Wednesday’s Results: 3-0
All Time Results: 86-84-3, +3.48 Units
Houston Astros vs. Detroit Tigers Under 8 (-102) – .5 Units
Houston Astros Team Total Under 5.5 (-110) – .5 Units
Detroit Tigers Team Total Under 2.5 (-136) – .5 Units
Even though the Astros boast three players with a higher OPS than Carlos Correa, the Short Stop has proved pivotal to their offensive success.
In the 72 games Correa has played, the Astros have averaged 5.86 runs per game. In 56 games without Correa, the Astros have averaged just 4.92 runs per game.
Since the All Star infielder returned to the IL with back-pain, the Astros have scored only 7 runs against the lowly Tigers . Last night, Houston was the largest MLB favorite on record (-600 in some spots) and only managed a single run.
There also may be a more obscure reason why the Astros offense has cooled off so significantly over the past two weeks.
On August 8th, the Astros set a franchise record when they scored 23 runs scored over the Baltimore Orioles. Since 2002, there have been five teams to score 23+ runs in a game. The ’02 Twins, the ’17 Nats, the ’18 Nats, the ’18 Mets and now these Stros.
In the 15 games preceding their 23+ run game, this group averaged 5.47 runs per game. Each of these teams was hot before their offensive explosion.
In the 15 games following their 23+ run game, these teams averaged just 4.32 runs per game. After reaching their record-setting high water mark, these teams significantly cooled off.
Data-mining? Maybe. Small sample size? Not really – each of these averages is based on more than 60 games. That’s more than a third of a season. And the 1.36 runs per game differential is stark. Like a slugger that murders a home run derby – these teams hit so hard that it throws their swings off slightly in the immediate aftermath.
The Astros have continued this pattern. They were blazing hot, scoring 6.57 runs per game in the 12 games preceding their 23-run wallop of the O’s. In the 12 games after, they have scored just 4.25 runs per game.
Of course there are more immediate more important factors contributing to the Astros recent offense woes. Correa being principle. Additionally, rookie Yordan Alvarez had to come back to earth as teams got a better book on him.
The Astros offense goes up against Jordan Zimmerman today. The salient statistic with Zimmerman is the large gap between his results (6.66 ERA) and his advanced statistics (4.56 FIP).
If Zimmerman indeed pitches like the average pitcher with a 4.56 FIP, we would expect him to hold the Astros to 2 or 3 runs through about the 6th inning.
Moreover, Zimmerman has been better as of late. His last time out he held the Tampa Bays Rays scoreless through 5. Over his last 3 games, he has 3.30 ERA and has lasted through the 5th inning in each.
The other side of the equation is pretty straight forward. The Tigers have one of the worst offenses in baseball, and Astros starter Gerrit Cole has been basically unhittable all year.
The Tigers rank dead last in runs per game at only 3.60. Despite some marquee wins recently, they’re offense has not gotten measurably better – scoring only 3.65 runs per game in August.
Cole (14-5, 2.87 ERA) has given up more than two runs just once over his last 14 starts. He has allowed 1 or fewer runs on 9 occasions over that span.
One precaution is that Cole missed his last start due to a hamstring issue and may not be 100%. That said, he did enjoy the benefit of an extra week of rest.
Overall, I find significant evidence that we will see more of the same in the conclusion to this series. One of these lineups may breakout, but I think it’s a good bet that either or both will continue to struggle. While I wish there were still 8.5’s out there, at least we reduced vig on the Under 8 now.
New York Mets -130 vs. Cleveland Indians – 1 Unit
Is Aaron Civale the greatest pitcher ever? If he maintains his .958 WHIP and 1.5 ERA for another 2000 innings, I don’t think there could be any argument.
Odds are, of course, he eventually falls back to the pack. After all, he never averaged numbers close to this good in 4 years of minor league baseball.
Obviously, the question is not whether he’s the greatest pitcher ever, or even a potentially great pitcher. The question is: is Civale bring priced like an elite pitcher, despite the fact that he’s only a rookie four games into his big league career. Everyone I hear talk about him seems convinced that he’s going to be really good. I’m a little skeptical. In my opinion, the starting pitching advantage for the Mets is underrated by this number.
The Mets are -130 right now. Syndergaard is a multi-time all star who has a 2.05 ERA in seven starts since the All Star break. A potential hall of Famer. Against a rookie.
Home field advantage alone indicates about 53.9% chance to win the game over the last decade. That equates to about a -117 vigless line for the home team if two teams are considered equal.
The Indians are a better team than the Mets – I think most people would conclude. However, it is interesting that they have a 25/1 shot to win the World Series, and the Mets odds are around 40/1. Their odds are relatively close despite the fact that the Indians have an 83.8% to make the playoffs according to FanGraphs, while the Mets are closer to 50/50. If we fast-forwarded to a moment where the Mets and Indians both made the playoffs, I think each of these teams would have similar odds to win it all.
Maybe the Indians are better. The market clearly likes the Indians more than the Mets these days. Before each of the three games in this series there has been a 10 to 15 cent line move in favor of the Tribe.
I’m going the other way – I don’t think this Mets second half surge is a fluke. I think they’re pretty good – and with Syndergaard on the mound -130 presents a bargain.
The fact that the Mets won the first two games of this serious would push some bettors towards the Indians. Of course teams would prefer to avoid a sweep. I don’t think the Tribe will have any motivation advantage over the Mets, however. The Mets have a much higher hill climb if they want to make the postseason.
The Mets have won 13 of 15 at home in the second half, and have the 5th best home record for the season. They have won 62.8% of the time as a home favorite on the year. I think at a minimum the Mets are 60/40 to win this game. Take New York.
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