1-1 yesterday on totals, and we lost our PrizePicks entry. We suffered a 0.15 unit loss on game picks, which is minuscule in the long run, but we don’t like to lose. Today is a great day to get back in the green, and I have two totals to take us there.
2023 Straight Plays Record: 58-47 (+6.83 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.
Cincinnati Reds vs. Miami Marlins @ 1:10 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Derek Law vs. Sandy Alcantara
Nick Lodolo was scratched from today’s start so it will be a bullpen game for the Reds. Derek Law will toe the rubber, but it’s not expected that he’ll go longer than two innings at the max.
Above is a chart of which Reds bullpen arms have thrown over the past week. Kevin Herget and Lucas Sims are their normal long-relief options, but they both threw on Thursday. While we should see them today, likely, they won’t be as effective as they normally are.
Sandy is one of the best pitchers in the league, but he hasn’t been quite as effective as last season. His 4.27 xERA isn’t great, and neither is his lowest strikeout rate and highest walk rate in the past few seasons.
This write-up is shorter because I have to bet the over in a Reds bullpen game with Sandy not looking like the unanimous CY Young Award winner. If this loses, that’s fine, but playing a total of seven with these two teams is an absolute must. Especially when my model thought it should be 7.5 with Nick Lodolo pitching. Take to 7 (-120) or 7.5 (+105).
The Pick: Reds vs. Marlins Over 7 (-105) 1.05 U to win 1 U
Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Baltimore Orioles @ 7:05 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Roansy Contreras vs. Tyler Wells
Tyler Wells isn’t a household name yet, but he is the best pitcher on the Orioles as we sit here today. Grayson Rodriguez has better stuff, but Wells has been the most consistent pitcher in Baltimore’s rotation.
He has a .248 wOBA against him this season. Sonny Gray has a .246 wOBA against, leading the league in ERA at 1.39. Wells has a 0.78 WHIP as he’s limited opponents to just seven walks in 40 innings of work this season. At this point, it’s clear the Pirates have a clear advantage against left-handed pitching, posting a .786 OPS as a team. Against right-handed pitchers, that OPS drops to .720.
They rank 17th in wRC+ as a team against right-handers, but since May started, they have a 52 wRC+ against righties, placing them 28th in baseball. This is not a good offense right now, and I don’t expect that to change against Wells, who doesn’t allow free passes.
On the flip side, we have Roansy Contreras. He’ll face off against an Orioles lineup that hasn’t been as explosive lately as they have over the entire season. In May, they have a 93 wRC+ against right-handers, which places them 19th in the league. Over the full season, they rank 13th in wRC+ against right-handed pitching at 102.
This season, most of the Orioles’ production has come against lefties, as they rank number three in baseball in wRC+. That’s held in May, rocking a 139 wRC+ over the past two weeks against southpaws. Roansy hasn’t had a great start to the season, but he’s plenty good enough to limit damage against an Orioles team in their lesser split.
All of the high-quality arms in both bullpens are available. The Pirates will have Jose Hernandez, Colin Holderman, and David Bedner to relieve Contreras. All right-handed options have been excellent this season.
The Orioles will also have all their high-quality arms available. Felix Bautista, Yennier Cano, Bryan Baker, and Mike Baumann. All of those arms are also right-handed.
Both teams will be in their lesser split for the entire game, and Camden Yards is BallparkPals’s lowest projected run-scoring environment of the day at -15%. We have wind blowing in from left field, which should limit power production.