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MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Friday 4/29

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

April 29, 2022 12:13 PM
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There are a lot of small favorites on the MLB card today following a day when favorites went 11-1 with one game that closed a virtual pick ‘em. We’ll see if the dogs can have their day as we start the fourth week of the 2022 MLB season. The baseball season is very much a marathon and we’re just a few short miles into the race.

If you’re off to a slow start, don’t get discouraged. There’s a ton of baseball left and you can turn it around. If you’re off to a hot start, keep putting in the hard work and the effort and hopefully the rewards will keep coming. Baseball is a fickle, variance-filled sport. Don’t get too high or too low. It’s important to keep a healthy mindset with more than 2,400 games over about 180 days.

Yesterday’s Recap

Padres/Reds: For the 14th time in 16 losses, the Reds not only lost on the moneyline, but on the run line as well. I’ve bet it exactly zero times. Those that have been betting it can probably buy a minority stake in Twitter. Cincinnati has been outscored by 49 runs over 19 games and is the only NL team with fewer than 60 runs scored. The team now embarks on a six-game road trip through Denver and Milwaukee before hosting the Pirates. This team is terrible, but they’ve also played San Diego twice, St. Louis, the Dodgers, Braves and Guardians. Only one of those teams had a season win total line that represented a losing record and that was only a two-game series against Cleveland.

Brewers/Pirates: Devin Williams struck out the side in the ninth to lock down the save, but it wasn’t easy for the Brewers bullpen again, as this time Brad Boxberger had a hiccup. Josh Hader and Williams are two of 13 pitchers with 10 or more appearances so far and that was Boxberger’s ninth. The Brewers are relying heavily on their best relievers with a lot of close games and that kind of workload is important to follow. Hader was unavailable after working four of the previous five days and my guess is that Craig Counsell will be reluctant to use him and Williams today. It could be a really short list of available pitchers against the Cubs.

Rockies/Phillies: I wasn’t invested enough in fading the Rockies during this series against the Phillies. Colorado was swept in the four-game series and lost every game by at least four runs. Regression was coming, especially on the road, and it hit in a big way. Now the Rox host the lowly Reds, so they can get back on track, but the song remains the same with their home/road splits as a team.

Marlins/Nationals: The Nats have dropped eight in a row and have been outscored by 43 runs in their 21 games. Nelson Cruz is showing no signs of a breakout and Juan Soto is facing fewer fastballs than ever. Teams are barely even pitching to him with a 39.7% Zone% per Pitch Info Solutions and a 40.7% first-pitch strike rate per FanGraphs. This is why he should not be the MVP favorite and why the Nationals seemingly have very little chance of winning most days.

Cubs/Braves: Kyle Wright threw seven strong innings with eight more strikeouts as his splendid start to the season continued. Interestingly enough, I’ve talked a lot about the line moves on the Cubs against lefties, but they’re third in wOBA against righties this season and 13th against lefties. I’ll be curious to see if the markets start approaching them differently as a result. Obviously the sample sizes remain pretty small, but still.

Diamondbacks/Cardinals: Dakota Hudson allowed nine hard-hit balls yesterday, but only one hit to the Arizona offense. I’ve mentioned this before, but Arizona’s contact quality and results are not aligning and their offense does show quite a few signs of positive regression. It’s still a hard bet to make, but they had outs on four batted balls of 104.1 mph or higher against Hudson, including two barrels that died in the outfield.

Mariners/Rays: Scott Servais gets it. The Mariners lost 2-1, as they gave up a tiebreaking run in the seventh, but Anthony Misieiwcz was called upon in the eighth inning to keep the game at 2-1 and give the offense a chance in the ninth. Handicapping managers is really tough to do, but I try to make it a point to file away some of the smart things that they do. There’s a lot of equity in keeping a one-run game right where it is. I’ll have to remember that about Servais in the future. It may change my perception of the team and their chances in games projected to be close.

Tigers/Twins: Are the Twins good? Carlos Correa isn’t hitting yet and there are others that are lagging behind, but Minnesota’s pitching looks improved from last season. Among starting pitchers, the Twins are fifth in fWAR, second in ERA and ninth in FIP. There are regression signs with an 81.9% LOB% and a .247 BABIP, so I’m holding my expectations a little lower right now, but they’re a smart organization having a lot of success thus far.

The bullpen has a 3.94 ERA and a 4.47 FIP while still running an 80% LOB%. So, my answer is that I don’t really know yet, but Detroit and Kansas City are on the schedule for 14 straight games in late May, so they’ll have the chance to be sitting pretty going into June.

Astros/Rangers: The top four hitters in Texas’s lineup from yesterday finished the game with OPS marks of .420, .435, .651 and .567. Those guys are Kole Calhoun, Marcus Semien, Corey Seager and Mitch Garver. I’m not entirely sure why the Rangers can’t hit right now, but those are four guys with track records of being productive bats. I’m not sure how well the pitching will hold up, but this offense has to get better soon.

The Rangers have a .260 BABIP as a team, which ranks 24th, despite being 14th in Hard Hit% and ninth in average exit velocity. They’re only batting .223 as a team. Something has to give.

Royals/White Sox: Another day, another loss for the White Sox. Keep an eye on their odds to win the AL Central. I’m hoping to find something as low as -125 with this giant swoon. I don’t know if it will happen or not, but they’re 3.5 games out and have lost nine of the last 10. They’ve scored three or fewer runs in 10 of the last 13 games. There’s more to this than just the injuries, but nobody in the AL Central is all that good. When they get healthy and figure it out, they should win the division title.

Red Sox/Blue Jays: I guess this slipped way under the radar for me, but after getting shut out yesterday, the Red Sox are batting .229/.275/.344 as a team with a .276 wOBA and a 78 wRC +. This isn’t all about the humidor, as Fenway Park was one of 10 ballparks that had one last season. The Red Sox have a 5.9% BB%, so that’s part of it. Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers and J.D. Martinez are all hitting just fine, but nobody else is, including Trevor Story. The Red Sox are ninth in Hard Hit%, so this shouldn’t continue, but I can’t believe I didn’t notice how bad things were until now.

Guardians/Angels: The situation is that bad for the Guardians. They managed just a solo homer against Reid Detmers and four Angels relievers on Thursday. Cal Quantrill allowed three runs over six innings, but only one was earned and he only allowed two hard-hit balls. In that respect, Cleveland wasn’t an ill-advised wager, but holy hell this offense is abominable. Amed Rosario turning back into a pumpkin has really not helped and Franmil Reyes turning into a wind farm has been devastating. He's struck out 43.1% of his plate appearances.

Friday Resources

Weather: Rain will threaten Yankees/Royals, but if the game is played, winds will be blowing out to LF at a good clip. Those will be the only hefty helping winds of the evening, with gusts blowing in for Reds/Rockies and Angels/White Sox. Crosswinds could make pop ups fun for Phillies/Mets and Diamondbacks/Cardinals.

Injuries: Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. Also, my friend @MLBDream on Twitter put together a great MLB beat writer list to follow.

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