Thursday’s Results: 1-3
All Time Results: 87-87-3, +2.75 Units
Boston Red Sox -112 @ San Diego Padres – .5 Units
Want to get away? The Boston Red Sox do. With all the hand-wringing going on in bean town, the road will do these defending champs some good.
Boston has only the 19th best home record in the MLB, barely above .500. On the road they’ve been much better. They sport the 4th best record in the MLB when in enemy territory.
To help them get right, they send to the mound their only starting pitcher this year that has surprised to the upside.
Eduardo Rodriguez (14-5, 4.10 ERA) has been solid all year and better recently. In the second half of the season, Rodriguez is 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 8 starts. The Red Sox have won each of his last 5 road starts, and 10 of his last 12 starts overall.
The Padres start rookie, Chris Paddack, who may have hit the rookie wall. Over his last 28 days, Paddock is 1-1 in 4 starts with a 6.3 ERA.
These results starkly contrast with the unhittable player we saw start to the season. After posting a 1.55 ERA in his first seven starts, Paddack has posted a 4.47 ERA over his last 14 starts.
Paddack allowed just 5 runs in his first 31.2 innings pitching at home in San Diego. In 21.2 innings since, he has allowed 10 runs at Petco Park.
Quietly the Red Sox bullpen has been strong as well. Boston boasts the 2nd best bullpen ERA in August, and the 5th best bullpen xFIP.
What’s hilarious these days is that even teams whose bullpens are performing relatively well are nonetheless lambasted by their fan bases constantly. Fans lament any late inning runs that cross the plate, even when they are few and far between.
In 2012, 12 MLB bullpens sported a collective ERA lower than 3.43. Today, none do. Cleveland is at 3.44 and the second lowest is the Tampa Bay Rays at 3.61. Only the Rays relievers have been more effective than Red Sox relievers over the past month.
Most Red Sox faithful deride the bullpen any chance they get – and that noise reverberates and I think affects their market price. I for one appreciate their pick up in play. Take Boston with confidence for the full game here.
Los Angeles Dodgers -156 vs. New York Yankees – .5 Units
They did it again. Last night, the Boys in Blue won in walk-off fashion for the 12th time this year, their second walk-off in as many nights.
My first instinct would be to fade any team in any sport coming off an adrenaline rush. Usually, I think that there is only so long you can stay at a 10 emotionally before a steep decline in enthusiasm occurs.
But this team seems different.
The Dodgers are 9-2 in the next game after a walk-off win. 9-1 when they play the following day. I considered the run-line, but decided against it because of the pitcher-heavy Dodgers propensity to win close games. The Dodgers are only 6-5 against the spread in games after a walk-off win, 6-4 when playing the following day.
Dodgers continue to be nearly unbeatable at home. LA is 14-4 at home in the second half. 51-16 on the season.
LA hands the ball to their ace, Hyun-Jin Ryu. In this year of offensive mayhem, Ryu (12-3, 1.64 ERA) is on pace to have the lowest ERA since Greg Maddux in 1995. Although he has been injury prone in the second half the last few years, Ryu has gotten stronger over the last couple months in this campaign. The 32-year old has allowed just 6 runs in 6 starts since the All Star Break.
The Yankees starter, James Paxton is of course not on Ryu’s level which is reflected in the price.
The Dodgers have a sneaky bullpen advantage as well in this tilt. The Yankees had the 8th best bullpen over the first half of the season, and have the 16th best bullpen so far in the month of August.
Conversely, the Dodgers have the 4th best bullpen ERA at home in the second half, at just 2.96.
The Yankees offense seems to be stuttering at the moment, scoring only 3.25 runs over their last four games. I like the Dodgers to take advantage for another home win.
Anthony DeSclafani Over 4.5 Strikeouts (+104) @ Pittsburgh Pirates – .5 Units
The Pirates have scored 1 or less run in 5 of their last 6 games. I’m not sure if they’ll be able to hit their way out of this funk against Reds right hander Anthony DeSclafani – but I’m betting that they’ll swing away with abandon trying to do so.
The Pirates have been worse than anyone could have imagined since the middle of the season. They have won just 8 of their last 40 games. Their win rate over their last 50 games would reflect a record breaking low of around 32 wins over a full season. That would be the lowest total since the 19th century – 4 wins less than the previous record set by the Philadelphia Athletics in 1916. No one wants to be compared to the Philadelphia Athletics of 1916, especially not their interstate little brothers a hundred plus years their junior.
The Pirates have already become more liberal at the plate during this anemic stretch. Pittsburgh sports a 33% strikeout rate since August 9th.
DeSclafani has 5+ K’s in 7 out of his last 10 starts. In two of the three instances he failed to record 5 K’s, he didn’t last into the 5th inning. Against this tame Pirates lineup, I like the chances of the Reds letting him go longer into the game than usual.
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