Tuesday 7/31/19 Picks:
903 Atlanta Braves at 904 Washington Nationals, 6:05 p.m. CT
The Braves were a dud last night, which wasn’t shocking given how well Patrick Corbin has pitched at Nationals Park this season. What was surprising, however, was how little damage Atlanta’s bats created versus a struggling Washington bullpen. The Braves should rebound tonight.
The Nationals placed Max Scherzer on the injured list again yesterday with a mild rhomboid strain. They recalled Erick Fedde from Double-A Harrisburg in a subsequent move, which is good for the Braves. Fedde doesn’t miss bats (12.6%) and walks too many hitters (10.1%). He also serves up hard contact at a 35.4% rate and gets smoked by lefties (26.0% line drive rate, 0.172 ISO, 0.364 wOBA).
Granted, two of Atlanta’s top four hitters are right-handed (Ronald Acuna and Josh Donaldson), but Fedde will still deal with the likes of Ozzie Albies (a switch-hitter) and Freddie Freeman, a lefty that owns an ISU of .270. On the season, the Braves are averaging 5.37 runs and 1.2 home runs per nine innings against right-handers.
While they had success last night, Washington’s bullen currently owns a 5.16 xFIP, which is currently the worst mark of any team playing on Tuesday night. Finally, with the Braves on the road, we’re guaranteed ninth inning at bats.
The Pick: Braves Over 5.5 Runs (+105) = Risking 1.0 units to win 1.05 units
915 Seattle Mariners at 916 Texas Rangers, 7:05 p.m. CT
I badly want to take the over tonight but Mike Leake burned me last week when he pitched well against this same Texas team. After throwing a near perfect game against the Angels and surrendering just three runs while striking out seven with no walks in his last start versus the Rangers, Leake is feeling it right now.
That said, I do like an over tonight in Arlington, just not the game over. The Mariners face Texas starter Ariel Jurardo tonight in a matchup where they should rake. Jurado has allowed 16 runs in 15 innings over his past three starts. Outside of a decent walk rate (7.0%), there’s nothing in Jurado’s metrics to indicate he’s due for an uptick in production. His strikeout rate is low (17.1%), his line drive (24.3%) and hard-hit (43.4%) rates are up, and his ground ball rate (43.8%) is slightly below average.
Did I also mention the hitting conditions should be ideal tonight in Arlington? What else is new, right? With temps in the mid-90s and nothing but clear skies in the forecast, Jurado is in trouble.
Shifting to Seattle’s offense, the Mariners are streaky but they fare much better versus right-handers than southpaws. They’re averaging 5.13 runs and 1.2 home runs per nine innings versus righties, compared to 5.13 R/9 with 0.4 HR/9 versus lefties. J.P. Crawford and Domingo Santana’s bats have cooled recently but they’re coming off productive games on Sunday and Daniel Vogelbach (elbow) is expected back tonight after missing the win over the Tigers two days ago.
The Pick: Mariners Over 5.5 Runs (-105) = Risking 1.05 units to win 1.0 units
2019 Betting Results:
MLB First Half: 59-50-4 (+2.55 units)
MLB Second Half: 9-11-1 (-3.75 units)
NHL Playoffs: 2-0 (+2.0 units)