Thursday’s schedule is very light, with only eight games and five of them during the day. There are a lot of interesting matchups on the board and we’ve seen some line movement based on who’s in and who’s out of the lineup with those early starts. A lot of teams are playing a game per day or slightly more than that during this current stretch, as MLB put together some five-game series and some scheduled doubleheaders to accommodate games that were pushed back due to the lockout.
As a result, we’ll see some teams attempting to steal some days off here and there for their players. Aaron Boone, for example, has given Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton each a day off here recently. Those things will move lines as modelers reset their projections based on the lineup release, so keep an eye out for that.
Braves/Brewers: The Braves just keep finding ways to lose. This time, it happened in 11 innings with THREE BLOWN SAVES, one in the ninth, one in the 10th and one in the 11th. This was after Atlanta scored four runs off of Corbin Burnes to take a 4-0 lead after three innings. I keep harping on it, but this team is extremely disappointing this season. While Burnes only had five strikeouts, he had 20 whiffs in 53 swings. Aside from Austin Riley’s three-run homer, the Braves did very little on offense again.
Giants/Rockies: It’s been a rough week. The best bets have run really bad and the handicaps have been poor. The Giants did very little against Kyle Freeland, but were still in a position to win. Gabe Kapler let Logan Webb start the eighth inning, but then pulled him after a soft leadoff single. He then went to lefty Jose Alvarez, who gave up a game-tying single and a two-run homer, both to right-handed batters. That loss hurt. Managerial decisions matter and Kapler made two errors here in my opinion.
Nationals/Marlins: On a day when Nick Pivetta threw a complete game two-hitter against the Astros, Pablo Lopez got knocked around at home by the Nationals. Lopez gave up three runs on four hits in three innings. He walked three, only struck out two and had a velocity decrease, but he only allowed three hard-hit balls, all of which were barrels. He just wasn’t sharp.
Josiah Gray had 15 whiffs on 27 sliders in this start and 18 whiffs total. In his last two starts, Gray’s primary pitch has been the slider. He gave up six runs and three homers to the Astros, but pitched better yesterday against the Marlins. If nothing else, the increased slider usage should give him more swing and miss upside, so his strikeout prop overs may go on a bit of a run.
Padres/Phillies: Blake Snell needed 84 pitches to get eight outs yesterday in his 2022 MLB debut. Fortunately long man Nick Martinez threw four excellent relief innings to save the bullpen for today’s matinee. Snell said he was going to work in more changeups this season, but only threw eight of them, with 81% of his tosses as four-seamers and sliders. There’s something about his profile I just don’t really like.
Zack Wheeler had 19 whiffs in 50 swings and a slight uptick in velo. My early-season concerns about him are gone.
Cardinals/Mets: It seems like we have the dreaded oblique injury for Max Scherzer. Scherzer took himself out of the game in the sixth yesterday after pulling a slider and pulling something in his side. The Mets are Metsing on the injury front again, with Tylor Megill sidelined and now Scherzer. This is also a team that far and away leads MLB in infield hits and is probably going to regress on offense. Buyer beware with the Mets for the next little while I think.