I miscounted for this morning’s newsletter, as we actually have 17 games on a jam-packed Saturday around MLB. Doubleheaders in Boston and D.C. add two games to the mix and we’ll be seeing a lot of those moving forward thanks to the lockout and the postponements that we’ve had early in the season. It is going to make for a lot of tired teams and also a lot of spot starts from relievers or minor league call-ups. Teams are really digging into their depth already and will continue to do so.
With a lot of ground to cover, I’ll spare you the long intro. I do have a lot of great information compiled for The Run Line tomorrow from 8-10 p.m. ET with my man Ben Wilson, so be sure to check that out. The article will be back on Monday, but you can still get my baseball betting insights on that fine block of radio.
Giants/Reds: Big favorites led by Carlos Rodon and Justin Verlander lost to inferior teams yesterday in surprising results. It happens, as those aces obviously don’t win every game, but this one was probably the more surprising of the two. Rodon worked 5.1 innings and allowed three runs on seven hits, but what really stands out to me is that he only had six whiffs on 42 swings. With Alex Wood struggling, Alex Cobb dealing with a ton of bad luck and a bad defensive ballclub, this team is pretty tough to nail down.
Phillies/Mets: The Phillies scored all six runs in the sixth in the 8-6 loss, but Statcast had these teams down for xBAs of .188 and .249, but the game featured 14 runs and 18 hits. The teams only combined for 15 hard-hit balls. The shift in offense over the last week and a half is something that I have documented, but games like this are still weird to me because there wasn’t much contact quality, but we still had a slugfest.
The 15 hard-hit balls featured 10 hits, with two home runs and four doubles, so hits were just timed properly it would appear. It just speaks to the high variance level of baseball yet again.
Brewers/Cardinals: Brandon Woodruff left after four innings and 61 pitches with some discomfort in his ankle. Woodruff’s velocity was up and his spin rates were stronger across the board. I watched this postgame interview where Woodruff talked about how he felt like he was finding his stuff and how this was the best he felt. The velo, spin rates and nine whiffs in 30 pitches suggest that he probably did feel pretty good. For a guy that has been fighting it this season, but is a positive regression candidate, maybe we should file this away for his upcoming starts.
Dodgers/Diamondbacks: A day after going 10-for-15 on hard-hit balls, the Dodgers were 5-for-14 against Madison Bumgarner, but three of the batted balls were home runs, including Edwin Rios’s dinger with an xBA of just .160 that was a big three-run blow. What stands out the most to me is that this total actually got bet all the up to 11 after opening 9 at some shops. We’re seeing so much over money in the markets right now. If you like an over, bet it early. If you like an under, wait it out, unless it’s a weather-related bet.