I should have stuck with the one pick last night but I got greedy. That’s why I’m a square, so hopefully anyone reading this took the opportunity to fade my bonus pick last night.
Who knew Chris Stratton would throw 8 shutout innings? It was a hurried handicap, never a good sign, and the Diamondbacks losing to the Giants 2-0 meant that we were 1-1 overall yesterday.
Gerrit Cole scared the shit out of me as the A’s surprisingly put 4 runs on the board against him in the early innings. It wasn’t enough though, as the Astros offense came through like we expected it to against a left-handed pitcher and the -1.5 +110 bet cashed easily.
Today I’m placing two MLB wagers. I’ll have some college football picks later on that will be ripe for fading, but for now we’ll stick to baseball.
The first bet I’m placing is UNDER 5 runs in the first 5 innings of the game between the Cubs and Mets. Cole Hamels has been lights out with the Cubs and Jacob deGrom is a strong Cy Young candidate. The total on the game is 9, and that is likely due to the wind blowing out at 15 mph.
Hamels is a fly ball pitcher, so this bet comes with some risk, but both pitchers have been locked in and I think there’s a very strong possibility that this game will be under 5 runs through 5 innings.
The Pick: First 5 innings UNDER 5 Mets at Cubs
The second game I’m betting is Jack Flaherty and the St. Louis Cardinals hosting the anemic Pittsburgh Pirates lineup featuring Ivan Nova on the mound.
Jack Flaherty has been a rookie sensation in 2018 posting a 2.97 ERA in 115 IP and he leads a Cardinals squad that has been red hot in the second half.
Before placing a five-unit wager on the Cardinals though, we need to pump the brakes a bit on Flaherty. He’s been fortunate in both BABIP (.252) and LOB% (82.7).
One reason to believe that he can outperform his peripherals is an elite strikeout rate of 11.24 K/9. Here are his numbers so far this season:
- 115.1 innings pitched
- 144 strikeouts
- 3.51 K/BB
- 1.05 WHIP
- 2.97 ERA
- 3.76 FIP
- 3.33 xFIP
- 3.31 SIERA
Overall we’re looking at a strong #2 starter against a bad Pirates offense.
Against RHP this season, here’s how the Pirates look:
- .314 wOBA
- 96 wRC+
- .256 AVG
- .731 OPS
- .156 ISO
Could be worse, but its clear the Pirates have no advantage against RHP’s.
On the mound the Pirates will throw out Ivan Nova. Nova is a typical pitch-to-contact, below average starting pitcher that can eat up innings and is ripe for a pounding by a decent offense.
In the month of August the Cardinals have a 112 wRC+ vs RHP, a .337 wOBA and a .784 OPS. The Cardinals are 19-5 in that time frame and I expect them to keep their winning ways rolling tonight.
The Pick: St. Louis Cardinals -166 vs. Pittsburgh Pirates