By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
* 2019 MLB Record: 122-105-4 (53.7%) *
[7:05 p.m. EST] Over 10.5 (-116) – New York Mets at Philadelphia Phillies (ML: -155)
NYM: Jason Vargas – L (3-3, 3.75 ERA/1.33 WHIP)
PHI: Nick Pivetta – R (4-2, 5.54 ERA/1.45 WHIP)
We’ve been on the right side of this total in the first two games of the Phils-Mets series, so let’s keep the train moving. The Phils already owned the highest IRT (5.6) on the night slate and that has now been boosted by slate-high +0.6 increase. Good things are coming for Philly tonight and the visitors should be able to tack enough runs on to have the total go over.
Jason Vargas takes the mound for the Mets and he’ll be facing a Phils’ offense that is absolutely locked in at the plate in the first two games of this series. For all the struggles Philly had recently, their .418 wOBA and .288 ISO against left-handed pitching are absolutely magnificent. Vargas hasn’t made it out of the fifth inning in each of his last two starts and is averaging just under five innings per start this season.
We should see plenty of the Mets bullpen, and the 20 runs scored by Philly in the first two games of this series have shined an even brighter light on how bad they’ve been. Look for more of the same tonight.
Nick Pivetta has struggled quite a bit over his last two starts, allowing 15 hits/five walks, 10 runs and five homers in 12 innings of work. Despite coughing up numerous runs, the Mets have always been able to them on the board at Citizens Bank Park. Look for the right-handed bats to do most of the damage against Pivetta, as they have a .337 batting average and 1.000 OPS in 102 plate appearances against him this season.
Philly’s bullpen was solid last night, but they have been a shaky unit overall this season. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Mets get a couple of extra runs against them either.
All in all, we should see plenty of runs for the third-consecutive night – and most of them coming from the Philly side.
* Final Score Prediction * Philadelphia Phillies: 8 – New York Mets: 6
[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 8.5 (-104) – Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers
TEX: Mike Minor – L (7-4, 2.52 ERA/1.15 WHIP)
DET: Matthew Boyd – L (5-5, 3.61 ERA/1.11 WHIP)
We’ll have dueling lefties at Comerica Park tonight as two of the more underrated pitchers in baseball will square off. Vegas adjusted the total down from 9.0 to 8.5 and the IRTs dipped for both teams: Rangers: -0.5, Tigers: -0.1.
Mike Minor has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last 11 starts – he’s allowed two runs or fewer eight times, one run or fewer six times and no runs in two of those outings. So far in the month of June, Minor has a 2-0 record and 1.93 ERA over four starts.
The Tigers’ numbers are slightly below average against lefties over the last 21 days with a .325 wOBA, and I see them having an even tougher time against Minor.
On the other side, Matt Boyd will look to get back on track after a few mediocre/rough outings against quality opponents in three of his last four. The caveat here is the Rangers’ woeful .260 wOBA, .098 ISO and 30.3% K-rate against left-handed pitching over the last 21 days. In the midst of Boyd’s struggles, he’s still striking out plenty of hitters – 30 Ks over the last 22 innings. Not to mention, the current Rangers’ roster owns a .263 on-base percentage in 78 career plate appearances against Boyd.
The SK Trend Confidence rating has B+ grades for the Rangers and total under tonight, which are some of the highest on the slate.
* Final Score Prediction * Texas Rangers: 4 – Detroit Tigers: 2