By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
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* 2019 MLB Record: 50-35-4 (59%) *
[6:35 p.m. EST] Over 9 – Seattle Mariners at New York Yankees
SEA: Mike Leake – R (2-3, 4.91 ERA/1.51 WHIP)
NYY: J.A. Happ – L (1-3, 4.93 ERA/1.28 WHIP)
The finale of a four-game set takes place in The Bronx tonight, with each of the previous three reaching at least nine runs. I feel like we’ll see more of the same in this game, as both pitchers have some major trends working against them.
Mike Leake takes the mound for the Mariners and hasn’t been his best of late, allowing 23 hits, 16 runs (12 earned) and six homers over the last 17 innings. Right-handed batters have been ripping Leake to the tune of a .373 batting average, .391 on-base percentage, .716 slugging percentage and 1.108 OPS in 69 plate appearances this season. The Yanks’ projected lineup has seven righties in it tonight, including the first six. Not to mention, Seattle’s 41 errors (most in all of MLB, nine more than the three teams tied for second-most) could certainly lead to more runs for New York.
J.A. Happ hasn’t been at his best of late either, especially at home. The lefty is 0-3 with a 7.65 ERA in four starts at Yankee Stadium, with seven homers allowed in 20 innings and an opposing .321 batting average. In comparison, Happ is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in three road starts, with two homers allowed in 18 1/3 innings and an opposing .194 batting average. While the Mariners’ bats haven’t been rocking and rolling like they were over the first 15 games, they still rank in the top five of most advanced metrics against left-handed pitching.
The total has gone over in 12 of the last 16 (with one push) Mariners’ games while the Yanks have done the same in 12 of the last 17.
* Final Score Prediction: New York Yankees: 7 – Seattle Mariners: 5 *
[8:10 p.m. EST] Under 9 – Texas Rangers (+144) at Houston Astros
TEX: Mike Minor – L (3-2, 2.40 ERA/0.95 WHIP)
HOU: Wade Miley – L (2-2, 3.20 ERA/1.17 WHIP)
These matchups for the Lone Star Series get kind of wild, just as we saw back in April. However, wild in tonight’s sense means a pitcher’s duel, considering these teams have been posting a lot of overs lately.
Mike Minor looks like a new man, especially of late, as he’s gone at least seven innings in five of the last six starts – he has also posted 22 strikeouts over the last 15 innings. Houston has had plenty of struggles against Minor, as he’s notched a quality start in each of the last four meetings, including seven innings of scoreless ball en route to a win back in early April. The Astros could definitely struggle with Minor once again, considering these well below-average advanced metrics they’ve had against left-handed pitching over the last 14 days.
I can’t believe my eyes, but Wade Miley is actually turning into a well-rounded pitcher as well. The veteran lefty has been quite serviceable with three quality starts over his last four outings – the only misnomer he was one out shy. A few of these Rangers’ bats have had more success against lefties of late, so look for Miley to be slightly less effective than Minor.
The SK Trend Confidence rating is very high on the Rangers and the total going under in this game, and I whole-heartedly agree. Minor is at the top of his game right now, while I can definitely see Miley coming back down to Earth any day now. Today, being that day now.
* Final Score Prediction: Texas Rangers: 5 – Houston Astros: 2 *
[10:10 p.m. EST] Under 7.5 – Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers
WSH: Patrick Corbin – L (2-1, 3.71 ERA/1.12 WHIP)
LAD: Rich Hill – L (0-0, 3.60 ERA/1.30 WHIP)
We’ve got a nice matchup of southpaws going down at Chavez Ravine tonight. Both teams have IRTs (implied run totals) below four runs that currently moving downward as we speak. Oh yes, I’m taking the under on this one.
Patrick Corbin has seen plenty of the Dodgers from his time with the Diamondbacks and only Justin Turner (12-for-29, three doubles, two homers) and Austin Barnes (3-for-10, two homers) have given him much trouble in this matchup. Turner is rocking and rolling at the moment, but he’s only one man. I wouldn’t be too worried about Barnes and his .120 batting average against lefties this season – miss me with that.
Aside from one bad game against a heavy right-handed Cardinals’ lineup, Corbin has notched a quality start in each of his other six outings this season. Given the atrocious nature of the Nats bullpen, you have to think Corbin mans up in this game and takes it at least seven innings for his club.
Rich Hill gets a juicy matchup against a Nationals team dealing with numerous injuries to significant offensive players. Hence, a big reason why they’ve scored three runs or fewer in 11 of the last 13 games. If that wasn’t enough, Washington’s projected lineup for tonight has a 27.7% K-rate against left-handed pitching over the last 14 days.
While Hill will likely only pitch about five innings (six at most), the Dodgers’ bullpen owns the fourth-best SIERA and fifth-best xFIP in all of baseball over the last 14 days. Look for Los Angeles to win a close game late in this one.
* Final Score Prediction: Los Angeles Dodgers: 3 – Washington Nationals: 2 *