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 RANKINGS

Today's Best Starting Pitchers

1. PHI - Aaron Nola (No. 11 out of 341)

2. HOU - Framber Valdez (No. 34)

3. CIN - Sonny Gray (No. 35)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. MIA - Braxton Garrett (No. 301 out of 341)

2. PIT - Wil Crowe (No. 284)

3. CHC - Jake Arrieta (No. 258)

Today's Most Pitcher-Friendly Umpires

1. CLE at TOR - Jeremy Riggs (No. 7 out of 110)

2. CHC at COL - CB Bucknor (No. 20)

Today's Most Hitter-Friendly Umpires

1. KC at CWS - Adam Beck (No. 9 out of 110)

2. NYM at MIA - Shane Livensparger (No. 10)

3. SF at ARI - Alan Porter (No. 32)

Today's Hottest Games

1. CHC at COL (89 degrees)

2. PHI at WSH (83 degrees)

3. PIT at CIN (83 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. LAA at TEX (70 degrees)

2. NYM at MIA (72 degrees)

3. MIN at HOU (72 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  New York Yankees

Projected: 5.91 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O -100

·  Colorado Rockies

Projected: 5.80 runs | Vegas O/U: 6.5 O + 110

·  Houston Astros

Projected: 5.47 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O -105

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Washington Nationals

Projected: 3.59 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -110

·  Miami Marlins

Projected: 3.67 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -105

·  Pittsburgh Pirates

Projected: 3.81 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -110

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Cubs at Rockies

Projected: 10.79 runs | Vegas O/U: 11.5 O -120

·  Mariners at Yankees

Projected: 10.54 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O -105

·  Red Sox at Tigers

Projected: 9.79 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O -115

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Mets at Marlins

Projected: 7.89 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.0 O -120

·  Angels at Rangers

Projected: 8.06 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.0 O -115

·  Phillies at Nationals

Projected: 8.51 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.5 O -115

GAMES OF THE DAY

Detroit Tigers (52-58) vs. Boston Red Sox (64-45)

O/U: 9.5 | DET + 115 | BOS -135

Tarik Skubal (THE BAT's No. 177 SP) vs. Martin Perez (THE BAT's No. 201 SP)

Comerica Park (No. 22 Runs | No. 23 HR | No. 28 K)

82 degrees (No. 4 hottest today)

6 mph in from RF (No. 1 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Tarik Skubal's spin rate (2200 rpm) has decreased by 222 rpm in 2021

·  Tarik Skubal has been throwing a fastball (16% increase) far less often in 2021 (45% usage) than he did in 2020 (61% usage)

·  Tarik Skubal has been throwing a sinker (10% increase) far more often in 2021 (10% usage) than he did in 2020 (0% usage)

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

·  So far in 2021, Tarik Skubal has been one of baseball's luckier starting pitchers, boasting a 4.53 ERA despite a 5.32 FIP

·  Martin Perez has a large platoon split and is projected to be at a platoon disadvantage against nine opposite-handed hitters today

·  The Tigers have three hitters in their projected lineup today with an underlying K% over 30%+ , according to THE BAT X (Derek Hill, Zack Short, Eric Haase)

·  The Tigers (0.307 wOBA) have been the No. 6 luckiest offense in baseball this season, via THE BAT X

·  The Tigers offense knows how to hit the ball hard; they have the No. 6 (tie) most players in MLB with a Max Exit Velocity in the 75th percentile or better this year (Willi Castro, Eric Haase, Miguel Cabrera, Jonathan Schoop)

·  The Red Sox (22.3 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 4 least strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

·  The Red Sox' 0.324 team wOBA makes them the No. 7 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  Boston boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Barrel% this season, No. 2 (tie) most in MLB (Bobby Dalbec, Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, Hunter Renfroe)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Red Sox Moneyline has steamed 10 cents as it opened at -125 and is now -135

·  The Moneyline has lopsided action today with 69% of the bet tickets and 92% of the cash on the Red Sox

·  The Red Sox Run Line has 74% of the bet tickets and 58% of the cash resulting in a very lopsided handle

·  The most popular prop for the game is Tarik Skubal's Strikeouts Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+ 120/-160)

New York Yankees (58-49) vs. Seattle Mariners (58-51)

O/U: 9.5 | NYY -220 | SEA + 180

Nestor Cortes (THE BAT's No. 134 SP) vs. Tyler Anderson (THE BAT's No. 178 SP)

Yankee Stadium (No. 9 Runs | No. 2 HR | No. 15 K)

78 degrees (No. 6 coldest today)

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

DATA NUGGETS

·  Nestor Cortes may be especially susceptible to the long-ball today pitching in the No. 2 best home run park in baseball (Yankee Stadium) given his fly ball tendencies (39% FB% since 2019)

·  Nestor Cortes (39% FB% since 2019) projects to face two Fly ball hitters today, which should play to his advantage since Fly ball pitchers perform best against Fly ball hitters

·  Nestor Cortes' 1.93 ERA may be overstating how good he actually is, compared to his 4.36 projected ERA from THE BAT

·  Tyler Anderson is throwing a cutter 12% more often this season (29% usage) than he did last season (17% usage)

·  THE BAT X projects the Yankees (No. 1 most underperforming offense in MLB) as a much better squad than they've performed like (0.313 wOBA) thus far in 2021

·  The Yankees have four players (Gary Sanchez, Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, Joey Gallo) with a Barrel% in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 2 (tie) most in MLB

·  The Mariners offense knows how to barrel a baseball; they have the No. 2 (tie) most players in MLB with a Barrel% in the 75th percentile or better this year (Luis Torrens, Tom Murphy, Mitch Haniger, Kyle Seager)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Moneyline has lopsided action today with 78% of the bet tickets and 68% of the cash on the Yankees

·  There is lopsided action on the Game Total as 67% of the bet tickets and 56% of the cash is on the OVER

·  The most popular prop for the game is Nestor Cortes' Strikeouts Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 5.5 Strikeouts (+ 130/-165)

Toronto Blue Jays (56-49) vs. Cleveland Indians (52-53)

O/U: 9.0 | TOR -190 | CLE + 165

Ross Stripling (THE BAT's No. 167 SP) vs. Triston McKenzie (THE BAT's No. 164 SP)

Jeremy Riggs (Extreme Pitchers Umpire, No. 7 in MLB)

Rogers Centre

76 degrees (No. 4 coldest today)

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

DATA NUGGETS

·  Ross Stripling's fastball (2178 rpm) has lost nearly 100 rpm of spin this season relative to 2020

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

·  Triston McKenzie's fastball velocity (91.2 mph) has been down nearly a full mph from where it was in 2020 so far this season

·  Triston McKenzie's spin rate (2239 rpm) has decreased by nearly 100 rpm in 2021

·  The Toronto Blue Jays' 20.5 projected K% (via THE BAT) is the least on today's slate of games

·  The Blue Jays have four players (Teoscar Hernandez, Randal Grichuk, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette) with a Max Exit Velocity in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 6 (tie) most in MLB

·  The Indians (25.7 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 5 most strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

·  The projected lineup for the Indians holds four extremely strikeout-prone bats today: Bradley Zimmer, Roberto Perez, Bobby Bradley, Franmil Reyes. THE BAT projects all for a Bradley Zimmer, Roberto Perez, Bobby Bradley, Franmil Reyes+ underlying K%

·  The Indians' 0.301 team wOBA makes them the No. 4 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  The Indians offense is quite fast; they have the No. 6 (tie) most hitters in baseball with a Sprint Speed in the 75th percentile or better this year (Harold Ramirez, Myles Straw, Amed Rosario)

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Game Total UNDER opened at 10.0 Runs (-120), but is now UNDER 9.0 (+ 100) and is showing the most line movement on the slate today

·  The Indians Moneyline has 45% of the cash, but the it's dropped from + 175 to + 165 resulting in reverse line movement

·  The Game Total has 77% of the bet tickets on the UNDER, but 27% of the cash is on the OVER resulting in two-way action

·  There is lopsided action on the Moneyline as 73% of the bet tickets and 55% of the cash is on the Blue Jays

·  The most popular prop for the game is George Springer's Home Runs Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs (+ 230/-360)

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