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MLB betting market report: Daily picks, advice for Tuesday 5/10

By Adam Burke  (VSiN.com) 

May 10, 2022 11:36 AM
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There are two things that I can’t stop thinking about from last night. The first is that Mike McCready remains the best guitar player I’ve ever seen live and he still absolutely shreds at the ripe old age of 56. The second is that using Liam Hendriks six times in eight days in the month of May is a fireable offense.

Pearl Jam had yet to come out when Josh Naylor hit his titanic grand slam and had some choice words for the cameras and White Sox fans. I was shocked to see that an 8-4 game necessitated an appearance from Hendriks in the mind of Tony La Russa. Managers trying to get stats for players is a tale as old as time. To qualify for a save, the bare minimum is that the tying run has to be on deck. That was the case when Hendriks came in to face Owen Miller. He allowed a single and then Naylor hit the no-doubter. For good measure, Naylor hit the game-winning three-run homer off of Ryan Burr, but this White Sox pen and La Russa’s usage of it will be a story over the next week or more.

Stats like having a starter go five innings to qualify for a win or all of the baggage that comes along with saves, including defined reliever roles, can be to a skipper’s detriment. I try to keep a mental file of the guys that will bend over backwards to do stuff like this because it can end up like what we saw last night.

Yesterday’s Recap

Dodgers/Pirates: Full marks to the Cubs, who stepped up in a questionable spot, but we didn’t see that same effort from the Dodgers in the 5-1 loss to the Pirates. We’ll see what happens in this series going forward, but the Dodgers have only lost series to the Diamondbacks and Rockies thus far. The only thing that can stop this team is themselves and their own level of engagement. I think we can cash some plus-money tickets if we try and isolate some of those spots. Apparently yesterday was one of them with four hits and one run on a meaningless Edwin Rios pinch-hit homer in a 5-0 game in a game started by Jose Quintana.

Brewers/Reds: The Reds won again! And they beat a good pitcher! Well, Brandon Woodruff is usually good, but this season has been a mess for the Milwaukee righty. Woody has a 5.97 ERA over his six starts covering 28.2 innings. He is a clear positive regression candidate with a 3.55 xERA, a 3.57 FIP, a 59.3% LOB% and a .342 BABIP against, but he is also not locating well at all with a 44.2% Hard Hit%. Woodruff’s career-worst HH% was 35.4% back in 2018.

He’s throwing a higher rate of first-pitch strikes than ever and his SwStr% is also the highest of his career. There are a lot of positive indicators, but his command is still off.

Marlins/Diamondbacks: Tom Verducci wrote an outstanding article about first-year Diamondbacks pitching coach Brent Strom. Arizona eked out a 4-3 win, as the Marlins lost yet another one-run game, but the big takeaway for me continues to be how dramatically improved this D-Backs pitching staff is. In this offensive environment, it’s easier to win 4-3 or 3-2 and Arizona has enough offensive punch to do that much. I look for pitch usage changes or other philosophy changes coming into a season to try and find some betting value. Strom has changed everything about this staff for the better and the bullpen is even performing better than I expected. Coaching matters. Think of pitching coaches like defensive coordinators. You handicap those in football, right? Why not consider what pitching coaches are doing to have a positive effect on teams.

Cubs/Padres: Let’s look for some residual effects on Kyle Hendricks next time out. To help a beleaguered bullpen and push for a complete game (managers trying to get players stats), Hendricks threw 116 pitches in yesterday’s win over the Padres. That was the first time since June 4, 2019 that Hendricks threw at least 110 pitches and the most since he threw 123 pitches on August 1, 2016. He threw an absolute gem, but pitchers aren’t built for that workload anymore.

A’s/Tigers: I’m really upset with myself. I started putting the A’s in as a best bet yesterday and then realized that they had lost nine games in a row. For some reason, that took me off of the game, especially because my first impression was to be surprised that the Tigers were favored. Sometimes, you just have to trust yourself. The Oakland offense is still listed as missing on milk cartons, but Paul Blackburn’s 6.2 innings of quality work was enough to win. I’m also stunned at how bad the Tigers are. That season win total ticket may go down as my worst bet of 2022.

Guardians/White Sox: I’ve already covered this game a bit, but I cannot stress enough how much handicapping bullpen workload matters if you are betting full games. I also have to give credit to Zach Plesac. I haven’t been high on him at all, but after giving up the four first-inning runs, he didn’t give up another one until the seventh. Maybe that’s a building block for him and the team. His velocity also ticked up a day after Aaron Civale’s did the same. It would be nice to see Cleveland hurlers add some mph back.

Phillies/Mariners: I’m a big proponent of grading handicaps to see what I missed and what I got right. Sometimes you miss everything and that’s what happened in this game with the Phillies and Mariners. Credit to the Phillies for overcoming a really rough spot off of the doubleheader against the Mets. It was also a huge positive for them to see Ranger Suarez pitch extremely well with seven strikeouts in six innings. Sometimes you get a game dead wrong, but you can’t dwell on it. Into Tuesday we go.

Tuesday Resources

Weather: Maaaaybe we’ve turned the corner. With 16 games on the betting board today, precipitation is not really a factor in any of them. It’s even warming up in a lot of places. The only game threatened by rain is Guardians/White Sox, but it may take a Josh Naylor cloud-piercing homer to get some sprinkles, as the wet stuff is supposed to hold off until overnight.

Wind could be a modest negative in Detroit, NYC and San Diego, with potentially helpful breezes in San Francisco and Anaheim.

Injuries: Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. Also, my friend @MLBDream on Twitter put together a great MLB beat writer list to follow. 

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