Thursday is a light day in Major League Baseball with just eight games under consideration. All of the chatter and attention will be paid to the NFL schedule release and the NBA/NHL Playoffs anyway, so it isn’t a bad day for nearly half of the league’s teams to take a day of rest. Three of the eight games are also matinee tilts, so it will truly be a light evening on the diamond.
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Dodgers/Pirates: The Dodgers have now lost series to the Rockies, Diamondbacks and Pirates because baseball makes no sense. They sent out rookie Ryan Pepiot, who walked five in just three innings in his debut. I postulated that the Dodgers might not take every game seriously and that appeared to be the case in this series, though some of their better bullpen arms failed them in this one. I would think getaway day games against bad teams may not be bad spots to try and take underdog shots against them.
Brewers/Reds: MLB will be sending investigators to see if the humidor in Cincinnati has malfunctioned. Okay, so that’s not true (I don’t think), but this series saw 49 runs in three games. The Reds actually won the series, scoring 28 runs against Brewers pitching, including a game started by Brandon Woodruff. Great American Ball Park is an excellent venue for offense on an annual basis, but I really didn’t see this coming, especially with several top position players still out for the Reds.
If nothing else, this series serves as an example of why I look for huge outliers to regress to the mean. I didn’t bet them, but I kept saying that the Reds couldn’t remain as bad as they were and that turned out to be true.
Marlins/Diamondbacks: Use context clues as a guide in the betting market. Merrill Kelly had been cruising. The Marlins don’t usually take money on the road. Miami flipped into a favorite and won 11-3. Those eye-opening line moves won’t always be right, but this one was and a lot of them have been so far. Use the market as your guide.
Rockies/Giants: We didn’t get much help from the Rockies on our 1st 5 over, but the Giants got there on their own as Chad Kuhl’s regression hit. He did strike out eight, so the stuff was seemingly okay, but he allowed five runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings. Kuhl had a 1.82 ERA with a 2.91 xERA and a 3.40 FIP going into that start. He now has a 2.88 ERA with a 3.06 xERA and a 3.56 FIP. Sometimes regression is gradual. Sometimes it hits pretty quick.
Cubs/Padres: Fading Nick Martinez worked out as well, as he allowed five runs on four hits in four innings of work. He, too, struck out eight, but he had a 3.38 ERA with a 5.38 xERA and a 5.46 FIP. His successes with RISP were driving his low ERA. The Cubs were 3-for-4 with a walk with RISP. It’s nice when a handicap works out and Martinez still shows those lucky splits, so we should get more opportunities.