MLB daily notes: Betting preview for Friday's games

By Derek Carty  (VSiN.com) 

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This column will bring you the quick-hitting stats, tidbits and factors you need to know to evaluate today's landscape of MLB games. No narratives, no fluff, no editorializing; just the cold, hard data to help you plan out your bets. Projections and Bets Stats courtesy of THE BAT X and EV Analytics.

TODAY'S RANKINGS

Today's Best Starting Pitchers

1. PHI - Zack Wheeler (No. 3 out of 336)

2. ATL - Charlie Morton (No. 13)

3. LAD - Julio Urias (No. 25)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. BAL - Spenser Watkins (No. 332 out of 336)

2. DET - Tyler Alexander (No. 296)

3. ARI - Madison Bumgarner (No. 238)

Today's Most Pitcher-Friendly Umpires

1. SD at ARI - Jim Wolf (No. 18 out of 111)

Today's Hottest Games

1. CIN at PHI (91 degrees)

2. LAD at NYM (90 degrees)

3. TOR at SEA (90 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. COL at SF (63 degrees)

2. OAK at TEX (70 degrees)

3. CHC at MIA (72 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  Boston Red Sox

Projected: 6.77 runs | Vegas O/U: 6.5 O + 105

·  Toronto Blue Jays

Projected: 5.52 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -130

·  Tampa Bay Rays

Projected: 5.51 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O + 110

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Chicago Cubs

Projected: 3.02 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -110

·  Miami Marlins

Projected: 3.13 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -115

·  New York Mets

Projected: 3.45 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -100

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Orioles at Red Sox

Projected: 11.51 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.5 O -120

·  Rays at Twins

Projected: 10.02 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O + 100

·  Blue Jays at Mariners

Projected: 9.81 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.5 O -120

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Cubs at Marlins

Projected: 6.15 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O + 100

·  Rockies at Giants

Projected: 7.90 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.0 O + 100

·  Padres at D-Backs

Projected: 8.04 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.5 O -120

GAMES OF THE DAY

New York Mets (59-55) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (69-46)

O/U: 8.0 | NYM + 140 | LAD -160

Tylor Megill (THE BAT's No. 84 SP) vs. Julio Urias (THE BAT's No. 25 SP)

Citi Field (No. 28 Runs | No. 15 HR | No. 4 K)

90 degrees (No. 2 hottest today)

9 mph out to CF (No. 2 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Tylor Megill has been one of the luckier pitchers in baseball this year. His 3.20 ERA is 0.76 points below his 3.96 FIP

·  Julio Urias is throwing a curveball 11% more often this season (33% usage) than he did last season (22% usage)

·  Julio Urias has a reverse platoon split, making him more effective against opposite-handed hitters, which he's projected to face eight of today

·  The Mets (26.5 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 5 most strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

·  The Dodgers have been underperforming thus far in 2021, with THE BAT X viewing them as the No. 2 unluckiest offense and projecting an increase on their 0.329 wOBA going forward

·  The Dodgers offense knows how to optimize their launch angles for home runs; they have the No. 1 most players in MLB with a HR Zone Launch Angle in the 75th percentile or better this year (Justin Turner, Will Smith, Albert Pujols, Chris Taylor)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total opened at 9.0 Runs, but is now 8.0 Runs after significant movement toward the UNDER moved the Total a full run

·  There is lopsided action on the Moneyline as 71% of the bet tickets and 71% of the cash is on the Dodgers

·  The New York Mets Game Total Under has been their most profitable market this season and is 61-46 resulting in + 9.85 Units (8% ROI)

·  The most popular prop for the game is Max Muncy's Home Runs Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 290/-510)

Los Angeles Angels (58-58) vs. Houston Astros (68-46)

O/U: 9.0 | LAA + 115 | HOU -135

Patrick Sandoval (THE BAT's No. 55 SP) vs. Zack Greinke (THE BAT's No. 101 SP)

Angel Stadium (No. 11 Runs | No. 10 HR | No. 9 K)

75 degrees (No. 4 coldest today)

7 mph out to CF (No. 6 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Patrick Sandoval's ability to keep the ball on the ground (52% GB% since 2019) should help him in Angel Stadium (No. 7 best HR park in MLB) today

·  Patrick Sandoval has been one of the luckier pitchers in baseball this year. His 3.39 ERA is 0.56 points below his 3.95 FIP

·  Zack Greinke's fastball (88.3 mph) is nearly a full mph faster than it was in 2020

·  Zack Greinke's fastball (2220 rpm) has lost 103 rpm of spin this season relative to 2020

·  Zack Greinke has been throwing a sinker (13% increase) far less often in 2021 (6% usage) than he did in 2020 (19% usage)

·  Zack Greinke is throwing a changeup 13% more often this season (22% usage) than he did last season (9% usage)

·  Zack Greinke has a large reverse platoon split, making him less effective against same-handed hitters, which he's projected to face six of today

·  The projected lineup for the Angels holds three extremely strikeout-prone bats today: Max Stassi, Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh. THE BAT projects all for a Max Stassi, Jo Adell, Brandon Marsh+ underlying K%

·  The Houston Astros' 21.4 projected K% (via THE BAT) is the No. 2 least on today's slate of games

·  According to THE BAT X, the Astros and their 0.335 wOBA have been the No. 6 luckiest offense in 2021

·  The Astros have four players (Kyle Tucker, Yordan Alvarez, Michael Brantley, Carlos Correa) with an xwOBA in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 2 (tie) most in MLB

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The most line movement today is the Los Angeles Angels Moneyline as it opened at + 135 before dropping to + 115

·  The Astros Moneyline has 80% of the bet tickets and 51% of the cash resulting in a very lopsided handle

·  The most profitable market for the Houston Astros has been their Game Total Over which is 63-49 generating + 9.60 Units (8% ROI)

·  This season the Angels Game Total Over has been their most profitable market and is 64-50 resulting in + 8.35 Units (7% ROI)

·  The most popular prop for the game is Yordan Alvarez's Home Runs Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 360/-715)

Seattle Mariners (61-55) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (62-52)

O/U: 8.5 | SEA + 150 | TOR -165

Chris Flexen (THE BAT's No. 197 SP) vs. Robbie Ray (THE BAT's No. 91 SP)

T-Mobile Park (No. 26 Runs | No. 6 HR | No. 1 K)

90 degrees (No. 3 hottest today)

6 mph across the field

DATA NUGGETS

·  Chris Flexen's large reverse platoon split makes him especially ineffective against opposite-handed hitters, and he's projected to face six of them today

·  Chris Flexen's 3.81 ERA may be overstating how good he actually is, compared to his 4.49 projected ERA from THE BAT

·  Thus far in 2021, Robbie Ray's fastball (94.5 mph) has been 1.0 mph faster than it was last season

·  Robbie Ray's fastball (2266 rpm) has lost 154 rpm of spin this season relative to 2020

·  Robbie Ray has been throwing a fastball (11% increase) far more often in 2021 (60% usage) than he did in 2020 (49% usage)

·  Robbie Ray's large platoon split makes him especially ineffective against opposite-handed hitters, and he's projected to face six of them today

·  The Mariners have four players (Tom Murphy, Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager, Luis Torrens) with a Barrel% in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 2 (tie) most in MLB

·  The Blue Jays are the least strikeout prone offense today, projecting for an underlying K% of 20.8% according to THE BAT X

·  Toronto boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Max Exit Velocity% this season, No. 5 (tie) most in MLB (Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Moneyline has 60% of the bet tickets on the Blue Jays, but 57% of the cash is on the Mariners resulting in two-way action

·  There is lopsided action on the Game Total as 74% of the bet tickets and 60% of the cash is on the OVER

·  The Seattle Mariners Moneyline has been their most profitable market this season and is 61-55 resulting in + 18.30 Units (14% ROI)

·  This season the Blue Jays Run Line has been their most profitable market and is 62-51 resulting in + 2.70 Units (2% ROI)

·  The most popular prop for the game is Robbie Ray's Strikeouts Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 7.5 Strikeouts (+ 105/-135)

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