NOTE: The makeup games in WSH and NYM do not have a CIRCA posted odds as of yet and in OAK, there is no listed pitcher for BAL. Lastly, it is possible that the nightcap in WSH will not have Adon pitching, he is not confirmed yet.
RECAP: I won one and lost one yesterday. I played the NYY -1.5 -115 and they left the bats in the bat rack! I also went back to the well with LAA -109 and they came through. Overall, I lost .15 units of juice. This makes the season total now 19-12 +5.57 units.
Today I have two selections. The first is in Houston for the home opener of the Astros. They will play LAA and throw Garica. LAA will throw Lorenzen. It is a long wait for the HOU home opener as they played 9 away games to start the season. We will have seen these two play against each other already. HOU won 3 of 4 games on opening weekend. NOTE: Lorenzen was not seen by HOU in that series. HOU batters have only had 10 at-bats total against him. This does not bode well as HOU is also 26th on offense right now. Certainly, that will not hold through the entire season, but we are not wagering some time in June, this is April and they are not hitting. Advantage LAA. One of my favorite handicapping angles is where a pitcher is facing the same team he faced during his last start. This is the case for Garia. In these spots, more often than not, it is better to assume the pitcher will do a reversal of his last performance. For Garica, he threw a game score of 58 which is near ace-like. We should expect regression today. The LAA batters have had success vs Garcia too which helps to further extend the angle to their side. I know there is a low chance of Mike Trout playing tonight but he only has 3 at-bats ve Garcia not that I wouldn’t want him playing if he could. The Angels are #2 in all of MLB on offense entering this game. I like the idea they come off a 1st away series win against TEX with a little bit of “we need to show HOU we can do this” kind of attitude. I am playing this two ways. First, rotation# 917 LAA F5 +.05 -108 for a full unit and F5 Moneyline +144 for a half unit.
The second selection is also out west. We see ATL going to play LAD where Kershaw matches up against Ynoa. The odds are showing LAD -208 which is too high. We need to see how to get an ATL wager. First, Kershaw is off a no-hitter performance for the seven innings he threw last time out. Another great handicapping angel is to wager against pitchers off their no-hit starts or near no-hit starts. Sunde 2019, Kershaw has only thrown against ATL (regular season) twice. In those games, he has thrown 12.67 innings allowing 17 hits and 9 runs. His game score avg is 43.5. This bodes well and is supportive of the aforementioned angle. LAD is the #1 offensive team in baseball right now so I do not like betting against that! However, LAD has not seen Ynoa and he is off of a poor start. It means we should see a progression from him. Trea Turner is the only Dodger with at-bats (9) against Ynoa and he has 2 hits for a .222 avg. I expect ATL to be very competitive tonight. The wager I played is rotation #911 +1.5RL -109.
NOTE: MIN@BOS games time is 11 AM (Boston Marathon) and this is the only game with the same teams from the weekend.
When we get new team matchups there is usually more variance of odds from WEBBIE ODDS at the beginning. Today is no different. We see that WEBBIE ODDS says CHW is an away FAV and CIRCA thinks the game is a pick. I will also say that I did see some places where CLE was a -110 FAV. CIRCA really likes HOU too. WEBBIE ODDS thinks they should be favorite but not at -155. WEBBIE ODDS likes SD, PHI, and MIL more than CIRCA. I was surprised to see CIRCA liked OAK as much as WEBBIE ODDS.
I will be doing weekly Sunday Night Baseball breakdowns and analyses. Today will be issue #1 of the seams where ATL plays in SD against the Padres. We have Bryce Elder SP ATL and Yu Darvish SP SD with odds of SD -130 and Under 8 -120.
The first thing is who is Bryce Elder? He is a 5th round draft pick from 2020. He has made only one MLB start and that was the last time out. He throws at average velocity but is very unique in that he does not throw a fastball! He throws a split-finger 38%, a cutter 37%, and a slider 25% of his pitches. Every pitch should certainly be moving. In some sense, this is an edge for him as SD will have never seen before and all his pitches move. The first note then is expected lower scoring for SD in the first five innings. The SD batters are ranked #8 in hitting a split-finger, #26th a cutter, and #15th a slider so two pitches are average to below average with the split-finger being something SD could exploit. Again, I believe this supports the premise of lower first-half scoring. Another factor here is that SD batters are #22 in SwStr% (swings and misses at balls in the strike zone). SD has a strikeout rate of 25.7% ranking 25th worst in baseball. Elder only averages 6.35 K/9 (only 1 start) at the big league level while he was over 9.5 in minor league play. Elder was able to get a 52% groundball rate which helps to limit damaging blows. ATL has a very deep and very good bullpen. Collin McHugh and Will Smith threw 20+ pitches each last night so they would be questionable to pitch tonight. ATL still has Matzek or Minter available so they are not depleted. I think this total scenario suggests SD will not be scoring tons of runs.
SD Yu Darvish will be making his 3rd start. His 1st start was extremely good yet his 2nd start was extremely bad! In this situation, a quality pitcher such as Darvish should be expected to “bounce back” from his poor start with a good game tonight. He has thrown well against ATL in the past. In 92 previous at-bats, ATL is batting only .192 with Ozuna and Albies the only ATL batters with any relative success. Even though the batters have not faired well, ATL has won all three games against Darvish in the last three seasons which is more about the SD offense than it is about the pitcher. A concern though for Darvish is his command. He lost it altogether a couple of years back and is showing signs of similarity in 2022. His BB/9 rate is a whopping 7.04 so far this season. He has pitched 7.2 innings allowing 6BB and an HBP. Another concern is the flyball rate (44%). We want a low flyball rate in this one is pretty high. Flyballs create damage such as home runs and extra-base hits. He throws a broad mix of pitches with the curveball and split-finger being his better out pitches right now. ATL batters rank #10 vs the curveball and #14 vs the split-finger so they are competitive in this space. SD also has a good bullpen.
ATL is 11th in offense and SD is 18th. The “hot” hitters are Olson, Albies, and Ozuna for ATL, plus they have Duvall and Riley at an above-average level. AD “hot” hitters are Machado, Hosmer, and Profar who will have to navigate a pitcher they have not yet seen. I think ATL has the edge here plus it helps that Albies and Ozuna have had some success against Darvish.
Here is how to bet the game. I think there will be low scoring in this one as we should expect a good Darvish and a feal-out process for SD against Elder. The odds are 8 -120 though so an average MLB game score is 9-9.5. I think there is no value here. The better choice where value comes in is by taking ATL +120! As discussed, they have the offense, and bullpen which are two of the three-game components. I also think Elder will hold up giving ATL a chance to win this game! Have fun watching the game!
RECAP: 2-2 yesterday and -.30 units. The day started 0-2 with NYM having their own issue hitting the ball losing to ARI, then TOR Ryu ran into trouble and didn’t make it through innings. The west coast was good as LAA Syndergaard threw well and the offense continued hitting. The LAD found ways to get to CIN Greene (100+ mph) and pushed across 5 runs to win 5-0.
NOTE: I will be adding a new segment this year to cover the Sunday night game. I may not wager it, but I will write up my thoughts on each one of these games.
I am starting in BAL. The Oriole offense is on my PLAY AGAINST list right now. In the past 7 days, they scored only 12 runs which are dead last in MLB. They have 37 hits (ranking 27th) and only 2 HRs (again last). Today their offense faces a pitcher it has had trouble with in Nestor Cortez. In two starts last year, he threw 12 innings allowing only 7 hits and two runs! Cortez throws a slider and cutter which BAL offense ranks 22nd and 29th against. I expect the BAL offense to continue to struggle today. The NYY offense has yet to wake up. They are getting a chance to face Zimmermann today. He threw the best game of his career in his last start so we should expect some regression today. In his only start against NYY, he lasted only 3.2 innings allowing 9 hits and 4 runs. My first selection is rotation #965 NYY RL -1.5 -115.
I am going to the well once again. We go back to TEX where the LAA have had their way so far in the series going 2-1 scoring 21 runs. The TEX bullpen is 30th in baseball right now so even if LAA gets behind, they can still rally back. TEX is starting Martin Perez today. In his last five starts against LAA., he has only one above average and the rest well below average. His game score average is 40 for those five games. His last seven starts also see a game score average of 40 indicating he is a well below average (51) pitcher. He throws a slider and cutter which LAA offense ranks #2 and #4 at hitting against. Advantage LAA. Jose Suarez starts for LAA. and is an above-average pitcher. He has thrown three times against TEX with success. He has not thrown a below-average game and his team’s record is 3-0 in those games. The TEX offense has been good too, however, Suarez throws curveballs and changeups. The TEX offense ranks #28 against the CB, and #16 against the CH. My selection is rotation #975 LAA Suarez -109.
NOTES: Please notice today that I have used Draft Kings as the sportsbook. As of this writing, CIRCA odds were not available. I plan to write up the Sunday Night game every week this year regardless of whether it is something a bet on. I do not have a listed pitcher for TB. I have seen Feyereisen listed, but he is not confirmed, and many books do not yet have odds on this game.
WEBBIE ODDS and Draft Kings are pretty close on most of these games. However, the WEBBIE ODDS does like DET as a FAV where KC is listed that way. Minor variances favor these teams NYM, PHI, DET, MIL, CHC, CIN, and ATL. I do not believe there is anything worth wagering in advance of game day.
RECAP of 04/15: I had a great day! This website went 3-0, and I released a pick on my shows that also won! NYM RL -1.5 10-3 Mets win. TBR@CHW 3-0 after 5 so the under wins. LAA rally to win 9-6 (released on the show), and LAD RL 3-1 win! Season update: 16-9 +5.92 units!
Today is going to be brief in terms of the write-up as I have just run out of time.
The selections are as follows:
Rotation #902 NYM RL -1.5 +131
Rotation # 918 TOR F5 RL -.5 -130
Rotation # 923 LAA Syndergaard -118
Rotation # 914 LAD RL -118
The idea behind NYM is actually still anti-ARI and its offense. The idea behind TOR is threefold, a) Blackburn is off the second-best start of his career so regression is expected, and b) Ryu’s last start was horrible so progression is expected, and c) Ryu’s best out pitch is a change-up, OAK ranks #30 (or last) hitting the changeup. The idea behind LAA is the value from WEBBIES ODDS showing on LAA Syndergaard. WEBBIES Odds suggest LAA -150 and I played them at -118. The idea behind LAD is CIN #30 vs curveballs which is Urias best pitch and Urias last start was terrible so progression is expected.
The Saturday menu doesn’t look too far out of line anywhere. NYM shows 34 basis points of value, which will be gone as NYM takes the money before the first pitch. WEBBIE ODDS likes SD and CIRCA thinks ATL should be the favorite. WEBBIE ODDS likes LAA Syndergaard giving him and the Angels 20 basis points of value. It is hard to get an away favorite to go over -200, but NYY will accomplish that as they sit -195 on Friday night. WEBBIE ODDS like MIL and SEA a little more than CIRCA, too, but none of these merits a play tonight. I suppose if you thought the LAA Syndergaard line would go up, it would be a consideration.
RECAP 04/14: Not a great day in the office for sure. My record was 0-2 for -2.48 units. LAA Ohtani was -1.36 units. LAA hits an HR and is up 2-0 in the 1st, then Ohtani gets roughed up. TEX bats were hot! They scored four runs in the 2nd, and four runs more in the 4th! The is was up to COL Freeland to salvage the day, and CHC scored three on an HR in the 1st! COL did get two runs back in the 5th but gave them right back in the 6th. This day follows the season’s 1st losing day (yesterday) to make back-to-back losing efforts. Now the record is 12-9 for +1.92 units.
Friday 04/15 selections. We start at 1:10 PM in NY with the Mets as we continue our “ride” against ARI’s poor offensive start. ARI has played six games and scored 15 runs which is an average of 2.5 per game. ARI has a league-low of 25 hits, exacerbated by the 29th worst team having 34 hits. ARI is nine hits worse than the next-worst team. ARI’s starting pitcher is Davies, who is a contact guy. He gets his outs via soft contact on balls in play. He has not been good over the last year, though, and will now face an NYM offense ranked #2 in MLB. His track record in NY is not good, as he has thrown 14.2 innings allowing 18 hits and 11 runs for an ERA of 6.75. He has thrown 41.1 innings for his career, allowing 45 hits (7HRs) for a 5.01 ERA. The NYM batters are hitting .364 with an OPS of .967 against him. This performance leads me to believe they will continue to have success today. The money line is too high at -222, the same for the first five innings run line at -155. I opted to play the entire game online, NYM -1.5 -114. The play is rotation #952 NYM RL -1.5 -114.
The second selection begins at 7:10 PM in Chicago, where we see TB at CHW with a pitching matchup of Rasmussen vs. Cease. The first concept is pitchers generally have the edge over the batters when the batters have not seen them often or even at all. TB Rasmussen has zero CHW batters that have ever faced him before. CHW Cease has nine total at-bats from TB batters against him. In this game, the pitchers have the edge. TB Rasmussen has ten starts in 2021 and 1 so far this year and has NEVER allowed more the two runs in any of those starts! CHW Cease could be a candidate for the Cy Young award in the AL this season, so he is outstanding. TB comes in off a poor home series with OAK, and I expect that to “carry over” in this first game. I like both teams to struggle for offense in the first part of the game, but we could see some scoring when the bullpens come in. The play for this game is rotation numbers #971/972 First 5 Innings Under 4.5 -120.
The last choice is the late game starting at 100 PM in LA. CIN plays the LAD with a big money line of -240. CIN starting pitcher Gutierrez is projected at 0.0 WAR which is the equalivant to a AAA call-up pitcher. He throws a FB, SL, and CH. The LAD offense ranks #1 against the CH, #12 vs FB, and #18 vs SL. Their offense matches up well to his arsenal of pitches even though he never started vs the Dodgers before. LAD Gonsolin throws a pitch that is rarely used (Split FInger) and the CIN offense ranks #26 against it. In fact, CIN ranks below average (15th is average) against all of Gonsilin’s pitch arsenal. I like the idea LAD will find offense and CIN will not hence this selection is rotation #964 LAD RL -1.5 -124.
Note: I will caution this. When playing the home team on the run line, it does occur where the home team loses their at-bats in the 9th inning because they have the lead in the game. This is not an ideal way to make a wager and we should try to avoid making too many of these.
Poor ARI! A team struggling to hit goes from playing SD and then HOU to getting NYM! Rough stretch for them, but still suitable for playing their games on their opponents or the under-total runs scored!
There are only a couple of spots I currently see value. First, DET @ KC has WEBBIE ODDS at KC -102 (CIRCA is -128), which means DET has an underdog value. Second, WEBBIE ODDS sees ATL as the slight favorite, yet CIRCA sees SD as the opposite. Finally, another spot to consider shows CHW as -140, and WEBBIE ODDS says -163. I caution this as CHW has some beat-up players, and WEBBIE ODDS is not accounting for that.