By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 53-37-4 (59%) *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Over 11 (-102) – Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
LAA: Trevor Cahill – R (1-3, 6.95 ERA/1.46 WHIP)
BAL: Dan Straily – R (1-2, 7.43 ERA/1.87 WHIP)
To say Dan Straily isn’t enjoying his time at Camden Yards would be the understatement of the century. The veteran righty has allowed a 2.57 WHIP and eight homers over 14 innings of work there this season – somebody give this man a hug. Mike Trout (9-for-20, 2 doubles, HR), Albert Pujols (10-for-21, double, 2 HR) and Kole Calhoun (3-for-10, double, HR) will sure as hell be happy to see Straily out there tonight.
It should be no surprise that the Angels opened with the highest IRT (5.6) on tonight’s slate, but it has increased drastically up to 6.4 currently. Los Halos’ moneyline increase, from -152 to -178, is one of the highest on the entire day as well.
We dissected Straily’s awful life enough but let’s not leave Trevor Cahill out of the mix either, considering he’s allowed a 2.10 WHIP, 19 runs and nine homers over his last 15 2/3 innings of work. In those last four Cahill outings, the total runs scored have gone something like this: 16, 16, 11, 19. In the words of Dr. Evil, “Riiiiiiiiight.”
This is also the first 11-run total we’ve seen at Camden Yards this season, and there’s a damn good reason for it. We’ve got more than enough evidence here to support numerous cleats touching home plate this evening.
* Final Score Prediction: Los Angeles Angels: 10 – Baltimore Orioles: 8 *
[8:10 p.m. EST] Texas Rangers at Houston Astros (-1.5, -128)
TEX: Lance Lynn – R (4-2, 5.75 ERA/1.57 WHIP)
HOU: Justin Verlander – R (5-1, 2.86 ERA/0.87 WHIP)
They don’t make pitchers like Justin Verlander anymore. For most guys, it’s all about pitch counts and saving innings to make sure they’ve got enough left in the tank at the end of the season. Not Verlander, who has thrown at least 94 pitches in every outing this year.
Like many other teams, the Rangers have had a difficult time figuring out one of the best pitchers in the game. This current roster has a 32.1% K-rate against Verlander and a very similar 32.6% whiff rate lifetime. While Texas did attribute to his worst outing this season (and it wasn’t even THAT bad), Verlander followed that up with a masterful seven-inning performance against them in the next meeting.
Over his last 30 outings, Verlander has never had two non-quality starts in back-to-back appearances on the mound. In simpler terms, this guy just doesn’t suck… after sucking. Verlander did allow four runs in his last start, so look for him to dominate in a familiar matchup that has been quite favorable before.
Lance Lynn takes the mound for the Rangers, and he hasn’t been at his best of late. His best outing recently came against a Mariners team that had their heads in the sand for that whole weekend. If we look past that game, Lynn has allowed at least 10 baserunners and had three strikeouts or fewer in three of his last four outings.
The Astros have the best 1.5 run-line odds of any team on tonight’s slate and it shouldn’t be a huge surprise with Verlander on the mound. Not to mention, Houston ranks at the top of nearly every advanced metric against right-handed pitching and Lynn has been getting hit more frequently by right-handed bats, which the Astros have plenty of.
* Final Score Prediction: Houston Astros: 6 – Texas Rangers: 1 *
[8:10 p.m. EST] Detroit Tigers at Minnesota Twins (-1.5, -112)
DET: Tyson Ross – R (1-4, 5.34 ERA/1.62 WHIP)
MIN: Jake Odorizzi – R (4-2, 2.78 ERA/1.09 WHIP)
This could end up being the biggest mismatch of the night, so let’s take advantage of it. Good, great, grand, wonderful… everybody on the bus!
Jake Odorizzi has been filthy over his last four starts for the Twins, allowing only three runs over the last 24 1/3 innings – in the last two starts (vs. HOU, @NYY), he has pitched 13 scoreless innings, allowing six hits and five walks (0.85 WHIP) ball while striking out 15. The Tigers have struck out at a 29% clip against right-handed pitching over the last 14 days and that lines up perfectly their bottom-five advanced metrics in MLB against righties in nearly every category this season.
Tyson Ross goes for the Tigers, and he’s had some back issues to deal with of late. That could be a big reason for allowing 21 hits over his last 12 1/3 innings of work. Not only that, but the Tigers have lost each of his last two starts by a combined score of 26-7. Add in the fact that they lost 13-0 yesterday and you can pick up what I’m putting down. On the flip side, the Twins have won their last three games by a combined score of 20-1.
While we’re piling on Detroit, let’s not forget to mention that Minnesota’s .237 ISO (power metric) against right-handed pitching ranks first in all of baseball this season, and over the last 14 days it’s actually at .288 in that split – for reference, a .200 ISO is good and about .175 is the league average.
* Final Score Prediction: Minnesota Twins: 7 – Detroit Tigers: 1 *