MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Saturday 6/4

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

June 4, 2022 12:22 PM
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The Saturday MLB article begins with some interesting news. Being on the West Coast with a lot of friends on the East Coast can lead to some early morning surprises in texts and DMs. This one came courtesy of my friend @MLBdream on Twitter from @BallparkPal. This tweet thread is something every baseball bettor must see (and you don’t have to have a Twitter to see it).

It would appear that there is some indication that MLB either changed the balls or changed the settings on the humidor last month. We saw a big uptick in home runs around May 14, so we absolutely had some sort of change. Based on this tweet, specifically, it was not entirely weather-related.

This is definitely in Manfred’s wheelhouse. A sweeping, midseason change with no indication that it’s coming. The guy is the worst commissioner in sports by far and MLB clearly made a mistake by not tailoring the humidors to the weather conditions in each specific city (aside from installing them at all, of course). I’d like to think that if pitchers were aware of the changes, they’d have tried to strike more hitters out, which makes the K% decrease that much more interesting as well.

I certainly noticed an offensive uptick. I did attribute it to warmer weather and lower K%, but this thread is about “actual” and “expected” home runs, so the decreased K% isn’t really a noteworthy factor here. This is about fly balls based on exit velo, launch angle, direction, stadium and weather.

Using Statcast search, I looked at Barrels, the highest level of contact quality. From Opening Day through May 13, Barrels had a .677 BA and a 2.186 SLG. From May 14 through June 3, Barrels had a .754 BA and a 2.521 SLG. Something does seem to be up with the baseball and it’s more than just the increases in temperature and humidity.

Yesterday’s Recap

Cardinals/Cubs: The day started with 19 runs in the Cardinals/Cubs game, as Marcus Stroman surrendered nine of them over four innings of work. Miles Mikolas had another tough start as well, giving up four runs on eight hits over his five innings. Mikolas has opted for the gradual regression route after his excellent early start. He has allowed 13 runs on 21 hits over his last three starts to raise his ERA from 1.68 to 3.02.

Giants/Marlins: We had a late switcheroo from the Marlins here, who used Richard Bleier as an opener and then Elieser Hernandez as a bulk reliever. Hernandez gave up eight runs and four homers in his 4.1 innings of work, as we saw seven homers hit in Miami, which is extremely rare. The Giants had a bullpen day and it didn’t go overly well, but scoring 15 runs covers up a lot.

Nationals/Reds: Great American “Small” Park continued to live up to its nickname with 13 runs in the Josiah Gray vs. Mike Minor matchup. There were seven homers hit in this game as well, including another for Joey Votto in the losing effort. The 23 games at GABP have averaged 11.5 runs. The Reds have scored 5.9 R/G at home and 2.8 R/G on the road. I’m not saying they’re an auto-over at home, but I’d probably never bet an under with how bad that pitching staff is.

Also, the Reds are 15-15 since that 3-18 start in April. Pretty interesting.

Diamondbacks/Pirates: Merrill Kelly really battled through his five innings yesterday, as he only gave up two earned runs, despite five hits and four walks. He outdueled JT Brubaker and the Diamondbacks hit five home runs. That’s the weird thing to me about yesterday’s homer barrage. loanDepot Park in Miami and PNC Park in Pittsburgh are generally not good hitter’s parks. Sure, there was bad pitching in both venues, but still. Perhaps humidor settings were changed in some parks, but not others?

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