Last week was a good one. Our pitcher props below went 4-1 overall, and I hope you found the write ups actionable and were able to cash a few tickets along the way. Win or lose, it's important to review the outcome to see if anything can be learned and applied moving forward. And that's what we're here to do.
Hooked by Braxton Garrett! They don’t get much worse than this - hooked at 5.2 innings after a 26-pitch first inning that included yet again another ERROR. This time it was on a grounder back to the pitcher. That error was the difference between cashing and losing this ticket in particular. To make it even more frustrating, he came out for the sixth and retired the first two before surrendering a walk on a great 8-pitch at bat from Matt Reynolds. This handicap was on point, despite the long first he was at around 85 pitches after 5 and Brandon Drury was even traded as predicted. It's definitely hard to accept this loss, but hey, that’s baseball. A positive takeaway, on the other hand, was the high pitch count Mattingly let him get to. He is matchup dependent, sure, but worth playing in the right spots.
Last week's bet: Braxton Garrett OVER 15.5 outs (-140) or 17.5 (+100)
Result: loss (on the hook)
Graham Ashcraft was never in doubt. This line moved around significantly, from 18.5 (+130) to 17.5 (-165). I hope you were able to get at least one. Miami continues to be a target for outs and earned runs.
Last week's bet: Graham Ashcraft OVER 17.5 outs (-130)
Triston McKenzie's prop result was true to the handicap. He was hit around a bit (maybe an understatement), but he still managed to battle through 6 and cover.
Last week's bet: Triston McKenzie OVER 17.5 outs (-170)
Drew Rasmussen continued his home dominance, going 6 innings while scattering 6 hits and giving up only 1 run. Until something changes, he is a guy to target at home or in favorable road matchups.
Last week's bet: Drew Rasmussen UNDER 2.5 earned runs (-115)
Brady Singer was pushed to Wednesday, and he had somewhat of odd start given the weather. The price here was more expensive than expected, too (-160 to -175). He did manage to go 6 IP, but he also gave up 11 hits and 4 runs, including 1 in the first and 3 in the 3rd following a rain delay. Before this start, Singer had pitched 9 scoreless vs. the White Sox. The positive moving forward is that Matheny stuck with him despite a rough start and a long rain delay.
The Bet: Brady Singer OVER 17.5 outs (-150)
The Result: win
How do I find these spots? My process starts with a model I built using the correlation between game log results and season-long indicators (and stats) for both pitchers and the lineups they're facing.
While having projections is helpful, it doesn’t end there. Once I have identified plays I want to target, I then look through a few sources on recent performances. A a player or team could be in the midst of a hot or cold streak that is not yet showing in projections built on the full season data. Like a baseball team can’t be fully managed by the analytics department (just ask Joe Girardi), there is definitely a “feel” that comes with it as well. While betting daily can be a time commitment, it does allow you to keep a pulse on how the market is reacting to performances, as well as pricing players and teams. You’ll find yourself in a position to predict where lines will open and how they’ll move. The final part of my process is monitoring the market on game day and looking for opportunities that may exist due to pricing, whether at open or based on movement. I also would advise to not get too wrapped up in closing line value on player props, as in my opinion the betting market isn’t necessarily moving on sharp action as much as sheer volume here.
With that said, these are the spots I'm eyeing for Tuesday, August 9th, 2022:
Marlins @ Phillies - 7:05 p.m. ET
- Zack Wheeler OVER 19.5 outs (-110)
- Marlins F5 Team Total UNDER 1.5 (-145)
The case for: Miami is the gift that keeps on giving, and there are a few ways to attack this one. I will not be playing all of these angles, but I do still want to give you a few to consider. Sheer price could make some unplayable. The Marlines have been the worst offense in baseball for the past month and pretty much all season. Since the all-star break they're averaging 1.8 runs per game and have scored more than 3 runs twice. Wheeler, on the other hand, has been great this season (especially at home). After removing his first few starts (when he was on a pitch count), he's averaging 6.1 IP and 1.1 ER. If we look at recent performance overall, then he has also gone 7 innings in 5 of his last 6 while allowing 2 ER or less in 5 of 6 as well. This includes 2 starts vs. the Cardinals and one at the Braves.
The case against: It's hard to make a case against this play, however it's good practice to consider all angles. The Marlins have a few players who have done well against Wheeler in the past. In addition, there is one Marlin who absolutely crushes the Phillies - Miguel Rojas. Below is the slash line for his career, as well as at Citizens Bank Park and vs. the Phillies.
One player is not going to stop me from making a play on this game, but don’t be shocked if he causes problems here. It's also supposed to be brutally hot in Philadelphia, with temperatures hovering in the high 90s. This isn't stopping a play for me, but again, it's worth noting. High temperatures could take a toll on endurance and lead to a possible thunderstorm as well (always check the weather before a bet/game).
Guardians @ Tigers - 7:10 p.m. ET
- Shane Bieber OVER 18.5 outs (-120)
The case for: The Tigers - like the Marlins - have been poor for the past month (same 65 WRC+ as Miami) and for most of the year as well. They are especially bad vs. righties, and on the road (lowest WRC+ in the league in both). This bodes well for Shane Bieber. In 3 starts vs. the Tigers this year, Bieber has gone 7, 8, and 5.2 innings pitched. Bieber has gotten K’s when he needs them this year, he limits walks (4.98%), and he only averages 14-15 pitches per inning. The Tigers will hold up their end too, as they walk at only a 5.6% clip and average a near league-low 3.81 pitches per plate appearance.
The case against: Bieber's pitch counts typically land in the mid 90s. He isn’t a guy I would count on to go over 100 pitches regularly, unless the situation warrants. One long inning could make this difficult, as I believe he needs to be under 90 after 6 to go back out in the 7th inning for the last out. However, he has gone over this line in half of his starts this year and the Tigers have not shown the ability to run up pitch counts with walks. The most likely way the Tigers run up Biebers pitch count is by striking out 8+ times and not putting the ball in play.
Nationals @ Cubs - 8:05 p.m. ET
- Marcus Stroman UNDER 1.5 earned runs (+135)
The case for: This is one my projections don’t agree with, but that's because Stroman was having a very rough year before being injured. Since coming off the IL, however, he has silenced the following opponents:
- Dodgers at LA (4 IP, 0 ER)
- Mets (4.1 IP, 0 ER)
- Phillies at PHI (6 IP 1 ER)
- Giants at SF (6 IP, 0 ER)
- Cardinals at STL (6.2 IP, 3 ER - all 3 runs came in the 7th)
The Nationals are well below all of these teams in terms of offensive production, especially after trading away Soto and Bell.
The case against: On the season, Stroman’s profile doesn’t show him as someone to limit runs. His hard hit rate is only in the 6th percentile, and his average exit velocity is also in the 5th percentile, per baseball savant. His xERA is nearly a half run above his actual, but again, he had some very rough starts
early in the year. It's baseball, and anything is possible, but I like Stroman to give up 2 or less here.
This looks like a great Tuesday slate overall, with aces like Manoah, Musgrove, Ohtani, Woodruff, Cole, and Castillo all getting the ball. Follow me on twitter @JayRay - I will tweet any updates I have on these plays, as well as others that may come up through out the week. Best of luck, and I'll see you again next week!
- Jay Ray, Special to The Betting Predators
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