you’re getting a good price on Tanaka, but the under is a better look here. These are two teams dealing with some turmoil and transition in their respective lineups. These are two pitchers working at a very high level right now and it should be on display here.
Miami (-115) at Chicago (NL)
It takes a special pitcher to be favored over the Cubs on the road. That special pitcher is Jose Fernandez. My best guess is that the Cubs close a favorite here, but they’re rarely going to be an underdog at Wrigley, but Miami could very well be the right side here. You already know about Jose Fernandez, who is an elite starter.
Did you know about Jason Hammel? I’ll be driving these points home for a while. If you want to fade the Cubs, Hammel is the guy to fade. Hammel has a 3.23 ERA with a 4.33 FIP and a 4.25 xFIP. He’s living right with a .244 BABIP, 55 points better than his career average, and an 82.1 percent LOB%, 10.7 percent better than his career mark. Over the last three years, Hammel has posted ERAs of 3.01, 2.86, and 3.46 in the first half. He posted a .223/.277/.360 slash in 2014, a .206/.251/.361 in 2015, and a .221/.296/.403 this season. Hammel has a career 5.05 ERA in the second half. In 2014, he posted a 4.31 ERA over 62.2 innings with a .249/.310/.444 slash against. In 2015, his ERA was 5.10 in 67 innings with a .283/.341/.515. I’m expecting similar regression this season. The Cubs are one of the game’s elite defensive teams, but Hammel has a track record of doing very well in the first half and falling apart in the second half.
I think there’s some credence to that. For one thing, he tends to battle some sort of injury in July or the second half as he wears down. For another, hitters start to adjust and take advantage of his drop in command. If you don’t feel comfortable fading the Cubs at home, at least consider Miami TT Over and full game over, depending on the number.
Los Angeles (NL) (-115) at Colorado; Total: 10.5
One more game in today’s writeup. I’m dealing with an infection and a fever that is kicking my ass, so writing seems like more of an effort than talking. That’s why I’ll chat about Washington vs. Arizona, Oakland vs. Los Angeles (AL), and Milwaukee vs. San Diego on today’s edition of BangTheBook Radio.
Brandon McCarthy and the Dodgers take on Jon Gray and the Rockies, who are baseball’s top team since the All-Star Break. Raise your hand if you saw that coming. I certainly didn’t. The Rockies ended up not selling off anything, which will probably come back to haunt them, but they can live in their fantasy world for a few more weeks.
I’ll be very interested to see where this line goes. Overall, Gray has been really solid with a 3.94 ERA, a 3.80 FIP, and a 3.60 xFIP in his 18 starts. He’s racked up over a strikeout per inning and has the ground ball rate that it takes to survive at Coors Field. Even though Brandon McCarthy has looked really good in five starts covering 26.1 innings of work this year, there’s still a lot of uncertainty about him each time he takes the mound. His fastball velocity is back and he’s had a great feel for his curveball, but he’s missing a third pitch. On the year, per PITCHf/x data, 100 percent of McCarthy’s pitches have been a fastball variation or a curveball. Is that a bad thing? Not necessarily, if he spots all of them with command. So far, he’s done just that.
There are things to like about both starters here today. There are obviously things to like about both offenses as well. The Dodgers have been significantly better against right-handed pitching than left-handed pitching. The Rockies are always hitting well at home. All in all, this is probably a pass game, but we’ll have more opinions on BangTheBook Radio today, so please tune in.