By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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* 2019 MLB Record: 139-111-6 (55.6%) *
[7:05 p.m. EST] Tampa Bay Rays at New York Yankees (ML: -155)
TB: Blake Snell – L (5-7, 4.70 ERA/1.29 WHIP)
NYY: James Paxton – L (5-4, 4.01 ERA/1.43 WHIP)
Blake Snell has certainly not lived up to the billing in the season after winning the AL Cy Young award. This has been especially true against the Yankees, and this will be the fourth time they’ve seen him in a span of 11 starts. We’ve talked about this more than a few times – the more a team sees a pitcher, the more comfortable they get.
While he does have 26 strikeouts in 17 innings against the Yankees this season, Snell has also allowed 17 hits, nine walks and 10 runs in four starts. Not to mention, the lefty’s 2-4 record and 6.48 ERA on the road has been much worse than his 3-3 record and 3.17 ERA at Tropicana Field. In fact, Snell’s last four road starts have seen him allow a total of 25 hits, eight walks and 20 runs over a span of 14 innings.
James Paxton has a fantastic matchup against a Rays team that owns the third-highest K-rate (26%) and ninth-worst wOBA (.310) against left-handed pitching this season. That was never more evident than in Paxton’s last start when he fanned 11 Rays and only allowed two runs over six innings.
Paxton had an uncharacteristically-bad start against the Blue Jays back on June 26, but four of his last five starts have seen him allow two runs or fewer.
The Yankees are on an excellent run, winning 18 of their last 23 games. They also have a 31-10 record against AL East opponents and a magnificent 15-2 record at home when favored by -125 to -175 on the moneyline this season.
According to our graded picks today, the Yankees (on moneyline or 1.5-run line) have the best trends on today’s entire schedule of games. It also likes the total going under, considering Yankees’ games have done that in seven of the last nine while Rays’ games have done the same in four of the last six.
* Final Score Prediction * New York Yankees: 5 – Tampa Bay Rays: 2
[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 10 – Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers
ATL: Max Fried – L (9-4, 4.29 ERA/1.41 WHIP)
MIL: Adrian Houser – R (4.01 ERA/1.45 WHIP)
With two talented offenses going up against one another, it may seem like a crazy idea to take the under, but that’s exactly what we’re doing here. And Vegas is on our side, decreasing the game total from 10.5 to 10.0, with both sides having their IRT (implied run total) decrease by -0.3 runs, which is tied for highest on today’s entire slate.
When the teams faced off in May, two of the three games went under the total. Also, Braves’ games have gone under the total in 14 of the last 20 while the Brewers offense has just been sputtering since the end of June.
Max Fried wasn’t effective in his last two starts before the All-Star break, but he’s a young kid and the time off could certainly do him some good. The lefty has looked sharp for the most part this season, and his May 17 performance against these same Brewers was nothing short of masterful. In six innings, Fried allowed only two hits and two walks while not coughing up any runs.
The Brewers’ offense hasn’t been great recently against lefties either. Over the last 21 days, Milwaukee owns a very pedestrian .321 wOBA, .145 ISO and 27.2% K-rate against southpaws.
Adrian Houser probably won’t be the reason this game goes under the total, but he can sure help us out a bit. The righty’s splits have been unbelievably tilted, with him posting a 1.88 ERA at Miller Park, compared to a 5.08 ERA on the road. While the Braves have been winning a lot of games, they have scored only four runs or fewer in four of the last six.
Atlanta has been playing a lot of low-scoring games lately, so that plays right into our hands and exactly what Vegas is thinking with the decreased game totals and IRTs.
* Final Score Prediction * Atlanta Braves: 4 – Milwaukee Brewers: 3
[8:40 p.m. EST] Over 14 – San Francisco Giants at Colorado Rockies
SF: Dereck Rodriguez – R (5.27 ERA/1.44 WHIP)
COL: Chi Chi Gonzalez – R (6.00 ERA/1.89 WHIP)
Well, the first game of today’s day-night doubleheader is certainly where we want to be for the second part. At the time of this writing being released, the Giants are up 16-2 in the seventh inning and the Rockies left German Marquez out there to take a good portion of this thumping.
Nonetheless, the Rockies will likely need to use some more arms to close out this game, and they just announced Chi Chi Gonzalez as the starter for tonight’s game. While he doesn’t have a ton of MLB experience, Gonzalez has issued plenty of walks, and putting numerous guys on base for one of the hottest offenses in baseball doesn’t seem to bode well for his chances.
This is a Giants’ offense that has now scored at least seven runs in eight of their last 11 games. It is truly unfathomable to believe that this could ever happen. Especially, with Evan Longoria on the injured list now.
While the Rockies’ offense looks awful in the first game today, you have to expect them to come back with something strong tonight. Prior to today’s debacle, the Rockies’ offense posted a total of 19 runs over the previous two days against a strong batch of Reds’ arms. Rodriguez has been getting ripped with great regularity this season, so guys like Charlie Blackmon, Nolan Arenado, Trevor Story, Ian Desmond and David Dahl can certainly make life difficult on him.
Vegas loves the idea of more runs being scored in the second half of the doubleheader. The game total spiked from 13.5 to 14.0, with both teams’ IRTs (implied run totals) increasing by +0.3. Also, today’s first part of the doubleheader was the third-straight game in which 17 runs (and they’re still going) have been scored at Coors Field.
* Final Score Prediction * Colorado Rockies: 10 – San Francisco Giants: 8