Thursday’s Results: Following a 3-0 night on Wednesday, my card went 3-0 again last night. The under 7.5 in the Marlins-Phillies game was never in doubt, while the Red Sox scored six runs in the first four innings to easily cash their team total of over 5.5. The Mariners didn’t make anyone sweat their team total either, scoring five runs in the bottom of the first inning to hit their team total of 4.5. While it has only been three days (small sample size alert), “FTBW” is off to a hot start. I am now 8-2 on the season for +5.95 units.
I’ve had some success identifying offenses that have great matchups against opposing starters and thus, taking their team totals to go over the number. I’m going back to the well with three more team totals on Friday night.
965 Oakland A’s at 966 Toronto Blue Jays, 6:07 p.m. CT
Oakland starter Mike Fiers is capable of shutting opponents down, so backing Toronto’s offense tonight is somewhat of a risk. That said, Fiers is a fly-ball pitcher that allows plenty of hard contact and home runs. The Blue Jays currently own an ISO of .190 against right-handed pitching and Vladimir Guerreo Jr. will make his major league debut tonight, so I expect Toronto’s offense to have some extra pep. Circling back to Fiers, he was shredded in his last three starts, which includes a poor performance versus this same Toronto team last Saturday. In that game, he was lit up for six runs and nine hits, two of which were home runs. He lasted just 3 1/3 innings and won’t have the benefit of pitching in the Oakland Coliseum tonight.
The Pick: Blue Jays Team Total of OVER 4.5 -110 (1.10 units to win 1.0 units)
969 Baltimore Orioles at 970 Minnesota Twins, 7:10 p.m. CT
Alex Cobb owns a 11.88 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP through his first two starts and while two games is a tiny sample size, the Baltimore starter struggled all last season as well. He’s a low-strikeout pitcher that allows hard-contact. He survives on generating ground balls and avoiding free passes but he’ll face an underrated Twins lineup tonight in Minnesota. The Twins mash right-handed pitching, boasting an ISO of .190. (If you’re wondering why I keep referencing ISO, it’s because if I’m going to need 5-6 runs to hit the over on an individual team over, then I need said team to be able to hit the ball out of the ballpark.) Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario should have a field day tonight against Cobb and a bad Baltimore bullpen.
The Pick: Twins Team Total OVER 5.5 +105 (1.0 units to win 1.05 units)
977 Texas Rangers at 978 Seattle Mariners, 9:10 p.m. CT
Cardinals fans, remember Shelby Miller? Of course you do. He was the high prospect that was traded to the Braves in the Jason Heyward deal. Now he’s starting for the Rangers and he’s had a rough go of it. Miller currently owns an ERA of 7.63 and with a 7.51 SIERA, there’s no positive regression coming for the right-hander. He’s striking out batters at a 7.3-percent clip, walking batters at a rate of 15.9% and is allowing hard contact at 49.2-percent. Those are awful metrics for a guy that also struggles with the long ball. While Miller will benefit from pitching at spacious T-Mobile Stadium tonight, this Mariners team is relentless on right-handed pitching. After youngster Taylor Hearn couldn’t get out of the first inning last night, Seattle will face a taxed Texas bullpen after Miller inevitably struggles.
The Pick: Mariners Team Total OVER 4.5 -130 (1.30 units to win 1.0 units)
MLB: 8-2 (+5.95 units)