Yesterday was pretty lame. Laying juice against Sandy Alcantara was probably the wrong move, but nonetheless, I thought Sandy could be in for a rough start. He proved me incredibly wrong.
We did win on the Yankees vs. Rays under, which fell right back into our most profitable system. We move forward today with three MLB Best Bets. Let’s get right back into the green.
2022 MLB Regular Season Record: 168-139 (55%) +29.84 units
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Milwaukee Brewers: 8:10 PM EST
Ryan Pepiot (RHP, Dodgers) [1-0, 3.92 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 20.2 IP, 23 K, 15 BB]
Brandon Woodruff (RHP, Brewers) [9-3, 3.52 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 92 IP, 109 K, 27 BB]
We head to Milwaukee for the second game of a three-game set. The Brewers were shut out by the Dodgers yesterday by a score of 4-0 behind a phenomenal performance by Julio Urias and the Dodgers bullpen. Freddy Peralta pitched fine but was bounced after the fourth inning and the Brewers bullpen had to cover the rest. The starting pitching matchup definitely favors the Brewers, but everything else favors the Dodgers besides home-field advantage.
First off, the Dodgers are the best road team in the Major Leagues. Sitting at 40-19, they are the only team with 37 wins or more on the road. The Brewers are 29-23 at home, so the home-field advantage aspect of it is not a big deal to me.
Brandon Woodruff is a stud, and he’ll most likely pitch well against this Dodgers team. But he’s not impervious to allowing runs. He’s allowed five earned runs in August so far over 13.1 innings against the Pirates and Rays. He had a 2.10 ERA in July, but he faced the Red Sox, Rockies (at home), Giants, and Pirates twice. He hasn’t faced a team like the Dodgers this season, but he did face them last season. He threw six innings and allowed two earned runs to a team with no Trea Turner, Freddie Freeman, Will Smith, and a much worse Gavin Lux.
This Dodgers lineup is lethal. They have the number one wRC+ in the month of August with a team slash line against right-handed pitchers at .293/.348/.551 with the best OPS in the sport at .899. It doesn’t really matter what sample I use, the Dodgers are always in the top five against right-handers in whatever you draw up. They have all-stars throughout the lineup who all can hit the best right-handed pitchers in baseball. Woodruff has undoubtedly been better at home, but those home starts have come against the Rays, Rockies, Pirates, Nationals, Reds, and Cardinals. I’m not saying he’ll get blown up, but let’s not act like he has a great matchup today.
Ryan Pepiot is nasty. He rocks a three-pitch mix of a high spin four-seamer, a changeup that drops off the table, and a developing slider. At home against right-handed pitching this month, the Brewers have the 22nd best wRC+ to go along with a .202/.304/.374 slash line. That is somewhat of a short sample, so when we look at how they’ve performed since the All-Star break, they rank third in baseball in wRC+. The Brewers can hit the long-ball, and I am worried about Pepiot’s extremely low ground-ball rate. I also poked fun at Woodruff’s schedule, but Pepiot faced the best lineup he’s gone against in the Twins and got wrecked.
Alright, people here it is. The more I write, the more I think runs are scored. The reason I don’t love the Brewers today is I think the bullpen is beyond suspect, but I do think they’ll score off Pepiot. This Brewers bullpen since the trade deadline has the 26th ranked FIP and the 19th best ERA. Even if the Dodgers only muster a few runs against Woodruff, they should be able to tack on in the later innings.
They have been one of the best teams in baseball against right-handed pitching, and their offense has been much better at home. I have no reason to doubt the best offense in baseball in the Dodgers, and the Brewers should be able to hit Pepiot. Especially after the Brewers put up a goose egg in yesterday’s game, I think they’ll bounce back. With all of this said, if you like the Brewers, I’d lean towards the under. It would be unlike me to not sprinkle on the Dodgers at plus money because I expect both offenses to arrive.
The Pick: Dodgers vs. Brewers O 8 Runs (-110), Dodgers ML (+114)
0.55 Unit to Win .50 Units (Over), 0.5 Units to Win 0.57 Units (Dodgers ML)
Kansa City Royals vs. Minnesota Twins: 7:40 PM EST
Zack Greinke (RHP, Royals) [4-7, 4.29 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 98.2 IP, 57 K, 20 BB]
Sonny Gray (RHP, Twins) [6-3, 3.33 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 83.2 IP, 79 K, 26 BB]
We head to Minnesota for the second game of a three-game set. The Twins have been terrible lately, but games against the Royals always seem to turn the ship around for them. They are 7-4 against the Royals this season, and now they have another matchup that heavily favors them.
Sonny Gray will get the ball for the Twins who has been very solid for them this season. His 3.33 ERA is well above average, and his 3.61 xERA sits in the 61st percentile. He put together an excellent start in his last appearance against the Royals, throwing six innings while only allowing two hits and one earned run. The Royals have a lot of lefties in their lineup, and Gray has held lefty bats to a .596 OPS this season compared to a .697 OPS against righties.
He doesn’t have problems pitching at home versus away, and in a limited sample against the Royals’ current roster, his advanced numbers are sparkling. Through 37 PA, he’s rocking a .250 xwOBA, a .214 xBA, and a .295 xSLG with an average exit velocity of just 85 MPH with a six-degree launch angle. He’s keeping the ball on the ground and not allowing hard contact. That’s a recipe for success.
Zack Greinke on the other hand is not built for success. If we solely look at his advanced numbers against the Twins, it’s not very strong. Through 86 PA against the Twins’ current roster, he’s rocking a .336 xwOBA, a .297 xBA, and a .421 xSLG with an average exit velocity of 90 MPH with a launch angle above 11 degrees. Not ideal.
Couple that with the most severe home/road splits we have in baseball. Greinke is sporting an absurd 7.16 ERA on the road versus a 1.98 ERA at home. He’s allowed 11 home runs on the road compared to just one home run at Kauffman Stadium. If the Twins weren’t home run hitters, I’d be a bit more nervous. This is a team that has the seventh most home runs against righties this year and has the 11th best ISO in baseball against righties since the trade deadline.
The Twins are the better offense with the better pitcher with home-field advantage. Not one area leans towards the Royals. Don’t let me down, Twins.
The Pick: Minnesota Twins First 5 Innings -0.5 (-130)
1.30 Units to Win 1 Unit.