After a dizzying day around the diamond with a bevy of trades and new faces in new places, the best bets article returns with a look at the Wednesday card. Tons of day games today, which limits the betting options being on the West Coast with the time it takes to write the article.
There are plenty of things to watch and talk about, but I’d encourage you to check out the Trade Deadline live blog I did over the last two days for all of that coverage: https://www.vsin.com/2022-mlb-trade-deadline-how-deals-impact-the-betting-odds/
Lastly, well wishes and condolences to the family and friends of legend Vin Scully. What a phenomenal life. Like I said last night on The Night Cap shortly after the news broke, we often say that people are born to do something, but Vin was legitimately born to do what he did as a broadcasting icon and somebody baseball fans around the world respected and listened to for six decades. RIP, sir.
Rockies/Padres: Two wins on the field and several wins off of it for the Padres yesterday. They swept the doubleheader from the Rockies on Trent Grisham’s walk-off rocket and also made possibly the biggest trade ever to get Juan Soto. Josh Hader threw a scoreless inning and got the win in his Padres debut.
Yu Darvish wasn’t terribly sharp and Nabil Crismatt wasn’t sharp at all, but it was a spectacular day otherwise for the Friars.
Reds/Marlins: The Cincinnati Pitching Factory is doing really well. Not only did the Reds get some interesting arms at the deadline, but Nick Lodolo, Hunter Greene and Graham Ashcraft have allowed one earned run on 10 hits over the last 20.1 innings with 18 strikeouts against two walks. According to StatsbySTATS, the Reds are the first team to start three straight rookies and have them combine for 18 or more K and no more than one ER.
Yes, the last two have been against the Marlins, but these cats are dealing. Lodolo’s been good of late and Ashcraft’s been inconsistent, but I love the raw stuff. Ashcraft only had three of the strikeouts and allowed a ton of hard-hit contact, so his 8.1 innings come with a grain of salt, but this is a way better team than it was early in the season. If only they could get some bullpen arms.
Meanwhile, Miami’s Braxton Garrett struck out 11 over his 5.2 innings and got a very tough-luck loss. The Marlins’ offensive struggles continued and they sold off some bullpen arms, so they look like a good fade team moving forward.
Mets/Nationals: Baseball is weird. Jacob deGrom returned and pitched five quality innings, but the Nationals still pulled off the second-biggest upset of the season on a day when they traded their two best hitters. The big story is obviously deGrom, who struck out six on 59 pitches, but Washington’s cobbled together lineup got to the Mets pen for the 5-1 win. The Mets only had two hard-hit balls against Cory Abbott and the Nationals pen, which has been quite a bit better recently.
Brewers/Pirates: Another shocking upset featured the Pirates with a 5-3 win in a battle between Corbin Burnes and Bryse Wilson. Burnes walked five in 5.1 innings and gave up four runs on three hits, while Wilson turned in yet another decent outing. Since returning to the team on July 2, Wilson has a 3.62 ERA in 27.1 innings. He also, however, has a 5.05 FIP, so that’s concerning. Like Mitch Keller, he’s really become a big-time ground ball guy, as that’s been a notable change for Pittsburgh pitchers. They’re doing some nice things on the pitching side, which is easier to fix than hitting when a new regime takes over. We’ll see if they can continue.
Phillies/Braves: Spencer Strider struck out 13 in 6.2 innings and the Braves scored 13 runs in a rout of the Phillies. Atlanta will go with a six-man rotation to protect Strider, Kyle Wright, Ian Anderson and Max Fried by slotting Jake Odorizzi into the mix. This team has been rolling for a long time now. Since the start of June, Atlanta is 40-14 and is showing no signs of slowing down.
Cubs/Cardinals: Keegan Thompson had a rough one as the Cardinals made some trades to help the rotation, but not the lineup. Adam Wainwright’s home splits came into play with seven shutout innings and only five hard-hit balls. It was a weird day for the Cubs, who bid adieu to a couple of relievers, but kept Willson Contreras and Ian Happ. Now Contreras plays out the string with a team he said he won’t sign with and Happ wonders if he’ll get dealt over the winter. Though the deadline has come and gone, it’s still uncomfortable right now for the Cubs.
Dodgers/Giants: The Dodgers led 6-0 and let the Giants back into it with five runs in the fourth, only to win 9-5. Tyler Anderson had control problems with four walks in five innings and some untimely hard-hit balls. Alex Wood gave up six runs on nine hits, as the Giants were plagued by what has hurt them all season long. They can’t field and their bullpen is a random number generator. The Dodgers pen threw four scoreless.
Some may wonder about the Dodgers not doing anything, but Justin Turner will be back and Chris Taylor is on a rehab assignment. Dustin May is almost back and Walker Buehler will be back in about a month. They didn’t need to. Their deadline moves are getting healthy.
Mariners/Yankees: I felt like Jameson Taillon could be the odd man out for the Yankees, but they opted to trade Jordan Montgomery instead. Taillon had a rough one yesterday with six runs on two hits (both homers) and four walks in 4.2 innings. So did Logan Gilbert, whose regression finally hit with three homers allowed at Yankee Stadium. Gilbert allowed a ton of hard-hit contact as well with 11 hard-hit balls in 5.1 innings.
Credit to Seattle for scoring eight without Ty France and Julio Rodriguez. When those guys are in the lineup, this is a very formidable group.
Blue Jays/Rays: I’m a bit surprised at the lack of activity for the Rays at the deadline. This is the definition of a fringy playoff team and they’re in a big battle for the Wild Card. They managed just one hit against Kevin Gausman, who struck out 10 and had 18 swings and misses. At least Drew Rasmussen was really good over his six innings, but the Blue Jays won it with two runs in the ninth. It’s a bad night when Taylor Walls has your only two hits.
Tigers/Twins: The scrappy Tigers came from behind against the Twins for a 5-3 win in Matt Manning’s return from the IL. He wasn’t sharp with four walks in five innings, but the pen threw four scoreless frames and stayed mostly in tact at the deadline, losing only Michael Fulmer to the Twins. As long as the Tigers can hang around early, they can be dangerous late and that was the case here.
Orioles/Rangers: I know Jordan Lyles has pitched poorly on the road, but I can’t figure out why the Rangers were a dog to Spencer Howard yesterday. Sure, they don’t have Trey Mancini and Jorge Lopez anymore, but Howard had an ERA around 7 before his out-of-body experience against the Angels. Lyles had 17 whiffs in his 6.1 innings and the O’s jumped on Howard for five in the third.
I really expected more from this Texas team and their close losses suggest that they’re not far away from being more competitive, but there’s a lot to dislike about this rotation and bullpen, along with a lineup full of below average hitters. I should probably be fading them more.
Royals/White Sox: Brad Keller was pushed back a day and that didn’t really work out. He allowed eight runs on 13 hits in 5.2 innings, including 15 hard-hit balls, so it could’ve been even worse. Lucas Giolito wasn’t terribly sharp in his five innings, but he didn’t have to be and the bullpen fired four scoreless frames.
Red Sox/Astros: The Red Sox deserve a lot of credit for the last two days, as they scored 2-1 and 3-2 wins with all the deadline distractions. Kutter Crawford scattered seven hits in six innings and Rafael Devers hit a big homer and drove in both runs in his first game since July 22. Boston is back over .500 now and has to feel a bit more life with the way the Rays are struggling.
Diamondbacks/Guardians: Triston McKenzie had 17 whiffs over six innings, but also gave up five runs on six hits as Cleveland failed to gain ground in the AL Central race. The bigger story here is that Zac Gallen, who allowed three runs on six hits in 5.2 innings, only had four swings and misses on 48 swings. Cleveland doesn’t swing and miss a lot, but Gallen’s stuff wasn’t very sharp. He has a 4.24 ERA and well below a strikeout per inning over his last seven starts.
Weather: The Midwest is the area of concern today with bad weather forecasted in Chicago and St. Louis. Otherwise, most games look good and we’ll have helping winds and humidity in Cleveland and a stiff breeze blowing out at Target Field in Minneapolis.
Injuries: Lots of updates and new injuries from the weekend, so keep an eye on those. Check out our Injury Report right here at VSiN. This is also a good resource at FanGraphs (sort by date) HERE.
Mets (-260, 9) at Nationals: Big ask of the Washington offense here to get to a total of 9, but it is Anibal Sanchez on the bump for the Nats. We’ve seen this line jump 20 cents, but it does appear that the books have done a decent job accounting for life without Juan Soto and Josh Bell. Modelers haven’t hit this one too hard. I’d say the two of them combine to be worth 35-40 cents to Washington’s price, if not more.
Mariners at Yankees (-170, 7): This game will go off around the time the article goes up, but I just wanted to mention that we didn’t see much side movement either way in Luis Castillo’s Seattle debut. The total did go from 7.5 to 7, but that has a lot to do with Aaron Judge getting the day off.
Orioles at Rangers (-155, 8): Another day with a line move against the Orioles, as their lineup does look a bit different without Trey Mancini, but the O’s keep right on chugging. They do face a tougher customer in Martin Perez today, who was a possible trade candidate. Kyle Bradish does have an ERA over 7, so that’s part of the equation as well.
Royals at White Sox (-150, 8.5): Brady Singer is getting some love today against the White Sox, as he should. The right-hander’s having a great season and Chicago still can’t really hit righties, despite yesterday’s outburst against Brad Keller. This line has dropped about 15 cents with the struggling Lance Lynn going for the Pale Hose.
What I’ll Be Watching
Freddy Peralta: Outside of the shocking Josh Hader deal, the Brewers didn’t do much at the Trade Deadline. Getting Peralta back is a decent “acquisition” for them, as he has a 4.42 ERA in 38.2 innings of work, but his peripherals are much stronger with a 3.15 xERA and a 2.11 FIP. He has a 63% LOB% with a .327 BABIP against, which are both stats that should improve as the rest of the season plays out. This is his first MLB start since May 22 when he suffered a lat injury after allowing five runs on six hits to the Nationals. He’s actually allowed 11 of his 19 runs in two of his eight starts.
He made two rehab appearances and only went 5.1 innings total with eight strikeouts and one walk. He threw 52 pitches in that start, so I’d expect him to be around 60-65 today at most. Handicap accordingly.
Rich Hill: The man known as Dick Mountain has not thrown an MLB pitch since July 1 while battling a knee injury. He returns today with a tough assignment against the Astros. Hill has a 4.20 ERA with a 4.05 FIP in 70.2 innings, so he’s been respectable over his 15 starts. He threw three innings in one Double-A rehab start on July 28, so that’s another guy who will be limited today.
Given the odd Trade Deadline for the Red Sox, which did not include any pitching help, the Red Sox are really hoping that Hill performs well here, even in a shortened outing. I had a lean to the under in that game, but I think Brayan Bello may follow Hill around the fourth inning and that worries me greatly for Boston.
Alex Cobb: One more for you here, as Cobb makes his 17th start of the season and second in 10 days against the Dodgers. He allowed four runs on eight hits in his first start after the Break to Los Angeles, ending a solid run of seven starts with three or fewer earned runs allowed. Cobb has a 4.06 ERA, but his peripherals are much stronger with a 2.91 FIP, a 2.81 xFIP and over a strikeout per inning. He’s been victimized by bad luck and bad defense with a .328 BABIP and a 60.9% LOB%.
Cobb’s Hard Hit% is well above average at 33.6% and his Barrel% of 2.9% is pretty elite. He’s just had no batted ball or sequencing fortune. Let’s see if that changes today.
As an aside, I said Tarik Skubal was a pitcher I was watching closely on Monday and he’s now on the IL with arm fatigue. Prolonged below average performance from good pitchers often comes from something other than bad luck.
Wednesday 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
Rockies/Padres 1st 5 Over 4.5 (+ 100): Chad Kuhl and Blake Snell are the listed starters for this NL West battle. The Padres are a huge favorite here, and rightfully so, but this isn’t the easiest of matchups for Snell. He’s had more good starts than bad starts this season, but has allowed four or more runs in four of his 12 starts, with two of them coming against the Rockies, albeit both at Coors Field.
I just need the Rockies to get me a little bit of help here and I think they can do it against Snell. This will be their fourth time seeing him in under two months, so there’s plenty of familiarity there. This is also a Colorado team that fares better against lefties than righties, even if their road numbers have dropped off a little bit in that split.
Ultimately, this is a cheaper way to buy San Diego for the 1st 5 as opposed to laying well over $2 on a moneyline or -170 on the run line. Kuhl has allowed 22 runs in his last five starts and hasn’t pitched more than five innings in any of them. So that means, he’s given up more than four runs per game in the 1st 5 over his last five starts. That’s what I mean about needing a little bit of help from Colorado.
Kuhl has really bad K/BB rates and has given up 14 home runs, including seven over those last five starts. His Hard Hit% has been at least 40% in each of those five outings and over 50% in three of his last four, including nine barrels allowed in that span. He’s simply not locating well and there’s no reason to believe that will change tonight.
Also, for a guy pitching for the Rockies, it’s crazy to think that his road wOBA is 47 points higher than his home wOBA and that his differences in BA/OBP/SLG are 21, 56 and 61 points, all higher on the road. That’s the Coors Field Effect in action, as a guy with subpar control and command can’t harness it when he’s away from the thin air.
Oh, yeah, and Juan Soto is in the lineup with a sellout crowd at Petco Park. I presume that means Josh Bell will be as well, so those are two MASSIVE upgrades against a right-handed pitcher.
If the Rockies can give me a run, or especially two, I really like my chances here, so I’m on 1st 5 Over 4.5 at even money. Some places are even dealing + 105, so find one of those if you can.
I’m tracking my picks in this spreadsheet HERE.