Last Updated: 2017-08-12
MLB Favorite of the day: Seattle Mariners -112
The Mariners and the Angels are going to be playing in Seattle with Erasmo Ramirez and JC Ramirez starting. The Mariners and the Angels are both still very alive for the AL Wild Card race, as the Mariners are currently tied with the Rays for the spot. The Angels have a chance, and since Mike Trout’s return, their offense has obviously gained a lot of firepower.
Erasmo Ramirez was one of the acquisitions that the Mariners made at the trade deadline, acquiring him from the Rays. Ramirez has been a relief pitcher for most of his career, but he has some experience starting, especially this season. He has an ERA of 5.10 and an xFIP of 4.10. His biggest change this season has been his ability to limit walks, as he has been walking less than 2 batters per nine innings. This is a great skill, but it hasn’t exactly led to great results, as is clear from the ERA. Ramirez is a pretty low ceiling starter, which is a lot of the reason that he made sense for the Mariners who have consistently targeted low risk players. I don’t think its likely Ramirez will be great with the Mariners, but he could provide quality starts consistently.
JC Ramirez is going to be starting for the Angels. Ramirez has been a really valuable pitcher for the Angels, largely because he’s been able to pitch a lot of innings for them. He has an ERA of 4.21, and an xFIP of 4.42. I don’t think JC Ramirez is an especially high ceiling pitcher, much like Erasmo Ramirez. Ultimately, I like the Mariners in this game largely because they are a slightly better team playing at home.
MLB Underdog of the day: Arizona Diamondbacks +120
The Diamondbacks and the Cubs are going to be playing in Arizona with Patrick Corbin and Jon Lester starting. It seems pretty likely that both teams are going to make the playoffs, barring any collapses. The Cubs will almost certainly win their division, even though the Brewers gave us a fun story for a while. The Diamondbacks also have a pretty safe shot at making the playoffs, but only with a Wild Card spot, with absolutely no chance of catching the Dodgers.
Jon Lester has had one of his worst seasons of his career, but he’s still been a pretty good pitcher regardless. In his 140 innings, he has an ERA of 3.97, and an xFIP of 3.60. It probably says the most about him that he’s capable of pitching so many quality innings for the Cubs despite his age. I think even the Cubs were prepared for Lester to start to show signs of a slow regression, and that looks like what is starting. His fastball velocity is the lowest in his career averaging 91, but even despite this he has been able to strikeout more than a batter per inning. Lester is still a really good pitcher who will provide value to the Cubs in the postseason.
Patrick Corbin is going to be starting for the Diamondbacks, Corbin has an ERA of 4.76, and an xFIP of 3.88. The biggest problem that Corbin has had this season is largely related to his BABIP, which is at .351, and while his batted ball profile isn’t great, there is almost no scenario where it makes sense to have such a high BABIP. His homerun to flyball ratio is also incredibly high, at almost 18%. Again, given the fact that his pitches at Chase Field so often, it makes some sense, but Corbin is certainly better than the ERA would indicate. Ultimately, I would take the Diamondbacks in this game, despite the slightly worse starter mostly just as a value play for a home dog.
MLB Over/Under of the day: Kansas City Royals/Chicago White Sox Under 10.5
The White Sox and the Royals are going to be playing in Chicago with Ian Kennedy and James Shields starting. The Royals still have something of a chance to make the playoffs, but their tendency to go on endless hot and cold streaks makes me question if they actually have a chance to make the playoffs. The White Sox meanwhile are working pretty intensely on their rebuild, and have traded basically every single piece of present value that they had. I don’t have much to say in defense of either Kennedy or Shields, but both offenses are pretty bad. The White Sox home stadium isn’t that strong of a hitters park, so with the lack of offense in this game, I would take a flier on the under.