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. WSH - Max Scherzer (No. 6 out of 342)

2. SD - Yu Darvish (No. 19)

3. LAD - Julio Urias (No. 37)

Today's Worst Starting Pitchers

1. COL - Chi Chi Gonzalez (No. 300 out of 342)

2. ARI - Jake Faria (No. 288)

3. BAL - Keegan Akin (No. 234)

Today's Most Pitcher-Friendly Umpires

1. COL at ARI - Dan Bellino (No. 10 out of 110)

2. OAK at HOU - Ben May (No. 12)

3. PHI at CHC - Bruce Dreckman (No. 41)

Today's Most Hitter-Friendly Umpires

1. LAD at MIA - Sam Holbrook (No. 6 out of 110)

2. TOR at BAL - Jordan Baker (No. 32)

3. WSH at SD - Junior Valentine (No. 34)

Today's Hottest Games

1. PIT at NYM (81 degrees)

2. TOR at BAL (79 degrees)

3. COL at ARI (78 degrees)

Today's Coldest Games

1. CIN at MIL (65 degrees)

2. PHI at CHC (67 degrees)

3. NYY at SEA (69 degrees)

THE BAT's Highest Projected Team Totals

·  Toronto Blue Jays

Projected: 6.54 runs | Vegas O/U: 6.5 O 105

·  Houston Astros

Projected: 5.07 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -125

·  Minnesota Twins

Projected: 4.87 runs | Vegas O/U: 4.5 O -125

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Team Totals

·  Miami Marlins

Projected: 3.24 runs | Vegas O/U: 2.5 O -150

·  Pittsburgh Pirates

Projected: 3.56 runs | Vegas O/U: 2.5 O -145

·  Chicago Cubs

Projected: 3.62 runs | Vegas O/U: 3.5 O -115

THE BAT's Highest Projected Game Totals

·  Blue Jays at Orioles

Projected: 11.11 runs | Vegas O/U: 10.5 O -120

·  Royals at Indians

Projected: 9.27 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.0 O -115

·  Tigers at Twins

Projected: 9.18 runs | Vegas O/U: 9.5 O -115

THE BAT's Lowest Projected Game Totals

·  Phillies at Cubs

Projected: 7.64 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O 100

·  Dodgers at Marlins

Projected: 7.67 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.5 O 100

·  Nationals at Padres

Projected: 7.69 runs | Vegas O/U: 7.0 O -120

GAMES OF THE DAY

Baltimore Orioles (28-58) vs. Toronto Blue Jays (44-40)

O/U: 10.5 | BAL 180 | TOR -220

Keegan Akin (THE BAT's No. 234 SP) vs. Alek Manoah (THE BAT's No. 47 SP)

Jordan Baker (Extreme Hitters Umpire, No. 32 in MLB)

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

79 degrees (No. 2 hottest today)

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

DATA NUGGETS

·  Keegan Akin is a fly ball pitcher (36% FB% since 2019) and Oriole Park at Camden Yards is the No. 4 most extreme park in baseball for boosting home runs

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

·  Alek Manoah's large platoon split makes him especially effective against same-handed hitters, and he's projected to face six of them today

·  Alek Manoah has been one of the luckier pitchers in baseball this year. His 2.70 ERA is 1.78 points below his 4.48 FIP

·  The Toronto Blue Jays's 21.4 projected K% (via THE BAT) is the No. 2 least on today's slate of games

·  The Blue Jays have five players (Randal Grichuk, Bo Bichette, Teoscar Hernandez, Marcus Semien, Cavan Biggio) with a Sprint Speed in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 1 (tie) most in MLB

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  There is line movement toward the UNDER after the Game Total opened at 11.0 Runs and is now 10.5 Runs

·  There is lopsided action on the Run Line as 71% of the bet tickets and 76% of the cash is on the Blue Jays

·  The most profitable market for the Toronto Blue Jays has been their Run Line which is 46-38 generating 2.75 Units (3% ROI)

·  Vladimir Guerrero Jr's Home Runs Prop is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs ( 265/-445) is the most popular prop for the game

Cleveland Indians (42-42) vs. Kansas City Royals (36-50)

O/U: 9.0 | CLE -140 | KC 120

Zach Plesac (THE BAT's No. 93 SP) vs. Danny Duffy (THE BAT's No. 44 SP)

Progressive Field (No. 5 Runs | No. 13 HR | No. 17 K)

76 degrees (No. 4 hottest today)

5 mph across the field

DATA NUGGETS

·  Zach Plesac may be limited today, with THE BAT projecting a maximum pitch count of roughly 58 pitches

·  Danny Duffy may be on a pitch count today, with THE BAT projecting a max of roughly 84 pitches

·  Thus far in 2021, Danny Duffy's fastball (93.2 mph) has been 1.7 mph faster than it was last season

·  Danny Duffy's fastball spin rate (2286 rpm) has jumped 113 rpm since 2020

·  Fly ball pitchers tend to perform worse against ground ball hitters, and Danny Duffy (36% FB% since 2019) is projected to face four of them today

·  Danny Duffy is projected to face eight opposite-handed hitters today, which makes this matchup more difficult given his huge platoon split

·  While THE BAT projects Danny Duffy's ERA going forward to be 3.81, his actual has been 2.60 ERA, indicating some regression may be in order

·  The Cleveland Indians' 22.6 projected K% (via THE BAT) is the No. 5 least on today's slate of games

·  The Indians' 0.297 team wOBA makes them the No. 1 largest underperformer this season, according to THE BAT X projections

·  The Indians have four players (Cesar Hernandez, Harold Ramirez, Jose Ramirez, Amed Rosario) with a Sprint Speed in the 75th percentile or higher this season, No. 3 (tie) most in MLB

·  The Royals offense is quite fast; they have the No. 3 (tie) most hitters in baseball with a Sprint Speed in the 75th percentile or better this year (Whit Merrifield, Hunter Dozier, Michael A. Taylor, Nicky Lopez)

BETTING INSIGHTS

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

·  The opening Run Line for the Kansas City Royals was 1.5 (-145), but is now 1.5 (-160) after it steamed 15 cents

·  The Game Total has the most lopsided action today with 86% of the bet tickets and 56% of the cash on the OVER

·  This season the Indians Game Total Over has been their most profitable market and is 47-34 resulting in 10.20 Units (11% ROI)

·  The most profitable market for the Kansas City Royals has been their Team Total Under which is 45-38 generating 4.56 Units (5% ROI)

·  The most popular prop for the game is Jose Ramirez's Home Runs Prop which is currently priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs ( 285/-490)

Minnesota Twins (35-50) vs. Detroit Tigers (40-47)

O/U: 9.5 | MIN -135 | DET 115

J.A. Happ (THE BAT's No. 207 SP) vs. Tarik Skubal (THE BAT's No. 166 SP)

Target Field (No. 11 Runs | No. 22 HR | No. 19 K)

75 degrees (No. 5 hottest today)

4 mph in from LF (No. 4 strongest winds today)

DATA NUGGETS

·  J.A. Happ is throwing a fastball 13% more often this season (57% usage) than he did last season (44% usage)

·  J.A. Happ is projected to face seven opposite-handed hitters today, which makes this matchup more difficult given his large platoon split

·  The spin on Tarik Skubal's fastball (2209 rpm) has been 213 rpm less than it was in 2020

·  Tarik Skubal is throwing a fastball 13% less often this season (48% usage) than he did last season (61% usage)

·  Tarik Skubal's skillset (42% FB% since 2019) ought to play well in Target Field (No. 9 best homer-suppressing park in MLB) today

·  Fly ball pitchers tend to perform better against Fly ball hitters, and Tarik Skubal (42% FB% since 2019) is projected to face two of them today

·  So far in 2021, Tarik Skubal has been one of baseball's luckier starting pitcher, boasting a 4.35 ERA despite a 4.98 FIP

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

·  The Tigers (26.8 K%, via THE BAT X) have the No. 4 most strikeout-heavy projected lineup today

·  The Tigers have three hitters in their projected lineup today with an underlying K% over 30% , according to THE BAT X (Zack Short, Akil Baddoo, Jake Rogers)

·  According to THE BAT X, the Tigers and their 0.302 wOBA have been the No. 6 luckiest offense in 2021

BETTING INSIGHTS

·  There is line movement toward the UNDER after the Game Total opened at 10.0 Runs and is now 9.5 Runs

·  There is lopsided action on the Game Total as 80% of the bet tickets and 68% of the cash is on the OVER

·  The Minnesota Twins Game Total Over has been their most profitable market this season and is 52-29 resulting in 20.30 Units (22% ROI)

·  This season the Tigers Moneyline has been their most profitable market and is 40-47 resulting in 8.45 Units (9% ROI)

·  Nelson Cruz's Home Runs Prop is the most popular prop for the game and is priced at Over/Under 0.5 Home Runs ( 250/-405)

 

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