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 ROUND-UP

Today's Best Starting Pitchers

1. WSH - Max Scherzer (No. 7 out of 298)

2. TB - Tyler Glasnow (No. 9)

3. LAD - Clayton Kershaw (No. 10)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. MIN - Matt Shoemaker (No. 255 out of 298)

2. TEX - Wes Benjamin (No. 254)

3. STL - Johan Oviedo (No. 248)

Today's Hottest Games

1. WSH at ARI (85 degrees)

2. PHI at TOR (80 degrees)

3. TEX at HOU (80 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. OAK at MIN (58 degrees)

2. ATL at MIL (60 degrees)

3. KC at CWS (62 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  New York Yankees

Projected: 5.97 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -135

·  Toronto Blue Jays

Projected: 5.64 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O + 105

·  Houston Astros

Projected: 5.64 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -135

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Kansas City Royals

Projected: 3.02 runs

·  St. Louis Cardinals

Projected: 3.26 runs | Vegas O/U: 2.5 O -125

·  Miami Marlins

Projected: 3.29 runs | Vegas O/U: 2.5 O -105

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Phillies at Blue Jays

Projected: 10.81 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.5 O -105

·  Reds at Rockies

Projected: 10.09 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.5 O -110

·  Yankees at Orioles

Projected: 10.03 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.0 O -105

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Royals at White Sox

Projected: 6.40 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.5 O -115

·  Cardinals at Padres

Projected: 7.18 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.0 O + 100

·  Giants at Pirates

Projected: 7.53 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O + 100

GAMES OF THE DAY

 

Chicago White Sox (22-13) vs. Kansas City Royals (16-20)

O/U: 8.5 | CWS -190 | KC + 165

Lucas Giolito (THE BAT's No. 30 SP) vs. Brad Keller (THE BAT's No. 134 SP)

Guaranteed Rate Field (No. 8 Runs | No. 3 HR | No. 8 K)

65 degrees (No. 6 coldest today)

6 mph in from CF (No. 4 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Lucas Giolito's large reverse platoon split makes him especially ineffective against opposite-handed hitters, and he's projected to face 7 of them today

·  THE BAT's 3.59 projected ERA for Lucas Giolito is quite a bit better than his 4.54 ERA this season

·  Brad Keller's fastball (93.6 mph) is 1.4 mph faster than it was in 2020

·  Brad Keller has been throwing a sinker (12% increase) far more often in 2021 (34% usage) than he did in 2020 (22% usage)

·  Brad Keller's slider usage (24% in 2021, 38% in 2020) has decreased 14% this season

·  Chicago boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Sprint Speed this season, No. 1 (tie) most in MLB (Leury Garcia, Nick Madrigal, Adam Eaton, Tim Anderson)

·  The Royals (20.9 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 4 least strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

·  The Royals offense knows how to hit the ball hard; they have the No. 3 (tie) most players in MLB with a Max Exit Velocity in the 75th percentile or better this year (Michael A. Taylor, Hunter Dozier, Salvador Perez, Jorge Soler)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total has the most line movement on the slate, as it opened at UNDER 9.0 Runs (+ 100), but has been bet down to UNDER 8.5 (-105)

·  The Chicago White Sox opened at -150 and are now -190 as there is heavy steam on the Moneyline

·  The Game Total has lopsided action today with 65% of the bet tickets and 55% of the cash on the OVER

·  This season the White Sox Run Line has been their most profitable market and is 19-16 resulting in + 6.95 Units (18% ROI)

·  The most profitable market for the Kansas City Royals has been their Team Total Under which is 21-14 generating + 6.04 Units (15% ROI)

Detroit Tigers (13-24) vs. Chicago Cubs (17-19)

O/U: 9.0 | DET + 115 | CHC -135

Tarik Skubal (THE BAT's No. 233 SP) vs. Jake Arrieta (THE BAT's No. 225 SP)

Comerica Park (No. 14 Runs | No. 23 HR | No. 28 K)

67 degrees (No. 7 hottest today)

6 mph in from RF (No. 5 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Tarik Skubal's spin rate (2230 rpm) has decreased by 192 rpm in 2021

·  Tarik Skubal's skillset (50% FB% since 2019), ought to play well in Comerica Park (No. 8 best homer-suppressing park in MLB) today

·  Flyball pitchers tend to perform worse against Groundball hitters, and Tarik Skubal (50% FB% since 2019) is projected to face four of them today

·  Jake Arrieta (90.3 mph) has lost nearly a full mph off his fastball so far in 2021

·  Jake Arrieta's changeup usage (6% in 2021, 17% in 2020) has decreased 11% this season

·  The Tigers (25.1 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 5 most strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

·  THE BAT X projects the Tigers (No. 6 most underperforming offense in MLB) as a much better squad than they've performed like (0.279 wOBA) thus far in 2021

·  The Tigers offense knows how to optimize their launch angles for home runs; they have the No. 3 (tie) most players in MLB with a HR Zone Launch Angle in the 75th percentile or better this year (Miguel Cabrera, Akil Baddoo, Robbie Grossman)

·  The Cubs are the No. 3 least strikeout-prone offense today, projecting for an underlying K% of 20.6% according to THE BAT X

·  The Cubs offense knows how to hit the ball hard; they are tied for the most players in MLB with a Max Exit Velocity in the 75th percentile or better this year (Anthony Rizzo, Jason Heyward, David Bote, Joc Pederson, Willson Contreras)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total opened at 8.5 Runs, but is now 9.0 Runs as there is line movement toward the OVER

·  There is lopsided action on the Moneyline as 79% of the bet tickets and 71% of the cash is on the Cubs

·  This season the Cubs Team Total Under has been their most profitable market and is 24-10 resulting in + 12.36 Units (32% ROI)

·  The most profitable market for the Detroit Tigers has been their Game Total Under which is 21-16 generating + 3.45 Units (9% ROI)

·  The most popular prop for the game is Tarik Skubal's Strikeouts Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-145/+ 110)

Tampa Bay Rays (20-19) vs. New York Mets (18-13)

O/U: 6.5 | TB -155 | NYM + 135

Tyler Glasnow (THE BAT's No. 9 SP) vs. David Peterson (THE BAT's No. 91 SP)

Tropicana Field (No. 28 Runs | No. 19 HR | No. 3 K)

72 degrees (No. 4 hottest today)

Roof Closed (No. 1 weakest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Tyler Glasnow is throwing a slider 29% more often this season (29% usage) than he did last season (0% usage)

·  Tyler Glasnow has been throwing a curveball (21% increase) far less often in 2021 (14% usage) than he did in 2020 (35% usage)

·  Tyler Glasnow's 2.37 ERA may be overstating how good he actually is, compared to his 3.18 projected ERA from THE BAT

·  David Peterson has been throwing a sinker (15% increase) far more often in 2021 (39% usage) than he did in 2020 (24% usage)

·  David Peterson (48% GB% since 2019) projects to face three Flyball hitters today, which could play to his disadvantage since Groundball pitchers perform worst against Flyball hitters

·  David Peterson is projected to face seven opposite-handed hitters today, which makes this matchup more difficult given his large platoon split

·  The Rays are the most strikeout prone offense today, projecting for an underlying K% of 26.4% according to THE BAT X

·  Strikeouts against Tampa Bay may be easy to come by today, as 4 players (Mike Zunino, Kevin Padlo, Brett Phillips, Willy Adames) project for a 30%+ underlying K%, via THE BAT X

·  The Rays have been underperforming thus far in 2021, with THE BAT X viewing them as the No. 4 unluckiest offense and projecting an increase on their 0.290 wOBA going forward

·  The Rays offense knows how to barrel a baseball; they have the No. 3 (tie) most players in MLB with a Barrel% in the 75th percentile or better this year (Austin Meadows, Brandon Lowe, Willy Adames, Mike Zunino)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total has moved toward the UNDER after the Total opened at 7.0 Runs and is now 6.5 Runs

·  There is lopsided action on the Moneyline as 66% of the cash and 57% of the bet tickets is on the Rays

·  The most profitable market for the Tampa Bay Rays has been their Run Line which is 24-15 generating + 7.35 Units (13% ROI)

·  The most profitable market for the New York Mets has been their Game Total Under which is 18-12 generating + 4.15 Units (12% ROI)

·  Pete Alonso's Total Bases Prop is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Total Bases (-150/+ 110) is the most popular prop for the game

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