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 - Zack Wheeler (No. 3 out of 338)

2. NYY - Gerrit Cole (No. 5)

3. WSH - Max Scherzer (No. 6)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. PIT - Chad Kuhl (No. 264 out of 338)

2. BAL - Alex Wells (No. 240)

3. PHI - Vince Velasquez (No. 223)

Today's Most Pitcher-Friendly Umpires

1. ATL at NYM - Doug Eddings (No. 5 out of 110)

2. CIN at CHC - Dan Merzel (No. 16)

3. LAD at SF - Nestor Ceja (No. 20)

Today's Most Hitter-Friendly Umpires

1. TOR at BOS - Alfonso Marquez (No. 1 out of 110)

2. NYY at TB - John Libka (No. 6)

3. CWS at KC - Chad Fairchild (No. 19)

Today's Hottest Games

1. CWS at KC (95 degrees)

2. CIN at CHC (82 degrees)

3. BAL at DET (81 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. LAD at SF (65 degrees)

2. TOR at BOS (69 degrees)

3. NYY at TB (72 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  Chicago White Sox

Projected: 5.50 runs | Vegas O/U: 5.5 O -105

·  Boston Red Sox

Projected: 5.39 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -120

·  Toronto Blue Jays

Projected: 5.35 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -125

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Washington Nationals

Projected: 2.54 runs

·  Philadelphia Phillies

Projected: 3.24 runs

·  Chicago Cubs

Projected: 3.30 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O + 110

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Blue Jays at Red Sox

Projected: 10.73 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.0 O -115

·  White Sox at Royals

Projected: 9.93 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O -110

·  Orioles at Tigers

Projected: 9.72 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.0 O -105

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Nationals at Phillies

Projected: 5.93 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.5 O -110

·  Reds at Cubs

Projected: 7.49 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O + 100

·  Rockies at Padres

Projected: 7.88 runs | Vegas O/U: 8.0 O -115

GAMES OF THE DAY

Tampa Bay Rays (60-42) vs. New York Yankees (53-47)

O/U: 7.5 | TB + 100 | NYY -120

Luis Patino (THE BAT's No. 84 SP) vs. Gerrit Cole (THE BAT's No. 5 SP)

John Libka (Extreme Hitters Umpire, No. 6 in MLB)

Tropicana Field (No. 29 Runs | No. 19 HR | No. 3 K)

72 degrees (No. 3 coldest today)

Roof Closed (No. 1 weakest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Given that Fly ball pitchers are most effective against Fly ball hitters, Luis Patino (42% FB% since 2019) is well-situated today with two Fly ball hitters in the opposition's projected lineup

·  Thus far in 2021, Gerrit Cole's fastball (96.9 mph) has been nearly a full mph faster than it was last season

·  The Rays' 0.312 team wOBA makes them the No. 6 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  The Rays have four players (Mike Zunino, Randy Arozarena, Nelson Cruz, Yandy Diaz) with a Max Exit Velocity in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 4 (tie) most in MLB

·  THE BAT X projects the Yankees (No. 2 most underperforming offense in MLB) as a much better squad than they've performed like (0.316 wOBA) thus far in 2021

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Rays Moneyline has 35% of the cash, but the it's dropped from + 130 to + 100 resulting in reverse line movement

·  The Game Total opened at 8.0 Runs, but is now 7.5 Runs as there is line movement toward the UNDER

·  There is lopsided action on the Moneyline as 66% of the bet tickets and 65% of the cash is on the Yankees

·  There is lopsided action on the Run Line as 66% of the bet tickets and 58% of the cash is on the Yankees

·  The most profitable market for the New York Yankees has been their Team Total Under which is 57-40 generating + 13.57 Units (12% ROI)

·  The Tampa Bay Rays Run Line has been their most profitable market this season and is 58-44 resulting in + 11.75 Units (9% ROI)

·  Gerrit Cole's Strikeouts Prop is the most popular prop for the game and is priced at Over/Under 9.5 Strikeouts (+ 105/-140)

Chicago Cubs (50-53) vs. Cincinnati Reds (53-49)

O/U: 7.5 | CHC + 105 | CIN -125

Alec Mills (THE BAT's No. 207 SP) vs. Luis Castillo (THE BAT's No. 20 SP)

Dan Merzel (Extreme Pitchers Umpire, No. 16 in MLB)

Wrigley Field (No. 4 Runs | No. 17 HR | No. 20 K)

82 degrees (No. 2 hottest today)

15 mph in from LF (No. 1 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Alec Mills is throwing a fastball 13% less often this season (13% usage) than he did last season (26% usage)

·  Alec Mills has been throwing a sinker (15% increase) far more often in 2021 (48% usage) than he did in 2020 (33% usage)

·  The spin rate on Luis Castillo's fastball (2313 rpm) has increased by 125 rpm in 2021

·  Luis Castillo's ability to keep the ball on the ground (56% GB% since 2019) should help him in Wrigley Field (No. 10 best HR park in MLB) today

·  Ground ball pitchers tend to perform better against Ground ball hitters, and Luis Castillo (56% GB% since 2019) is projected to face four of them today

·  Luis Castillo is likely a better pitcher than his 4.20 ERA indicates, given his 3.61 projected ERA from THE BAT

·  Chicago boasts four active bats with a 75th percentile or higher Max Exit Velocity% this season, No. 4 (tie) most in MLB (Javier Baez, Willson Contreras, Jason Heyward, Anthony Rizzo)

·  The Reds (26.5 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 3 most strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  There is line movement toward the OVER after the Game Total opened at 7.0 Runs and is now 7.5 Runs

·  The most profitable market for the Chicago Cubs has been their Team Total Under which is 61-39 generating + 16.60 Units (14% ROI)

·  The Cincinnati Reds Game Total Over has been their most profitable market this season and is 54-44 resulting in + 5.75 Units (5% ROI)

·  Luis Castillo's Strikeouts Prop is priced at Over/Under 7.0 Strikeouts (+ 100/-130) is the most popular prop for the game

Pittsburgh Pirates (38-63) vs. Milwaukee Brewers (60-42)

O/U: 8.0 | PIT + 165 | MIL -190

Chad Kuhl (THE BAT's No. 264 SP) vs. Freddy Peralta (THE BAT's No. 13 SP)

Ryan Additon (Extreme Pitchers Umpire, No. 31 in MLB)

PNC Park (No. 22 Runs | No. 26 HR | No. 25 K)

77 degrees (No. 5 coldest today)

9 mph out to LF (No. 3 weakest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  Chad Kuhl has been throwing a fastball (16% increase) far more often in 2021 (18% usage) than he did in 2020 (2% usage)

·  Chad Kuhl is throwing a sinker 22% less often this season (21% usage) than he did last season (43% usage)

·  Chad Kuhl has been throwing a slider (13% increase) far more often in 2021 (46% usage) than he did in 2020 (33% usage)

·  Chad Kuhl's 4.38 ERA is 1.04 points better than his 5.42 FIP, making him one of the luckier pitchers in MLB this season

·  Freddy Peralta's fly ball nature (41% FB% since 2019) should play well in PNC Park (No. 4 best homer-suppressing park in MLB) today

·  According to THE BAT X, the Pirates and their 0.296 wOBA have been the No. 7 luckiest offense in 2021

·  The Pirates offense knows how to optimize their launch angles for home runs; they have the No. 1 (tie) most players in MLB with a HR Zone Launch Angle in the 75th percentile or better this year (Gregory Polanco, Ben Gamel, Jacob Stallings, Bryan Reynolds)

·  THE BAT X projects the Brewers (No. 5 most underperforming offense in MLB) as a much better squad than they've performed like (0.306 wOBA) thus far in 2021

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  The Brewers Run Line has steamed 10 cents as it opened at -1.5 (-110) and is now -1.5 (-120)

·  This game has the most lopsided Moneyline today as 77% of the bet tickets and 65% of the cash is on the Brewers

·  The Brewers Run Line has 72% of the bet tickets and 98% of the cash resulting in a very lopsided handle

·  The Milwaukee Brewers Run Line has been their most profitable market this season and is 56-46 resulting in + 12.90 Units (10% ROI)

·  The most profitable market for the Pittsburgh Pirates has been their Team Total Under which is 56-41 generating + 8.64 Units (8% ROI)

·  Freddy Peralta's Strikeouts Prop is the most popular prop for the game and is priced at Over/Under 6.5 Strikeouts (+ 110/-145)

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