Sixteen games are on a crowded Tuesday betting board, including a doubleheader in St. Louis between the Cardinals and Pirates. More and more of these scheduled doubleheaders are popping up and are things that can put a strain on a pitching staff that has some longer-lasting effects, especially with how bullpens are being used and abused these days.
I’ve got a lot to discuss, so let’s jump right in.
Marlins/Phillies: The steam on the Marlins and Sandy Alcantara came up short, as Philly walked off Miami in a 3-2 pitcher’s duel. Alcantara was solid again, but so was Aaron Nola and the Phillies got two scoreless relief innings and the Marlins did not. Alcantara threw 113 pitches and got pushed an inning too long by Don Mattingly, as an inherited runner scored in the eighth and Anthony Bass lost it in the ninth. Alcantara does get an extra day off, otherwise I’d have faded him against the Mets for sure and still might anyway. Keep an eye on those pitchers that throw over 100 pitches and see when their next starts are and who they are against.
Braves/Nationals: After a rain delay, the Nationals erred on the side of caution with Josiah Gray and effectively punted the game with a Johnny Wholestaff bullpen day started by Erasmo Ramirez. More importantly, Ian Anderson struggled again for the Braves. He’s got a 4.81 ERA right now and cannot be trusted. The market hasn’t trusted him for a while, but I’ve had a longer leash. He walked four and gave up four runs on six hits in his four innings of work.
Pirates/Cardinals: Another case of a manager pushing his starter too far. Mitch Keller pitched into the sixth for Pittsburgh, but left a mess for Anthony Banda, who let both inherited runners score with one out and gave up three additional runs of his own. That third time through the order penalty is a killer and Derek Shelton, who was Kevin Cash’s bench coach in Tampa, let Keller face Paul Goldschmidt, Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill for a third time. Goldy doubled, Arenado lined out on a 105.3 mph missile and O’Neill singled. Banda poured gasoline on the rest.
Padres/Cubs: A gnarly thunderstorm blew through the Chicagoland area and delayed this game. When the teams got on the field, it seemed like they were trying to play at a breakneck pace, as the game was 1-1 until the eighth when the Padres scored three runs to make yesterday’s only pick a winner. Yu Darvish and Justin Steele were both terrific, but Rowan Wick was not.
That can be an angle after rain delays or in games where rain is coming. Teams will try to play at a quickened pace. Nobody wants another delay or to be at the ballpark until after midnight. It’s another reason why checking the forecast is important.
Reds/Diamondbacks: Since their 3-21 start, the Reds are now 19-18 over the last 37 games. Bettors will continue to look down on teams with bad records, but some things aren’t as bad as they seem. Some also are, as teams like the Royals, Tigers and A’s have never really gotten on a run, but Cincinnati has been competent for well over a month now and we know about their hitting prowess at home. Look for spots to back this team, at least in a 1st 5 context since the bullpen stinks.
Orioles/Blue Jays: Ho hum, six more shutout innings for Alek Manoah to lower his ERA to 1.67. Every starter in the Blue Jays lineup had at least one hit against the Orioles, who had a rough fifth inning with seven runs allowed. Baltimore is 19-22 since May 1, so this is another team that isn’t as bad as the full-season record would suggest, but has had some really lopsided losses lately to push a narrative that they’re a really bad team. Look for spots to play on them. There will be some.
White Sox/Tigers: Lance Lynn’s return did not go overly well, as he allowed three runs on 10 hits. If the Tigers could have gotten a big hit, the game may have gone differently for the White Sox, but they scored nine and Jose Abreu’s resurgence was at the forefront with a couple of homers and four RBI, including a tank to dead center in a park where that is very hard to do. The White Sox keep hanging around in spite of so much. I still think there’s hope for this team.
Astros/Rangers: Three more hits for Marcus Semien in Texas’s 5-3 win over the Astros. This is a team that has figured some things out on the pitching side and just needs the offense to find a way to perform. The Rangers are 29-31 after a 2-9 start in their first 11 games and a 6-14 start in their first 20 games. They’re also just 3-10 in one-run games. Despite a lack of household names, this is a pretty pesky team to play against.
Twins/Mariners: Rocco Baldelli gets it. Chris Archer was pulled after 67 pitches and four innings. It puts a ton of strain on the Minnesota bullpen, but you can figure that out. Baldelli believes strongly in the third time through the order penalty as a former Rays player and coach in the organization. It may have won him the game yesterday by being proactive. Picking up on these little coaching nuances may help throughout the season.
Weather: No rain in the forecast today, but pop-up thundershowers are always a possibility at this time of the year, so if you’re waiting until lineups are posted, be sure to check the weather as well. We do have some hot and humid conditions in various places that should help with hitting, including St. Louis, Chicago and Denver.
Injuries: Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. This is also a good resource at FanGraphs (sort by date) HERE.
Marlins at Phillies (-140, 8.5): We’re seeing some love for the Marlins again here, as they’ll send out Trevor Rogers against Zach Eflin and the Phillies. The Marlins fell to 27-32 last night, but are 32-27 by Pythagorean Win-Loss and 30-29 per BaseRuns, so they have underachieved a bit. That being said, the Phillies are 31-30, but + 29 in run differential and their Pyth W/L is 33-28 with a BaseRuns record of 35-26.
I think bettors don’t believe in Philadelphia as much as this recent run might suggest and the Marlins also grade surprisingly well against righties.
Padres (-135, 10.5) at Cubs: It’s a great day for offense at Wrigley Field, which is why we see this total up in double digits. What surprises me here, though, is that Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs are not getting bet against per the overnight lines. Hendricks is a guy that the market has very little faith in and Manaea is having a very solid season. The Cubs are also below league average by wRC + against lefties.
There was an early line move on Manaea, but some quick buyback on Hendricks, which is certainly surprising to me.
Angels at Dodgers (-195, 8.5): An overnight move on the Dodgers and Tony Gonsolin met a little bit of resistance this morning with some buyback on the Angels and Noah Syndergaard. Seeing buyback right before first pitch isn’t surprising on a game where the favorite moved up, just because a lot of sharp groups and individuals just try to arbitrage MLB by betting both sides of the game (at different shops, of course) at favorable odds. You usually don’t see that underdog investment as quickly as we did here or in that Padres/Cubs game.
What I’ll Be Watching
Joe Ryan: Ryan comes back for the Twins after an extended absence due to COVID-19. He hasn’t pitched at the MLB level since May 21, but allowed two or fewer runs in seven of his eight starts before getting sick. He threw three shutout innings in a minor league start on June 9 to get ready for his return. I would presume Ryan is around 65-75 pitches between side sessions, sim games and a rehab start. The Twins pen does have four relievers that worked Saturday and Monday, but nobody is on a back-to-back from Sunday.
When Ryan went out, he had a 2.28 ERA with a 3.28 FIP and a 4.40 xFIP. As we know, offense changed around mid-May and he only made two starts around that time. I’ll be very curious to see how he does today against a Mariners lineup that doesn’t make a ton of quality contact.
Chris Bassitt: I saw some negative indicators a few weeks ago in Bassitt’s profile and he has not pitched well in four of his last five starts. To be fair, he’s faced the Cardinals, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers and Padres, so he’s faced four pretty good lineups and a Padres team that struggles with righties, but touched him up for seven runs in 3.1 innings. Bassitt did not allow a hard-hit ball in that start against the Padres, but still struggled through it. His Hard Hit% is only 34.7%, but walks, sequencing and the third time through the order have really hurt.
Bassitt was at a loss for words with reporters after the last start and seemed like a guy that is wearing his struggles hard. The Brewers offense has been in the tank for a while now, so maybe this is a good bounce back spot for him. The platoon splits have really gotten him with a .258/.348/.484 slash and a .364 wOBA for lefties, as opposed to a .217/.273/.333 slash and a .271 wOBA for righties.
Tuesday Best Bets
Shop around for the best lines! I’m using a market consensus number that should be widely available to most, but every cent matters, so do the best you can to get the best line possible.
VEGAS LINES | ODDS BY STATE | MLB MATCHUPS
Phillies (-140) over Marlins: Zach Eflin and Trevor Rogers square off here and Eflin has been much better than Rogers and also matches up pretty well against this Miami lineup. Eflin comes in with a 3.76 ERA, a 2.76 xERA and a 3.43 FIP. Most importantly, righties are only batting .225/.264/.314 with a .252 wOBA. Lefties have done damage, and while the Marlins are an excellent offense against righties, it’s largely because of what their right-handed bats are doing in that split.
Rogers, on the other hand, has allowed a .339 wOBA to lefties and a .362 wOBA to righties, so he’s struggled with both sides of the plate. What ultimately separates Eflin and Rogers to me are their respective walk and home run rates. Rogers has a 9.8% BB% and Eflin’s sits at 5.7%. The second thing is that Rogers has allowed eight homers in 50 innings with a 13.3% HR/FB% and Eflin has allowed just five homers in 55 innings with a HR/FB% of 8.1%.
Eflin has the better Hard Hit% and higher K% as well. The Phillies pretty clearly have the starting pitcher edge here, have the more trustworthy lineup and also have the better bullpen at present. Miami’s pen has a 6.27 ERA over the last 14 days, while the Phillies pen has really stabilized and has a 3.83 ERA in that span.
Also, even though the numbers don’t really show it this season, I have worries about Rogers (and most Marlins pitchers) in road starts away from pitcher-friendly loanDepot Park.Rogers has gotten away with a .264 BABIP on the road that has prevented his 10.4% BB% and low 15.2% K% from being problematic. I think those could be issues today against a Phillies lineup that is rolling and ranks sixth in wOBA against LHP this season.
With all that said, I’m on the Phillies in this one.
Rays/Yankees Under 8 (-120): Gerrit Cole had one of those days last time out, as he allowed seven runs in 2.1 innings to the Twins. He gave up five homers and four barrels, but he had only allowed 11 barrels in 11 starts prior to that and had a Hard Hit% under 40%. It was only the second start in which Cole allowed more than three runs this season. It looks like a one-off and I’m not too worried about him.
A guy like Corey Kluber should match up pretty well with the Yankees. He’s only walked nine of 228 batters and only allowed seven home runs in 55.2 innings of work. He’s always been strong against right-handed batters with his cutter and curveball combo and that’s no different this season. His one big blow-up of the season came on the road with eight runs allowed on 11 hits against the Angels, so his road numbers are pretty skewed as a result with only five road outings. In the other four, he’s allowed a total of four runs.
Both bullpens are well-rested here following Monday’s off day and these are two of the top-10 bullpens by fWAR and ERA. The Yankees are also second in FIP, while the Rays are 13th, due in large part to a lower K%. My expectation is that Cole bounces back nicely against a lineup with the sixth-highest K% against RHP and that Kluber’s stinginess with walks against a lineup walking over 10% of the time should give him success as well. I’ll be on the Under 8 and, frankly, lean with the Rays at the big underdog price. I’ll wait to see if the market drives Cole any higher here throughout the day.
I’m tracking my picks in this spreadsheet HERE.