Yesterday felt so good until it wasn’t. We had an early winner in the Braves game, and five runs were scored in the first two innings of Brewers vs. Tigers. The Tigers never scored another run, and the Brewers’ bats went completely cold. The Cubs game stayed under, but the Giants and Cardinals couldn’t push those runners in scoring position home.
We ended up going 2-2 on game picks, but we cashed our PrizePicks entry to make some profit on the day. We’ll always take profit when we can find it, but it could have been so much greater. No matter, we move towards today, where I have one game pick and a PrizePicks entry.
I’m using BetMGM lines only this year. Here’s a link to get started with a risk-free $1000 bet. You can also use code “JBFANS” if you’re betting on MLB. Wager $10 on any MLB moneyline and receive $100 once the bet is settled.
All prop entries will be on PrizePicks: Here’s a link to get a 100% deposit match.
2023 Straight Plays Record: 41-32 (+6.58 U)
2023 PrizePicks Entries: 4-9 (-0.9 U)
I will track both records separately so you can track how I’m doing on game picks and PrizePick entries!
Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels @ 9:38 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Luis Medina vs. Patrick Sandoval
We have a system play today, fading a rookie pitcher in his first start on the road. Luis Medina will get his first start for the Oakland A’s today after a few innings in the minor leagues that didn’t go his way.
Luis Medina throws hard. He averaged 96 MPH on his fastball in his last start and throws it over 50% of the time. His fastball doesn’t have the life you’d expect; the lack of induced vertical break compared to normal heaters is apparent. I call it a “fast” fastball, not a “hard” fastball, like Mason Millers.
Mason Miller throws much harder and was bombed yesterday by the Angels in the first inning. We should see much of the same here, most likely more, considering Medina is not the prospect that Miller is. Medina has thrown nine innings in the minors so far this season, allowing eight walks and four earned runs to give him a 3.86 ERA. I don’t believe he is ready to make the jump to the big leagues, but the A’s are trying out everyone they have to see what sticks. I can’t see him doing well today, considering right-handed bats are giving him the most trouble in the minors, and the Angels lineup is filled with them.
In the minors this season, he’s faced 20 right-handed bats. He’s allowed three hits, six walks, and only four of his 11 strikeouts have come against righties. Six of his eight walks have also come against right-handed bats. This is a pattern in the minor leagues. The Angels will deploy Taylor Ward, Mike Trout, Anthony Rendon, Hunter Renfroe, Brandon Drury, Gio Urshela, and Zach Neto in the lineup today. That’s seven right-handed bats, and you also have Shohei Ohtani and Luis Rengifo.
Patrick Sandoval should have a solid day today. While the A’s better split is against left-handed pitching this year, he’s had plenty of success against the A’s. Through 48 PA, he’s rocking a .229 xwOBA, a .194 xBA, and a .230 xSLG, to go along with a 23% strikeout rate and an average exit velocity of 83 MPH. The contact is soft against Sandoval, and he keeps the ball on the ground at a 50% rate this season. With Oakland ranking 17th in Hard-Hit rate, I have a hard time believing they score enough to ruin this for us.
He already threw five innings and allowed two hits and one earned run against the A’s back on April 1st. Against the A’s last season, he threw 25 innings and only allowed five earned runs. That was a better A’s lineup last season, so we should see another strong performance from the southpaw.
Especially when a rookie is already displaying command issues in the minors, things can unravel quickly. They should have a field day with many righties in the Angels lineup.
The Pick: Angels First 5 Innings -0.5 (-145) 1.2 U to win 0.83 U
Michael Wacha Over 15.5 Pitching Outs
We have slightly better weather conditions than yesterday, but we still should see colder temperatures and wind blowing in. For a fly-ball pitcher like Michael Wacha, he should have a solid day today. He’s not a strikeout artist and only has three walks in his last three starts. The pitch count should be low enough to get through this Cubs lineup, whose better split is against left-handed pitchers. Wacha hasn’t reached this in either of his last two starts, but we should see plenty of length today with plenty of factors working in his favor.
Luis Medina Over 2.5 Earned Runs
This is -135 on sportsbooks, and it should clear fairly easily. Hits is a category I thought about attacking, but with the number of walks Medina should have, I expect the Angels only need a few hits to break this game open.