Detroit Tigers +158 First 5 vs. Houston Astros
Fading a liquid hot Houston Astros team, who look like AL favorites once again after beating up on a languishing Rangers squad to the tune of 33 runs in their last 4 games.
Detroit Tigers starter Matt Boyd is more likely to pitch longer and better than his counterpart Brad Peacock. Boyd has pitched at least 6 innings in 7 of his 8 starts this season. He has yet to give up more than 3 earned runs in any game. And he is 8th in the MLB with 63 strikeouts already, after fanning 24 batters in his last 19 innings pitched.
Peacock on the other hand is not a high caliber starter – and has spent most of his career as a relief pitcher. Peacock has only started 74 out of 163 career games. Peacock had a great outing last game, but I don’t think it’s representative of his overall value. For the season he has a 5.52 road ERA.
Houston has the best Bullpen ERA in the MLB, so I’m going with a First 5 bet here maximizing the pitching edge for the Tigers.
Seattle Mariners -120 vs. Oakland Athletics
Fading Athletics’ Mike Fiers here, after he had night of his life, pitching a No-Hitter against the Reds last week.
If Clayton Kershaw or Max Scherzer threw a no-hitter, I might be inclined that they are rounding into their league best form. But Fiers isn’t that type of elite arm. He is simply fortunate that for 3 three hours last week all the balls the Reds hit found gloves. Fangraphs estimated that Fiers is 58th in the MLB among active pitchers in “expected no-hitters”, yet somehow he has 2. Over the past 100 years – Fangraphs estimates – Fiers is the second least likely pitcher to have thrown 2 no-no’s of any player who has done so.
The randomness of baseball occurs. Sometimes some guy named Armando Galarraga throws a perfect game (I don’t care what the record book says). Doesn’t mean he suddenly elite. Fiers still has a >5 ERA for the season and I look for him to have a poor outing.
In 4 road starts this season, Fiers is 0-1 with a 8.2 ERA. Not only he might feel less adrenaline after the game of his life – Fiers might also be drained, after having to throw 131 pitches last week to reach his historic feat.
Seattle Mariners vs. Oakland Athletics Over 9 (-102)
Mariners remain the best Over team in the league at 29-12-2, while Oakland has been split right down the middle with 21 Overs and 21 Unders. Mariners starter Kikuchi has been solid in his first season in the MLB and has only given up 2 earned in his last 3 games (all quality starts). However, the Athletics have been particularly adroit at hitting lefties, winning 8 out of their last 10 against left-handed pitching. If the A’s are able to get Kikuchi out of the game, they will have a good chance to tack on a few runs against the Mariners Bullpen, who are currently 24th in the MLB with a 4.85 ERA.
On the other side, the Over is 4-1 in Fiers last 5 starts – which is unsurprising given his 8+ road ERA.
The Over is 7-1 in the last 8 games between these opponents.
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