After a win and a rainout on Wednesday, MLB handicapper Dalton Brown is back and looking to build on a 7-1 run with two bets bets for Friday.
6:40 p.m. ET: Detroit Tigers at Miami Marlins: OVER 7.5 (-114) at BetRivers
The Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins will begin a three-game interleague series Friday night from LoanDepot Park, and the current total is too low.
Starters Reese Olson (Detroit) and Braxton Garrett (Miami) each hold 4.63 xERA's that place them in the 28th percentile of MLB pitchers - and with 9.2 being the average number of runs scored in games across Major League Baseball this season, that's enough to push me to the over even with two lackluster offenses going at it.
Olson has been solid more often than not for Detroit this season, but the rookie has picked up back-to-back losses vs. Seattle and Detroit while allowing seven earned runs in 10.1 innings over his last two starts. Garrett, the lefty toeing the rubber for the Marlins, has struggled mightily in July - over four starts, he's put up a 7.85 ERA and allowed at least three earned runs in all of them.
Miami's bullpen has been above-average in July, while Detroit's has been slightly below-average. All in all, I can understand an argument for this total to be 8.5 - or maybe even 8 - given these offenses and the way Miami's ballpark plays. But Detroit's bullpen used plenty of arms during Thursday's double-header, and 7.5 is a tick too low to pass on.
9:40 p.m. ET: Texas Rangers at San Diego Padres: Padres F5 -0.5 (-120) at BetMGM
The San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers will begin a three-game set from Petco Park on Friday as the Friars take one last stab at climbing into contention before the trade deadline. Friday's pitching matchup is slanted in the Padres' favor, so I'm all over San Diego in the early going.
Hometown kid Joe Musgrove will pitch for the Padres, a righty who has been on fire for more than two months. Over Musgrove's last 11 starts, seven have seen him allow a run or less, nine have seen him allow two runs or fewer, and all 11 have seen him allow three runs or less. It doesn't get a whole lot more consistent than that, as the righty posted a 2.25 ERA in June followed by a 1.80 ERA in July. The Rangers are a difficult offense to find success against to be sure, but Texas has cooled off a tad lately. Bruce Bochy's team travels to San Diego after losing consecutive series to the Dodgers and Astros.
Dane Dunning will start for Texas, a pitcher who we correctly predicted would be eaten alive by the regression monster against the Dodgers. Dunning's xERA is an astronomically high 4.95, and he's now surrendered four or more earned runs in two of his last three starts. Dunning's whiff rate and strikeout rate are each lower than 95% of MLB pitchers, and five of his six contact profile stats on Baseball Savant (hard hit %, average exit velocity, xwOBA, xBA, and xSLG) are significantly below MLB average. San Diego is no slouch against right-handed pitching, either - since June 15, the Padres have posted a strong 111 wRC+ vs. righties.
Texas does have a significant advantage in the bullpen, and could very well ruin a chance for Joe Musgrove to pick up a win in the game's late innings - so let's stick to the first five, where San Diego's advantage is most significant in a series they have to win on their home field.