Seventeen games are on a jam-packed betting board for Saturday, as we’ve got two doubleheaders to contend with, one involving the poor Cleveland Guardians. It was Cleveland’s 10th postponed game of the season and they will now play three doubleheaders in the next 10 days. With 16 days left until the All-Star Break begins, a lot of teams are dragging, but none have had a more grueling calendar than Cleveland.
No article on Sunday, as you know, but I’ll be hosting The Run Line with Josh Towers from 8-10 p.m. ET tomorrow night.
For now, let’s check out the Saturday card.
Cardinals/Phillies: A play I had partially written up and deleted was the 1st 5 over as a way to fade Miles Mikolas in this one. It got there thanks to three Phillies runs in the fifth, but Mikolas pitched relatively well again and was very good until that point, as the defense let him down in the inning. I’ll still look to be against him in the lead-up to the Break.
Marlins/Nationals: Trevor Rogers finally turned in a solid outing with one run allowed on two hits over five innings in Miami’s 5-3 win over the Nats. Rogers still ranks in the 71st percentile in exit velocity and 86th percentile in Hard Hit%, but a sizable drop in K% and a big spike in BB% have really hurt. He has gotten a bit unlucky with a .317 BABIP and a 67.4% LOB%. I’ll wait to see another start with encouraging signs before buying in a little, but he’s probably pitched better than a 5.56 ERA would suggest.
Braves/Reds: Mike Minor actually held the Braves to two runs on six hits over six innings, but the bullpen gave up seven runs in three innings to push this one over the total. Games at Great American Ball Park have averaged 11.4 runs per contest. This one didn’t get that high, but it managed to inch over 9.5, even with two solid starts.
However, of much greater concern, Max Fried’s spin rates and velocity were down across the board, including a 1.5 mph drop in four-seam fastball velo. He only had eight whiffs in 46 swings. His velo was up and down throughout the start, but something seems off with the Statcast numbers. He only allowed three hard-hit balls and didn’t walk anybody, so maybe it wasn’t anything to be concerned about, but I’m following closely.
Padres/Dodgers: Tony Gonsolin kept rolling right along with 7.2 innings of one-run ball in the 5-1 win over San Diego. Blake Snell was a big story with 12 strikeouts over just five innings, as he racked up 22 whiffs on 49 swings, including 11 whiffs on 12 swings with his slider. Gonsolin had 18 whiffs in 52 swings himself. Both games in this series have stayed comfortably under the total, as it sure seems like the advanced scouts have done their jobs.
The Dodgers struck out 17 times in this game after striking out 10 times against Joe Musgrove yesterday. We’re seeing more strikeouts and fewer walks from the Dodgers over the last few weeks, something to monitor moving forward. They did draw four walks against Snell yesterday, but they were 16th in BB% in June, after easily leading the league at 11% through May 31.