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A Pick To Consider 1,313 views

Sunday 8/4/19 - Cincinnati +100 (Gray, xFIP 3.46) vs Atlanta (Teheran, xFIP 5.16). Teheran not only has an awful xFIP, but he walks 10.5% of hitters and has a ground ball rate of 40%. So lots of guys on base and lots of fly balls, which increases the chances for 2-run and 3-run homers. Gray strikesout 28% of hitters and gets 54% ground balls. So the ball isn't in play or it's on the ground, which is what I like in a pitcher. The public will bet the Braves here because they are in first place and the Reds are below .500, so consider taking the value price on the better pitcher.

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Monday 8/5/19 - Milwaukee -130 (Lyles, xFIP 4.39) vs Pittsburgh (Agrazal, xFIP 6.20). Lyles is an average pitcher. His strength is he doesn't walk many hitters, 3.5% this year and 3% last year. His weakness is he doesn't strikeout many hitters, but still manages a K:BB ratio of 3:1 because of his low BB%. But then there's Agrazal who is just a gas can. A combo of xFIP over 6.00 and a K:BB ratio less than 2:1 equals disaster for a pitcher. Look for Milwaukee to score a bunch.

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Tuesday 8/6/19 - Kansas City +180 (Junis, xFIP 4.57) vs Boston (Cashner, xFIP 5.33). Cashner is like watching an outhouse explosion on the mound. With an xFIP over 5.00 in 2017 with Texas, in 2018 with Baltimore, and now since joining Boston, he is consistently awful. His K:BB ratio is less than 2:1 because he walks nearly 10% of hitters. The Royals aren't great and Junis is nothing better than average, but my model gives them a 46% to win which is +118 on the money-line. With a price of +180, a 35.7% to win, there's a bunch of value on the Royals.

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Wednesday 8/7/19 - Atlanta -105 (Fried, xFIP 3.48) vs Minnesota (Perez, xFIP 4.44). Perez isn't quite a gas can, but he's capable of turning into one. He has a K:BB ratio barely 2:1 because he walks 9% of hitters. In Fried we get a low xFIP, a K:BB ratio 3:1 with a 54% ground ball rate and a 23% strikeout rate. So fewer balls in play, and those in play are on the ground. Obviously very few fly balls means lower chance for home runs. Braves should be -142, so consider taking the cheap price on the better pitcher.

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Friday 8/9/19 - Cleveland -125 (Bieber, xFIP 3.18) vs Minnesota (Smeltzer, xFIP 4.59). Bieber has been outstanding with a low xFIP and K:BB ratio of 6:1. Smeltzer has an average xFIP at best, but he's lucky it's not a lot worse. His BABIP is .208 which will regress to .300 as it does with all pitchers. When that regression happens, his xFIP will increase. The point here is to understand that Smeltzer's numbers aren't great, and they should be a lot worse. We get a great price on the Indians because the public sees Smeltzer's 2.28 ERA and the Twins are in first place and getting plus money at home. But the Indians should be -162, so consider taking the cheap price on a much better pitcher.

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Sunday 8/11/19 - LA Angels +135 (Sandoval, xFIP 1.61) vs Boston (Cashner, xFIP 5.15). Cashner is so bad that he got rocked by the Royals in his last start and his xFIP actually improved. You can read post #3 above for more details on how bad Cashner is. Sandoval will be making his second big-league appearance. In his first, he struck out 40% of the hitters he faced and posted a 1.22 FIP (xFIP 1.61). In AAA this year, his xFIP was 5.02 but with a BABIP .401 (will regress to .300) so not as bad as it appears. In AA this year, his xFIP was 1.84. For his career since 2015, he has an overall K:BB ratio of more than 4:1. The home plate umpire is James Hoye who is one of the worst in baseball. He's consistently one of the top 3 Over umpires every year because he won't call anything a strike. Cashner walks a ton of guys with a friendly umpire, so Hoye will only add to his control problems. Cashner is the chalk only because it says Red Sox on the front of his jersey, but consider betting against the name on the back of it.

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Good stuff! I wonder if LA team total is the play here due to trashner's control issues and Hoye at the plate?

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Tuesday 8/13/19 - Boston -105 (Sale, xFIP 2.97) vs Cleveland (Clevinger, xFIP 2.60). This line is an example of recency bias. The public sees Sale's 6-11 record and Clevinger's 7-2 record plus the hot streak of the Indians and they think this is an even game or the Indians should actually be favored. A pitcher's win-loss record has little correlation to predicting outcomes, and hot or cold streaks of teams are meaningless. Sale is one of the best pitchers in baseball with a K:BB ratio of 6:1. He strikes out more than 1 out of 3 batters faced. He's even better against left handed hitters. The Indians park factors are extremely favorable for left handed hitters, but a big disadvantage for right handed hitters. But the normally favorable conditions for lefties will certainly be diminished with Sale pitching. The Red Sox lefties will still maintain that park advantage against Clevinger. I wouldn't fall off the couch if the Indians win, but consider taking one of the best pitchers on the planet at a price he'll likely never be again.

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So would you say you are getting Red Sox tonight at a "Sale" price? OK, I'll just stop. :D

Also, impeccable stuff so far my man, keep up the great work.


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Wednesday 8/14/19 - Pittsburgh (Archer, xFIP 4.55) vs LA Angels (Peters, xFIP 4.64) Under 9.5 +100. Both pitchers have a xFIP over 4.5 and a WHIP over 1.3 so why in the world would anyone bet the Under? First, we have Cory Blaser working home plate, he's a strike calling machine. There are 5.3% fewer runs than average scored in his games, which makes him one of the best Under umpires in baseball. Second, both pitchers have a high strikeout rate with Archer at 26% and Peters at 20%. Both should increase their K rate with a pitcher friendly umpire. Third, the Angels park factors reduce right handed hitters batting averages by 7% and left handed hitters by 9%. With a big ballpark, strikeout pitchers, and a favorable umpire, consider betting the Under.

FYI - The best Under umpire is Jeremie Rehak who is working the plate in San Diego. Quantrill is scheduled for the Padres but no pitcher named by the Rays yet. No overnight line.

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Thursday 8/15/19 - Philadelphia +125 (Smyly, xFIP 3.84) vs Cubs (Darvish, xFIP 3.85). The starting pitching is nearly even in this game, which should mean the price should be closer to even for both teams. When the game gets to the bullpens, Philly gains an edge because the Cubs have one of the worst bullpens in the league. There's not one relief pitcher on the Cubs who has pitched at least 20 innings with an xFIP under 4.00, which is why they have blown more leads in the 8th or later than any other team. This explains why the Cubs have a horrid road record 23-37. The Phillies better bullpen and playing at home (36-26) should make them a favorite in a game that's otherwise even, so consider taking the generous plus money.

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All his picks are free today on his blog. It's listed on the bottom of his page if you been following this and want to know who he bet today.

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