From the Betting Window, 5/23/19: Is the Total set to high in Rays vs. Indians?

From the Betting Window
Wednesday 5/22/19 Picks & Results:

Yankees/Orioles over 10.5 +100 = WIN (+1.0 units)

Royals/Cardinals over 9.5 +100 = WIN (+1.0 units)

Phillies/Cubs over 10.5 -120 = WIN (+1.0 units)

What we learned from Thursday…

…if you believe you have an angle on a game, play it. Last night the wind at Wrigley was blowing straight out to left at 14 mph. Oddsmakers opened the Phillies/Cubs total at 10 runs, then moved it to 10.5 to account for the weather. That’s a high number for a total.

Still, we had a built in advantage because of the speed and direction of the wind. Plus, with rookie Cole Irvin set to face a dangerous Cubs’ offense, as well as Cole Hamels having to deal with several right-handed power hitters in the Phillies’ lineup, the over was a sound play.

Through the first three innings, the two teams combined for six runs. Once Albert Almora Jr. hit a grand slam in the bottom of the fifth inning, all we needed was one more run from either team in the final four innings. That came in the form of a Javier Baez solo shot in the seventh. In total, the two teams combined for four home runs on the night and we got our over to sweep the three-play card.

Thursday 5/23/19 Picks:

913 Tampa Bay Rays at 914 Cleveland Indians, 5:10 p.m. CT

I can’t remember a night during a MLB regular season where there were only two games on the schedule. But that’s what we’re looking at tonight after most of the games were played this afternoon. That said, I do see a strong play in this matchup.

Adam Plutko will toe the rubber for the Indians and he was outstanding in his first major league start of 2019. Granted, that outing came against a light-hitting Orioles team, but Plutko was excellent nonetheless. The 27-year-old former UCLA Bruin held Baltimore to one run on one hit with two walks and four strikeouts over six innings. He is a low-strikeout pitcher, so the ball will likely be put in play a lot, but Plutko is also limiting hard contact at a rate of 28.6%.

On the flip side, Hunter Wood will start for the Rays but Ryan Yarbrough is expected to be the primary reliever. Yarbrough is also a low-strikeout pitcher but just like Plutko, he too has limited hard contact (28.8%). It’s okay if the ball is put in play a lot, as long as it’s not coming off the bat hard and in the air too often. Given the profiles of Plutko and Yarbrough, there should be plenty of soft contact throughout the game tonight.

In the last 10 meetings between these two teams, the under is 7-2-1. The under is also a perfect 5-0 in Plutko’s last five home starts and is 7-1 in his last eight outings overall. Furthermore, the under is 5-1 in the Indians’ last six home games and is 7-1 in the Rays’ last eight road contests. With the wind expected to whip across Progressive Field at 15 mph, I expect this game to move at a fast clip and result in a bit of a pitcher’s duel.

The Pick: Rays/Indians under 9.5 -110 (Risking 1.10 units to win 1.0 units)

2019 Betting Results:

MLB: 33-26-4 (+5.60 units)

NHL: 1-0 (+1.0 units)