Yesterday was a sweat… until it wasn’t. I wrote yesterday that six runs would be scored through five innings, and runs would be hard to come by. Dinelson Lamet was terrible, but Tommy Henry threw a gem. Both bullpens locked it down late, and the rest was history. We only had one play yesterday and only one play today, plus a PrizePicks entry. No need to push plays that I don’t love.
2023 Straight Plays Record: 78-62 (+11.98 U)
PrizePicks Record: -2.1 U
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.
Cleveland Guardians vs. Minnesota Twins @ 7:40 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Tanner Bibee vs. Pablo Lopez
Are we sure Pablo Lopez is better than Tanner Bibee?
Pablo Lopez has had an interesting start to the season. He’s started hot, allowing two runs or less in each of his first four starts. He ended April on a sour note, allowing five runs or more in his last two starts against the Royals and Nationals. He started May hot, then fell back down to earth, followed by a great start, then back down again. It’s been a rollercoaster-type season, and the command is starting to get away from him.
Due to the inconsistency, he’s not a starter I would want to lay juice on as the favorite. His xERA at 3.53 tells me he’s going to regress to what he’s been over the past few seasons, but even still, it’s not as good as Tanner Bibee.
Bibee deserves his 2.88 ERA. He’s not allowing hard contact (35% Hard-Hit Rate); he’s striking out 25% of batters while only walking nearly 6%. All of this has been cultivated in a 2.85 xERA. You can argue that he’s the Guardians’ best option on the mound right now. When I say, “You can make the argument,” I don’t think there is an argument for anyone else. Nobody on the Guardins has a lower FIP or xERA than Tanner Bibee.
His slider and changeup have been unhittable this season. High whiff rates and low quality of contact is the name of the game, and both are doing the job at an elite level. The Twins strike out the most in all of baseball, so he should be able to pile on the whiffs today.
Both teams are in their better splits against righties, but Pablo has been the lesser pitcher and at his worst at home, rocking a 5.46 ERA compared to a 3.00 ERA on the road. The Twins have the better offense, but the Guardians have the starting pitching advantage.
There is also some familiarity with Lopez. Guardians bats have been him before on other teams, while nobody on the Twins has stepped into the box against Bibee. Both teams are coming off impressive offensive performances, and both teams have to travel. The Guardians finished first and hopped on a flight from Baltimore to Minnesota, while the Twins fly from Houston to Minnesota, comparable flights.
The Guardians have the bullpen advantage as a whole but will most likely be without Sam Hentges and Trever Stephan. The Twins will only be without Cole Sands. Regardless, the Guardians’ bullpen is deeper.
The Guardians also own advantages on defense and in base-running. The only advantage that the Twins have is on offense and playing at home. When I saw the Guardians were this big of underdogs, I had to bite. This game should be much closer to a pick-em, and the model is going crazy. They have the Guardians as -160 favorites, which is far-fetched, but it makes this an auto-play.
The Pick: Guardians ML (+125) 1 U to win 1.25 U
PrizePicks Entry ($25 Promotion)
First Leg: Nikola Jokic Over 0.5 Points
Not an NBA guy, but pretty sure he gets this. Free square on PrizePicks!
Second Leg: Tanner Bibee Over 29.5 Fantasy Score
As explained up top, I don’t think the books have properly adjusted to how good Tanner Bibee is yet. His strikeout line is at six, and a quality start plus a win will have him going way over 29.5 if he turns in a nice start. With the Twins leading baseball in strikeout rate and that number being elevated against right-handed pitching, everything should be there today for Tanner Bibee.