Monday’s Results: 2-1
All-Time Results: 34-37-1, -1.18 Units
Chicago White Sox +230 @ Washington Nationals – 1 Unit
The Nationals are 7-3 in their last 10 over the White Sox. However, all those games took place during the Nationals best days as an organization. I see these two teams moving in opposite directions
The White Sox are ascending into being a challenger for the playoffs, while the Nationals are falling out of that territory.
The Nationals have had a winning season for seven consecutive years, dating back to Bryce Harper’s rookie campaign. At the moment, they sit 7 games out of .500.
Conversely, Los Calcetines Blancos have gone six straight years without a winning season. During Chicago’s down period, they have sold key assets like Chris Sale and have been building up a bevy high potential, young talent. Now I think they are in prime position to begin to contend.
It must be noted that the Nationals have a clear and obvious pitching advantage in this tilt, pitting perennial ace, Stephen Strasburg against the White Sox’s middling Reynaldo Lopez.
However, the Nationals have not taken advantage of Strasburg starts at home the last couple seasons. The Nats are only 2-3 in Strasburg home starts this season, and 7-10 in such games over the past two seasons.
The Nationals are hot – winners of 4 of 5. But the White Sox are hotter – winners 6 of 7.
On the face of it, the White Sox have the better record and are still better than 2:1 underdogs. Seems like a market inefficiency to me.
538 has the Nationals to still finish above .500. They project them to have the exact same record as last season, 82-80.
I think that’s overly optimistic, and that there is something amiss around the organization that the models are not picking up. Happy to fade them as huge home favorites here.
San Francisco Giants @ NY Mets Over 7.0 (-118) – 1 Unit
In the era of juiced baseballs I’m not sure we should every see a total set this low.
In this case, we have two marquee starting pitchers, neither of which are having a particularly strong spring.
Madison Bumgarner (3-5, 4.01) had an improved May, but far from lights out stuff. He has has allowed 2 or more runs in 10 of 12 starts this year and has made it into the 7th inning just once in his last 8 starts.
The average total score in Bumgarner’s 12 starts this year is 8.8.
Same story with Noah Syndergaard (3-4, 4.9). He has improved since a terrible start to the season, but he has been far from consistently stellar. He has given up 3 or more runs in 7 of his last 10 starts.
The average total score in Sydengard’s 12 starts this year: 11.1.
These averages were accrued during one of the coldest springs in recent memory. Today will be 73 degrees in Queens around first pitch, with a pleasant 10 MPH tailwind heading out of center field. It will be a great day to hit a baseball, and these batters are catching these marquee pitchers at a great time to do some damage.
While it’s reasonable to expect these pitchers recent (and career-long) performance to be more indicative of their play going forward than their season long stats – I think it’s too tall of an order to expect these two to return to their peak in the near future.
Minnesota Twins +116 @ Cleveland Indians – 1 Unit
The Twins are a stunning 13-3 in their last 16 road games and 10-5 in their last 15 as underdogs.
I’m surprised that their still plus money given the way they’ve been swinging the bat lately. They’ve scored 5+ runs in 9 of their last 11 games – and scored 7 combined in the other two games. We essentially have a team playing as well as the Dodgers being priced more like a solid wild card team, such as the Cubs.
The Twins are no slouches at the mound either, coming in at #8 in Team-ERA so far this season. The Indians staff is probably better known, but has been slightly worse so far this year, coming in at #9 in Team-ERA.
Cleveland is only 15-14 at home, and are trending in the wrong direction. They have lost 10 of their last 14 games.
The Indians do have the more proven starting pitcher in Shane Bieber (4-2, 3.67 ERA). However, Bieber – like the rest of the Indians- has been trending down over the past 6 weeks. He has a 4.5 ERA over his last 8 starts, mitigated somewhat by a Complete Game Shutout against the hapless Orioles on May 19th.
The Twins turn to a pitcher making his second start in the big leagues, Devin Smeltzer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) who has yet to allow a major league run in 6 innings of work.
Smeltzer handled a much scarier Brewers lineup in his first start last week, and I like his chances against this Cleveland bunch. Smeltzer currently has the 4th highest strikeouts per 9 innings (10.5) in the history of baseball. Granted it is kind of a small sample size.
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