After only seven games on Monday, we have more than double that on Tuesday, as there are 16 games on the betting card. All of them start at 4:10 p.m. ET or later, with the first game serving as Game 1 of a doubleheader in the Land of BBQ where the White Sox battle the Royals.
Betting baseball after the Trade Deadline is a real challenge. Look at the lines for the six NL games today. You’ve got consensus lines of -235, -320, -200, -165, -155 and -170 in those games and six very hard-to-bet underdogs. Even in the AL, we have one non-doubleheader with a line under -140 and the three interleague games are -150 and up. You either have to lay heavy chalk or pick the right side in the coin flip games. It is a much more difficult betting environment. A lot of sharp bettors have already moved on to football season and their remaining prep. It’s just challenging to find good opportunities.
I’ve shied away from including player props and other derivatives in the article for the season. I won’t start now, but some of those may be your best avenues at this point, especially if you can pick up on managers or teams talking about pitch/innings limits and other things of that nature.
We’ve got a lot of things to think about for today’s card, so let’s get to the action.
Reds/Mets: Chris Bassitt scattered eight hits and allowed an unearned run in New York’s 5-1 win over Cincinnati. The Reds were just 1-for-9 with RISP and left 11 men on base, so they had chances. Cincinnati started the season 3-22, but now sits one game under .500 over the last 83 games. They’ve really hung in there rather well as the season has gone along. Maybe it doesn’t matter that much for this season, but I’m already starting to think about 2023 win totals and teams I’ll be looking to bet on. Perhaps the Reds will be one.
The Mets pushed Chris Bassitt out to 114 pitches in hopes of giving the bullpen the majority of the night off. Bassitt will get an extra day between starts, but I’d still be wary of him for Sunday’s day game against the Phillies.
Nationals/Cubs: Getting thrown out on a strike out/throw out double play to lose 6-3 is quite fascinating. That’s the kind of thing that bad teams do and the Nationals are now a really bad team. Keegan Thompson gave up one run over six innings and Anibal Sanchez gave up four runs on seven hits. The idea that the Nats don’t even have a fringy prospect to call up for these starts is another reason why they absolutely had to do the Soto deal.
Pirates/Diamondbacks: After I criticized Zac Gallen in yesterday’s article, he went out and fired seven shutout innings with eight punchies against the Pirates. The Pirates are really hard to figure out these days. Some days the bats are there. Some days the pitching is there. Some days neither are there.
The pitching was there yesterday, as Tyler Beede was sharp for 3.2 innings before giving way to the bullpen. There were only 11 hard-hit balls total in this one. Rather boring game. Should’ve bet the under apparently.
Giants/Padres: The Padres haven’t scored in 23 innings now after getting blanked by Alex Wood and the Giants. Wood had five strikeouts over 6.1 innings and the bullpen did the rest. Meanwhile, Blake Snell had 18 whiffs over his 5.2 innings, but surrendered the game’s only run. The Giants struck out 15 times in this game. That offense is really scuffling.
Blue Jays/Orioles: Baltimore cashed as an underdog yesterday with a wire-to-wire dub after a three-run shot in the first. Jordan Lyles gave up eight hits and two solo homers in 5.2 innings, but those were the only two runs he allowed. Meanwhile, Yusei Kikuchi wound up allowing three homers and the lower-level relievers for the Jays gave up some insurance runs.
Lyles had velo decreases across the board and some depressed spin rates. I’ll be watching closely for his next few outings.
Angels/Athletics: I guess the under was the play here, as the A’s managed just two hits in a shutout loss. Naturally, because I can’t get anything going of late, the Angels had their first 1-0 win of the season after losing their previous 17 games when scoring one run. Cole Irvin’s home dominance continued for the A’s with eight innings of one-run ball, but Luis Rengifo’s solo homer in the first prevailed. Jose Suarez struck out eight over seven innings and the A’s went down on six pitches in the ninth against Ryan Tepera. Clearly they were invested in the game.
That’s one of the big issues at this time of the year betting on bad or below average teams. They’re just not going to show up some days and that’s what Oakland did yesterday.
Yankees/Mariners: In yesterday’s highlight game, the Yankees banged out nine runs against Logan Gilbert and the bullpen. Gilbert gave up seven runs on 10 hits as the regression signs I’ve been looking at all season have come through recently. The rotation remains my greatest concern about the M’s.
On the Yankees side, Clay Holmes gave up a run yet again after Aroldis Chapman threw a scoreless eighth. They need to get Holmes right and do so quickly.
Weather: The weather patterns have remained pretty constant for a few days. Humid conditions have created the chances for pop-up storms. We’ve got some more of the same today, but only on the East Coast, as Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York are in question. The Midwest has actually cooled off a bit today, so those games all look pretty good.
Injuries: Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. This is also a good resource at FanGraphs (sort by date) HERE.
Reds at Mets (-320, 8.5): We’ve seen the Mets jump about 30 cents here against the Reds. It’s kind of hard to think about the Mets not already being priced at the top of the market after that series against the Braves, but modelers feel like there’s still some value. Either that or they just really want to fade Mike Minor.
Nationals at Cubs (-200, 7.5): You would also think that the Nationals are at the bottom of the market by now, but evidently not. We’ve seen a 10-15 cent move on the Cubs, who are an uncomfortably large favorite again today behind Marcus Stroman.
Blue Jays (-150, 8.5) at Orioles: Depending on the book, we’ve seen upwards of a 30-35 cent move on Baltimore here. Kyle Bradish has a 6.55 ERA with a 5.52 xERA and a 5.15 FIP, but here he is taking money against Alek Manoah and the Jays. I get it, especially with how the Orioles have been playing, but it’s still pretty crazy on the surface.
Yankees (-130, 7) at Mariners: We’re seeing a little bit of Mariners interest in Luis Castillo in this matchup against Gerrit Cole. Cole has had some issues lately and Castillo was dominant against the Yankees last time out. I’ll be curious to see where this line goes later because you’ve basically never been able to get Cole at this price with either the Astros or Yankees. Some bettors may take the historical outlier on principle here.
What I’ll Be Watching
Joe Ryan: The full-season numbers are still solid for Joe Ryan with a 3.67 ERA, 3.39 xERA and a 4.21 FIP. He’s an extreme fly ball guy, so homers are going to happen and he’s allowed 14 of them in just 90.2 innings, but he allowed five of them two starts ago against the Padres. He allowed 10 runs on eight hits in that start, which was a huge ERA booster. He bounced back against the Tigers next time out, but this is obviously a much better lineup against the Dodgers.
You can’t just eliminate starts from the ledger, but he has allowed nine homers in 86 innings aside from that huge blow-up in San Diego and 27 earned runs over 86 innings in his other 16 starts. It’s just a matter of keeping the ball in the park and we have seen this total come down from 8.5 to 8, which is suggestive that modelers are thinking the same way I am about his numbers with that one disaster as the outlier.
Charlie Morton: Morton has a 2.40 ERA with a 3.31 FIP over his last 56.1 innings of work. In those nine starts, he’s struck out 68 and walked 17 with just six homers allowed, three of them in one start against the Mets. He’s given up a 10% Barrel%, but five of the 13 came in that start. His Hard Hit% is only 33.8% in that span, while sitting at 38.9% for the season. He’s clearly made some positive adjustments as the year has gone along. His full-season numbers show a 4.09 ERA with a 4.14 xERA and a 3.95 FIP, but he got off to a really bad start and has stabilized now.
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
Braves Run Line (-1.5, + 100) over Red Sox: I said on Sunday night and I said in yesterday’s article that I expect the Atlanta offense to get back on track in this series. That remains the case and I’ll lay the run line here to cut into the vig of the full game. I think the 1st 5 run line at -115 is also a viable bet, but Atlanta’s bullpen is so much better than Boston’s that it should be fine to go the full-game route.
I just mentioned a bunch of stuff above about Morton, so I’ll focus on Rich Hill here. Hill fits the profile of a guy that the Braves should hit around. He’s a left-handed pitcher with a below average K% and a below average SwStr%. Hill just returned from more than a month away and gave up four runs on six hits in three innings to the Astros at Minute Maid Park. He had a 50% Hard Hit% against on 14 batted balls and only one strikeout.
The Braves have made it a habit of crushing guys that can’t generate much swing and miss against them. Righties own a .475 SLG against Hill this season with a .345 wOBA. In Fenway Park, righties have a .323/.376/.624 slash with a .424 wOBA in 101 plate appearances. Everything lines up for Atlanta here and they’re taking a rested bullpen to Boston with a pitcher in Morton that has been locked in a nice groove.
With the guarantee that Atlanta bats nine times here, I’ll go ahead and lay the -1.5 and take the run line. I do expect Atlanta to bounce back in these two games.
I spent a good 45 minutes today trying to figure out the best way to recommend some sort of Shane Bieber bet. Bieber’s average fastball velo as back up to 92 mph in his last two starts, as it seems like maybe he’s figured something out mechanically. Over 18.5 Outs is an offering at some places and I think that’s a decent bet. I strongly contemplated the Guardians run line, but their offense is not trustworthy at all. The under is juiced to -125, so I passed on that, even though everything is telling me that Cleveland wins this game 3-1 or 4-1. I’ll probably regret typing, deleting, replacing, deleting and ultimately leaving off Cleveland run line, but I do think there are some ways to bet on Bieber in what should be an outstanding matchup for him. The Over 6.5 strikeout prop is juiced heavily, but if you can find a more reasonable price than what DK has at -165, that may be a good route as well.
I’m tracking my picks in this spreadsheet HERE.