All 30 teams are in action on Hump Day with baseball all day long. We’ve got six day games and nine night games for a nice schedule on June 15, including some solid pitching matchups and some that aren’t so solid. We also started the morning with three blanks in terms of starting pitchers. Some sportsbooks aren’t even listing pitchers anymore. Be careful with those, as your bet ends up getting locked in regardless of who starts.
Today marks the halfway point of June. So far this month, teams are batting .249/.315/.411 with a .319 wOBA and a 107 wRC +. That comes on the heels of a .246/.313/.398 month of May with a .313 wOBA and a 102 wRC +, but that change I talked about from May 14 on was predictive, as hitters posted a .249/.315/.406 slash. That’s pretty similar to what we’re seeing now.
In other words, the new baseline that was created looks like the new normal for the rest of the season. Extreme heat could skew numbers a tad here in the second part of June and through the summer, but we don’t have to wonder about offense now. What we’re seeing is what we’re getting.
Pirates/Cardinals: Mikes Mikolas threw 129 pitches and lost his no-hitter with two strikes and two outs in the ninth inning of Game 2 yesterday. St. Louis won that one 9-1 and swept the day as a result. While Mikolas’s start was impressive, my big takeaway is that Bryse Wilson remains a fade at any price. The Pirates right-hander gave up seven runs on 10 hits. He now owns a career 6.17 ERA with a 5.43 FIP in 150.1 innings of work. Pittsburgh scored two runs on eight hits in 18 innings and has lost nine games in a row after climbing to respectability earlier this month.
Braves/Nationals: All teams can do is play the opponents that are on the schedule. The Braves ran their winning streak to 13 games yesterday with a 10-4 win over the Nationals. Since the streak began on June 1, the Braves are batting .287/.348/.567 and have hit 32 home runs. Yes, they’ve beaten the D-Backs, Rockies, A’s, Pirates and now Nationals (with the Cubs on deck), but that is a torrid offensive pace for a group that felt like a sleeping giant. The Ozzie Albies foot fracture is a bummer, but they’ve scored 93 runs in the last 13 games.
Marlins/Phillies: We got the full Philadelphia Phillies experience on Tuesday. They lost as a -145 favorite because of the bullpen and defense in a game where they scored nine runs. That’s why this team, even with the recent streak, is hard to bet on long-term. Corey Knebel has been removed from the closer’s role and the Phillies will go with a by-committee approach. Ranger Suarez should be in that mix, but that’s just my belief.
Brewers/Mets: The Brewers are honoring the late, great Tom Petty by Free Fallin’ right now. Milwaukee is 2-10 in June and has been outscored 70-32 over those 12 games. All of the sudden, this team is down to 32-29 with some key injuries and enormous concerns. Since sweeping the May 30 doubleheader against the Cubs, the Brewers have gone from a four-game lead in the NL Central to trailing by 2.5 games.
Chris Bassitt seemed to fix whatever was wrong. He had 16 whiffs over eight shutout innings with seven strikeouts against a walk and three hits. The Brewers are batting .210/.271/.328 in June and their 68 wRC + is better than only the 53 that belongs to the Tigers.
Padres/Cubs: I’m mad at myself for leaving the Padres off of the card yesterday. Sometimes I can get buried in all of the stats that I use and miss something that stands out. Fortunately, I found it this morning, though a day late and a dollar short. While I’ve lamented the Padres offense this season, they scored 12 runs last night and have now scored 5.2 R/G on the road with 171 in 33 games. They’ve only scored 113 runs in 30 home games (3.8). I’m not if it’s the humidor, Petco or something else, but San Diego needs to be evaluated differently on the road. In light of that, yesterday’s price was short and I’m upset that I missed it.