MLB daily notes: Betting preview for Thursday'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 Best Starting Pitchers

1. LAD - Max Scherzer (No. 5 out of 340)

2. CWS - Carlos Rodon (No. 7)

3. BOS - Chris Sale (No. 9)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. CLE - Sam Hentges (No. 316 out of 340)

2. TEX - Jordan Lyles (No. 298)

3. LAA - Jaime Barria (No. 268)

Today's Most Pitcher-Friendly Umpires

1. LAA at BAL - Brian O'Nora (No. 20 out of 111)

2. TEX at CLE - Gabe Morales (No. 27)

3. LAD at SD - Ed Hickox (No. 28)

Today's Most Hitter-Friendly Umpires

1. CWS at TOR - Jordan Baker (No. 30 out of 111)

2. SF at NYM - Adrian Johnson (No. 37)

3. CIN at MIL - John Tumpane (No. 38)

Today's Hottest Games

1. LAA at BAL (89 degrees)

2. ARI at PHI (87 degrees)

3. MIN at BOS (85 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. KC at SEA (66 degrees)

2. NYY at OAK (67 degrees)

3. WSH at MIA (72 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  Boston Red Sox

Projected: 6.19 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O -130

·  Baltimore Orioles

Projected: 5.30 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -120

·  Los Angeles Angels

Projected: 5.02 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O -100

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Miami Marlins

Projected: 3.38 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -120

·  Washington Nationals

Projected: 3.44 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -115

·  San Diego Padres

Projected: 3.63 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O + 110

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Twins at Red Sox

Projected: 10.37 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.0 O -105

·  Angels at Orioles

Projected: 10.32 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.5 O -110

·  Rangers at Indians

Projected: 9.53 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O -105

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Nationals at Marlins

Projected: 6.82 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O -110

·  Royals at Mariners

Projected: 7.91 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.0 O -105

·  Dodgers at Padres

Projected: 7.99 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O -110

GAMES OF THE DAY

Baltimore Orioles (39-86) vs. Los Angeles Angels (63-65)

O/U: 10.5 | BAL + 105 | LAA -125

Keegan Akin (THE BAT's No. 236 SP) vs. Jaime Barria (THE BAT's No. 268 SP)

Brian O'Nora (Extreme Pitchers Umpire, No. 20 in MLB)

Oriole Park at Camden Yards (No. 5 Runs | No. 7 HR | No. 24 K)

89 degrees (No. 1 hottest today)

6 mph out to CF (No. 5 weakest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Keegan Akin may be especially susceptible to the long-ball today pitching in the No. 3 best home run park in baseball (Oriole Park at Camden Yards) given his fly ball tendencies (37% FB% since 2019)

·  Keegan Akin has a large platoon split and is projected to be at a platoon disadvantage against seven opposite-handed hitters today

·  Jaime Barria is projected to face six opposite-handed hitters today, which plays to his disadvantage given his reverse platoon split

·  Baltimore boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Max Exit Velocity% this season, No. 5 (tie) most in MLB (Ryan Mountcastle, Anthony Santander, Trey Mancini, Pedro Severino)

·  The Angels have three hitters in their projected lineup today with an underlying K% over 30%+ , according to THE BAT X (Brandon Marsh, Jo Adell, Shohei Ohtani)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Orioles Moneyline has 6% of the cash, but the it's dropped from + 135 to + 105 resulting in reverse line movement

·  The Run Line has lopsided action today with 71% of the bet tickets and 88% of the cash on the Angels

·  The Angels Moneyline has 94% of the cash and 61% of the bet tickets resulting in a very lopsided handle

·  Shohei Ohtani's Home Runs Prop is the most popular prop for the game and is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 195/-290)

Milwaukee Brewers (78-49) vs. Cincinnati Reds (69-59)

O/U: 8.5 | MIL -115 | CIN -105

Brett Anderson (THE BAT's No. 205 SP) vs. Sonny Gray (THE BAT's No. 41 SP)

John Tumpane (Extreme Hitters Umpire, No. 38 in MLB)

American Family Field (No. 18 Runs | No. 9 HR | No. 6 K)

79 degrees (No. 5 coldest today)

8 mph across the field

DATA NUGGETS

·  Brett Anderson's ability to keep the ball on the ground (57% GB% since 2019) should help him in American Family Field (No. 10 best HR park in MLB) today

·  Sonny Gray's spin rate (2420 rpm) has decreased by 101 rpm in 2021

·  American Family Field is baseball's No. 10 best park for home runs, but Sonny Gray's ground ball-heavy skillset (52% GB% since 2019) should help insulate him against the long-ball

·  Given that Ground ball pitchers are most effective against Ground ball hitters, Sonny Gray (52% GB% since 2019) is well-situated today with two Ground ball hitters in the opposition's projected lineup

·  THE BAT's 3.62 projected ERA for Sonny Gray is quite a bit better than his 4.15 ERA this season

·  The Reds (0.331 wOBA) have been the No. 7 luckiest offense in baseball this season, via THE BAT X

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total has moved toward the UNDER after the Total opened at 9.0 Runs and is now 8.5 Runs

·  There is reverse line movement as only 38% of the cash is on the Cincinnati Reds, but their Moneyline has dropped from + 100 to -105

·  The Moneyline has 51% of the bet tickets on the Reds, but 62% of the cash is on the Brewers resulting in two-way action

·  Nick Castellanos' Home Runs Prop is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 370/-755) is the most popular prop for the game

Seattle Mariners (69-58) vs. Kansas City Royals (56-70)

O/U: 8.0 | SEA -165 | KC + 150

Yusei Kikuchi (THE BAT's No. 164 SP) vs. Brad Keller (THE BAT's No. 121 SP)

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

66 degrees (No. 1 coldest today)

7 mph out to LF (No. 3 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Yusei Kikuchi is projected to face seven opposite-handed hitters today, which makes this matchup more difficult given his huge platoon split

·  So far in 2021, Yusei Kikuchi has been one of baseball's luckier starting pitchers, boasting a 4.22 ERA despite a 4.81 FIP

·  Thus far in 2021, Brad Keller's fastball (93.6 mph) has been 1.3 mph faster than it was last season

·  Brad Keller's ability to keep the ball on the ground (50% GB% since 2019) should help him in T-Mobile Park (No. 8 best HR park in MLB) today

·  Ground ball pitchers tend to perform worse against Fly ball hitters, and Brad Keller (50% GB% since 2019) is projected to face three of them today

·  Seattle boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Barrel% this season, No. 3 (tie) most in MLB (Tom Murphy, Mitch Haniger, Luis Torrens, Kyle Seager)

·  The Royals are the least strikeout prone offense today, projecting for an underlying K% of 20.5% according to THE BAT X

·  The Royals' 0.300 team wOBA makes them the No. 7 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  Kansas City boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Sprint Speed this season, No. 2 (tie) most in MLB (Hunter Dozier, Michael A. Taylor, Whit Merrifield, Nicky Lopez)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total has the most line movement on the slate, as it opened at UNDER 8.5 Runs (-115), but has been bet down to UNDER 8.0 (-115)

·  The Seattle Mariners Moneyline opening price of -155 has steamed 10 cents and is now -165

·  There is lopsided action on the Moneyline as 78% of the bet tickets and 53% of the cash is on the Mariners

·  Brad Keller's Strikeouts Prop is the most popular prop for the game and is priced at Over/Under 4.5 Strikeouts (-145/+ 110)

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