Yesterday’s Results: 2-1
All-Time Results: 17-17-1, -1.22 Units
Tampa Bay Rays -128 @ Miami Marlins – 1 Unit
In muggy, clumsy battle for the lukewarm adoration of the Great State of Florida, only one team can emerge the slight preference of its citizenship.
In this epic war, both squadrons call upon pitchers in elite form. Tampa Bay’s champion Charlie Morton trots out with a 3-0 record, a 2.64 era and K’s/9 rate of 11.4.
Marlins starter, Caleb Smith has been just as hot – with an even better 11.5 K’s/9 rate – but is unlikely to get the run support that Morton will. The Marlins rank dead last in OPS vs. RHP over the past 30 days, giving nothing for the few fans scattered around Marlins Park to cheer for.
Conversely, the Rays are 8-3 against Left-Handed pitching over their last 11. In addition, if they can push Smith out of the game, they are rewarded with a few innings of batting practice against the 27th ranked Bullpen in the MLB, who were ranked 30th in 2018.
Cleveland Indians @ Chicago White Sox Over 8 (-108) – 1 Unit
Handicappers use 8 as the rule of thumb average total for MLB games. However, I’m starting to lend more and more credence to argument that it should be drifting higher. Despite in-climate weather in many locations so far this season, the league-wide ERA (which doesn’t include unearned runs) has been steady around 4.3 to 4.4. If that ERA is representative of the new league average, the standard total should be closer to 8.5 or even 9.
Regardless, this total should be significantly higher than the total. White Sox starer Manny Banuelos has a 6.67 ERA and Carrasco has an ERA of 4.91. Neither have a history that inspire much confidence in their improvement. The fact that these teams have played three consecutive games to the under might account for some of the suppression of this line. I’ll ignore the small sample size of the past 3 days and take the Over 8.
Boston Red Sox -240 vs. Colorado Rockies – 1 Unit
Get right game for Chris Sale. After being lit up in 3 of his first 4 outings this season, Sale, like the rest of the Red Sox, have settled into his dominant self of former seasons. He has averaged over 10.5 strikeouts per game over his last 4 outings and hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in any game since April 16th.
Boston Red Sox @ Colorado Rockies Under 8.5 (-104)
If this game goes off with a total of 8.5 it will be tied for the lowest total in the 19 games played between these teams dating back to 2002. The Over has hit in 8 out of the last 10 meetings between these teams, with most of the games zooming over the number.
That said, situational factors here make this outlier line make more and more sense. Too much sense in fact not to go the other way.
1. Rockies do not hit on the road. In 20 road games this season, the Rockies are batting .211 with a .655 OPS. There practically 9 pitchers trying to swing a bat out there away from Coors field.
Just by way of example Trevor Story has an OPS of .960 at home, yet .747 on the road. The .213 percentage points difference equates roughly to that between an MVP candidate an average MLB player.
I do not like the Rockies chances of turning this trend around against a motivated Chris Sale. Sale probably has the best stuff either of these teams have had in recent memory, accounting for the lowest total between them in recent years.
2. It’s a wet and cold day in Boston, with 16 MPH winds blowing mostly South away from the short porch in left field. Big time righty Bats like Trevor Story & Nolan Arenado for the Rockies and Mookie Betts & J.D. Martinez for the Sox will have a hard time pulling Home Runs down the left-field line through the bog.