By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 79-62-4 (56%) *
[7:10 p.m. EST] San Francisco Giants at Miami Marlins (ML: -111)
SF: Jeff Samardzija – R (2-3, 3.27 ERA/1.17 WHIP)
MIA: Trevor Richards – R (1-5, 4.14 ERA/1.40 WHIP)
Believe it or not, but it’s the Marlins with the highest moneyline increase of the day (+111 to -111). It makes plenty of sense, considering they’ll be taking on a Giants’ team that flew across the country for one of the longest city-to-city trips in baseball.
That long trip won’t do any favors for San Francisco’s arms, who have been absolutely ripped to shreds lately. The Giants have allowed a total of 48 runs over the last five games, and that was all in their spacious hitter-hating Oracle Park. Jeff Samardzija should be able to neutralize some of the hurt, but he’s only been able to make it to the sixth inning in two of his 10 starts this season.
Trevor Richards takes the mound for Miami and he’s been surprisingly serviceable in the month of May, with a 3.38 ERA in four starts. He looked great, albeit against the Tigers, in his last start with a dominating command of the lower strike zone. Richards will look to cap off the month on a solid note against a Giants team that owns the third-worst wOBA (.285) against right-handed pitching.
Logistically, this is a bad spot for the Giants and Vegas has made the line adjustment. Look for the Marlins to grab the series opener against a fatigued team.
* Final Score Prediction: Miami Marlins: 5 – San Francisco Giants: 2 *
[7:20 p.m. EST] Washington Nationals at Atlanta Braves (ML: -112)
WSH: Stephen Strasburg – R (4-3, 3.25 ERA/0.99 WHIP)
ATL: Max Fried – L (7-2, 2.88 ERA/1.12 WHIP)
We’re going to get excellent value on the Braves tonight at -112 on the moneyline. Most people may scratch their heads and wonder how with Stephen Strasburg on the mound for the Nationals.
For one, Atlanta has hit Strasburg well over the course of time. The majority of that success comes from Freddie Freeman, who has rocked him for a .354 batting average (17-for-48) with five doubles and four homers. Over Strasburg’s last 11 starts against the Braves, he is 5-4 with a 4.55 ERA.
Also, Strasburg does not pitch well in hot weather. Temperatures in Atlanta should be in the upper-80s/low-90s while he’s on the mound tonight, so look for that to be a detrimental factor. There aren’t any specific numbers on this hindrance for Stras, but coming from the DFS community and knowing a lot of these different nuances about players, this is one that has always stuck in my head.
It also doesn’t help that Washington’s bullpen ranks dead-last in every category imaginable, including losses (13) and ERA (7.12) – the latter of which is a full run more than the second-worst team. Just yesterday, the Nats’ bullpen blew another lead, making it the fourth time that has happened over the last seven games.
Max Fried takes the hill for Atlanta, and he’s been able to get back to his masterful ways over the last two outings. The young lefty has allowed only 10 baserunners and two runs over his last 12 innings of work, getting the win in both outings. Not to mention, the Braves’ offense hooked up him nicely with a total of 21 runs in those two starts. Atlanta is 7-3 in games that Fried has started this season.
* Final Score Prediction: Atlanta Braves: 6 – Washington Nationals: 4 *
[10:00 p.m. EST] Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners (ML: -152)
TEX: Adrian Sampson – R (2-3, 4.44 ERA/1.46 WHIP)
SEA: Marco Gonzales – L (5-4, 3.41 ERA/1.33 WHIP)
Now that the Mariners got some looks at Adrian Sampson, they should be able to knock him around a bit tonight. That’s been a common theme, as the righty pitched well against Astros and Pirates the first time around before getting rocked the second time around – and third time, in the Astros’ case.
Seattle will have to wait to face Sampson, though, as Jesse Chavez will serve as the “opener” for the first inning or two in this game. Not to worry, they will get plenty of chances to make it work.
The opposite can be said about the Rangers facing Marco Gonzales, who has a 0.64 ERA, 1.00 WHIP and 12 strikeouts against them this season. In fact, Gonzales had a season-high nine strikeouts against Texas when they visited Seattle back on April 25. Not to mention, the Rangers own the second-highest K-rate (28.8%) against left-handed pitching this season.
Seattle’s lineup looks a little different now with Kyle Seager and Mallex Smith back in action. The Mariners’ bottom of the lineup actually has some sizzle now to it with Smith and Shed Long down at the bottom. That should be able to put some pressure on a Rangers’ team that has allowed the fourth-most stolen bases (33) in baseball. Good news: the Mariners have the second-most stolen bases (38) in baseball.
The early IRT (Mariners: +0.2, Rangers: -0.2) and moneyline (-130 to -152) movements are in favor of the home team, so that’s certainly a positive sign.
* Final Score Prediction: Seattle Mariners: 5 – Texas Rangers: 2 *