By: Al Walsh – Follow him on Twitter @14AdotWalsh
- Follow Spread Knowledge on Twitter @SKSportsBets
- Sign up for our Live Pick Alerts today!
* 2019 MLB Record: 56-38-4 (60%) *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Houston Astros (1.5-run line: -144) at Detroit Tigers
HOU: Wade Miley – L (3-2, 3.18 ERA)
DET: Ryan Carpenter – L (0-1, 10.80 ERA)
Ryan Carpenter doesn’t have much MLB experience, but it hasn’t been good. After getting ripped for six runs in five innings during his season debut on Thursday, that upped Carpenter’s WHIP to 1.72 and an opposing batting average of .356 over 27 1/3 career innings of work. Yikes!
We always look at these IRT increases because they tell a story about the game before the first pitch has even been thrown. The Astros rank in the top three of nearly every advanced metric against left-handed pitching. Hence, why they had the highest IRT (5.6) at the open and now the biggest increase (+0.7) moving them to 6.3 – a full run more than three teams tied for second-most at 5.2.
Wade Miley should get plenty of run support from the Houston offense, which is always a benefit pitching for this team. The Astros have won the lefty’s last four starts by a combined score of 32-9, with all of them coming by two runs or more. Miley has four quality starts in his last five outings, and in the only misnomer, he went 5 2/3 innings and allowed one run.
The Astros are going to tear these Tigers apart, as evidenced by the massive -144 juice on the 1.5-run line.
* Final Score Prediction: Houston Astros: 11 – Detroit Tigers: 2 *
[7:10 p.m. EST] Under 6.5 – Tampa Bay Rays at Miami Marlins
TB: Charlie Morton – R (3-0, 2.64 ERA)
MIA: Caleb Smith – L (3-0, 2.11 ERA)
Both of these pitchers have been outstanding this season with a sub-three ERA and we’ve got the advanced metrics to prove how effective they’ll be tonight.
The Rays have the highest K-rate (30.6%) against left-handed pitching, while Caleb Smith has a 0.89 WHIP and 56 strikeouts over 42 2/3 innings. Any questions?
The Marlins have the highest K-rate (27.1%) with the lowest wOBA (.263), wRC+ (65) and ISO (.089) against right-handed pitching. Charlie Morton has been more hittable than Smith, but he’s allowed two runs or fewer in all but one of his eight starts this season. It never gets old ripping on Miami’s offense, which has posted two runs or fewer in eight of its last nine games.
I get it, taking the under on 6.5 runs will be about two-to-three hours of nervous reckoning, but you should have plenty of confidence with Morton and Smith going toe-to-toe.
* Final Score Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays: 3 – Miami Marlins: 2 *
[8:15 p.m. EST] Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals (-138 ML, 1.5-run line: +132)
TEX: Shelby Miller – R (1-2, 7.48 ERA)
KC: Danny Duffy – L (1-1, 3.06 ERA)
It’s quite telling to see the Royals in that grouping of teams tied for the second-highest IRT (5.2) on the slate. There’s a good reason, though, as the Rangers will have Shelby Miller on the mound. Miller does have a massive 1.92 WHIP and Kansas City has above-average advanced metrics against right-handed pitching over the last 14 days. KC can beat up on Miller early and then get to the Texas bullpen, which has the sixth-highest xFIP (4.64) in all of baseball over the last 14 days.
Danny Duffy gets himself a fantastic matchup here too, as the Rangers have the third-highest K-rate (28.4%) against left-handed pitching this season. Not only that, but Texas is striking out at a 34.9% clip against lefties over the last 14 days.
I could go either way here on the moneyline or 1.5-run line with KC. You don’t have to risk much on the moneyline and it’s a nice little plus-score on the 1.5-run line.
* Final Score Prediction: Kansas City Royals: 7 – Texas Rangers: 2 *