MLB daily notes: Betting preview for Saturday'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. BOS - Chris Sale (No. 8 out of 337)

2. SD - Joe Musgrove (No. 19)

3. LAD - Walker Buehler (No. 22)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. DET - Wily Peralta (No. 324 out of 337)

2. STL - Jon Lester (No. 323)

3. CLE - Sam Hentges (No. 318)

Today's Most Pitcher-Friendly Umpires

1. COL at SF - Bill Miller (No. 3 out of 111)

2. LAD at NYM - Ben May (No. 16)

3. STL at KC - Ryan Additon (No. 30)

Today's Most Hitter-Friendly Umpires

1. ATL at WSH - Carlos Torres (No. 14 out of 111)

2. TB at MIN - Chad Fairchild (No. 20)

3. CIN at PHI - Alan Porter (No. 23)

Today's Hottest Games

1. CIN at PHI (87 degrees)

2. TOR at SEA (86 degrees)

3. TB at MIN (85 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. COL at SF (64 degrees)

2. OAK at TEX (70 degrees)

3. CHC at MIA (72 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  Boston Red Sox

Projected: 6.16 runs | Vegas O/U: 6.5 O + 110

·  Toronto Blue Jays

Projected: 5.53 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -110

·  Houston Astros

Projected: 5.52 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O -100

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Pittsburgh Pirates

Projected: 2.67 runs

·  Chicago Cubs

Projected: 3.44 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O + 100

·  New York Mets

Projected: 3.47 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O + 115

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Rays at Twins

Projected: 10.53 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O -110

·  Orioles at Red Sox

Projected: 9.91 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.0 O -110

·  Astros at Angels

Projected: 9.90 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O + 100

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Brewers at Pirates

Projected: 6.30 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.0 O -115

·  Cubs at Marlins

Projected: 6.92 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O -120

·  Dodgers at Mets

Projected: 8.10 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.5 O -105

GAMES OF THE DAY

New York Mets (59-56) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (70-46)

O/U: 8.5 | NYM + 165 | LAD -190

Taijuan Walker (THE BAT's No. 121 SP) vs. Walker Buehler (THE BAT's No. 22 SP)

Ben May (Extreme Pitchers Umpire, No. 16 in MLB)

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

84 degrees (No. 4 hottest today)

7 mph in from LF (No. 5 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Thus far in 2021, Taijuan Walker's fastball (93.7 mph) has been 1.2 mph faster than it was last season

·  Taijuan Walker has been throwing a sinker (12% increase) far more often in 2021 (24% usage) than he did in 2020 (12% usage)

·  Taijuan Walker has been throwing a slider (23% increase) far more often in 2021 (23% usage) than he did in 2020 (0% usage)

·  Taijuan Walker's cutter usage (0% in 2021, 21% in 2020) has decreased 21% this season

·  Taijuan Walker's 3.89 ERA is 0.53 points better than his 4.43 FIP, making him one of the luckier pitchers in MLB this season

·  Walker Buehler's fastball velocity (94.8 mph) has been down 1.7 mph from where it was in 2020 so far this season

·  Walker Buehler has been throwing a fastball (10% increase) far less often in 2021 (46% usage) than he did in 2020 (56% usage)

·  The Dodgers' 0.328 team wOBA makes them the No. 2 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  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 (Will Smith, Albert Pujols, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The opening Moneyline for the Dodgers was -165, but is now -190 after it steamed 25 cents

·  The Dodgers Run Line has 84% of the bet tickets and 98% of the cash resulting in a very lopsided handle

·  The Moneyline has lopsided action today with 67% of the bet tickets and 66% of the cash on the Dodgers

·  Max Muncy's Home Runs Prop is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 285/-495) is the most popular prop for the game

Arizona Diamondbacks (37-80) vs. San Diego Padres (66-52)

O/U: 9.0 | ARI + 180 | SD -220

Chase Field (No. 12 Runs | No. 25 HR | No. 26 K)

78 degrees (No. 7 coldest today)

Roof Closed (No. 1 weakest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Tyler Gilbert may be limited today, with THE BAT projecting a maximum pitch count of roughly 83 pitches

·  Joe Musgrove is throwing a fastball 13% less often this season (17% usage) than he did last season (30% usage)

·  Joe Musgrove is throwing a cutter 13% more often this season (19% usage) than he did last season (6% usage)

·  Joe Musgrove's 2.81 ERA is 0.62 points better than his 3.43 FIP, making him one of the luckier pitchers in MLB this season

·  The D-Backs' 0.298 team wOBA makes them the No. 7 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  The Padres are the No. 4 least strikeout prone offense today, projecting for an underlying K% of 22.0% according to THE BAT X

·  San Diego boasts five active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Max Exit Velocity% this season, No. 1 (tie) most in MLB (Eric Hosmer, Manny Machado, Victor Caratini, Ha-seong Kim, Tommy Pham)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The opening Run Line for the Arizona Diamondbacks was + 1.5 (+ 115), but is now + 1.5 (+ 105) after it steamed 10 cents

·  There is lopsided action on the Run Line as 68% of the cash and 58% of the bet tickets is on the Padres

·  The most popular prop for the game is Manny Machado's Home Runs Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 285/-495)

Los Angeles Angels (58-59) vs. Houston Astros (69-46)

O/U: 9.5 | LAA + 180 | HOU -220

Jaime Barria (THE BAT's No. 243 SP) vs. Luis Garcia (THE BAT's No. 64 SP)

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

78 degrees (No. 8 coldest today)

8 mph out to RF (No. 2 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

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

·  So far in 2021, Jaime Barria has been one of baseball's luckier starting pitchers, boasting a 4.21 ERA despite a 4.99 FIP

·  The Angels have three players (Phil Gosselin, Justin Upton, Shohei Ohtani) with a Home Run Zone Launch Angle% in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 2 (tie) most in MLB

·  The Astros are the No. 3 least strikeout prone offense today, projecting for an underlying K% of 21.3% according to THE BAT X

·  THE BAT X views the Astros as the No. 6 most overperforming offense of 2021 and expects negative regression going forward

·  The Astros have four players (Yordan Alvarez, Kyle Tucker, Carlos Correa, Michael Brantley) with an xwOBA in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 5 (tie) most in MLB

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The most line movement today is the Houston Astros Moneyline as it opened at -155 before dropping to -220

·  The Run Line has lopsided action today with 75% of the bet tickets and 98% of the cash on the Astros

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

·  Shohei Ohtani's Home Runs Prop is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 260/-425) is the most popular prop for the game

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