Saturday was not kind to me in college football. The Clemson-Texas A&M second half spoiled what should have been a solid under play and neither Arkansas State nor Texas had a chance to cash against Alabama or Tulsa, respectively. The only winner I had that day was the one I gave out on Twitter, as Duke beat Northwestern outright as a 3-point underdog.
Let’s put that day in the rearview mirror and get back to baseball on Monday night…
901 Los Angeles Dodgers vs. 902 Cincinnati Reds, 5:40 p.m. CT
Cody Reed does an excellent job keeping the ball on the ground but struggled with his command at times during his career and is striking batters out at just a 17.9% clip. That’s bad for Reed as he faces a talented Dodgers’ lineup, but good for over bettors that at least one team could have a big offensive night. The Dodgers crush left-handed pitching (36% hard-contract rate) and see a considerable ballpark upgrade moving away from Dodger Stadium and to the “Great American Launching Pad” as my man Chris Duncan likes to call it. On the other side, Alex Wood has struggled against right-handed hitters this season, which is troublesome in a matchup against Eugenio Suarez. The Reds will strikeout plenty tonight but I still see enough offense from both sides to cash the over.
Prediction: Over 9
903 Washington Nationals vs. 904 Philadelphia Phillies, 6:05 p.m. CT
The Phillies should pound Erick Fedde tonight. This a tough matchup for a ground-ball pitcher like Fedde because the Phillies know how to get the ball in the air. The Phillies hit right-handed pitching hard (34%) and they’ll benefit from playing tonight at Citizens Bank Park, where the ball flies. On the other side is Jake Arrieta, who is coming off an 11-strikeout performance but it came against the Marlins. Arrieta does a great job limiting hard contact but he will struggle at times versus lefties. Fortunately for us, the Nationals employ Bryce Harper, Juan Soto and Adam Eaton, all of whom are lefties.
Prediction: Over 8.5
917 Cleveland Indians vs. 918 Tampa Bay Rays, 6:10 p.m. CT
The Rays will face Corey Kluber tonight and while he has been as dominant this year as in year’s past, he has looked very sharp lately. In terms of taking the under, we’ll need to worry about the Indians. That said, Tropicana Field is a better pitcher’s park than hitter’s yard and Rays will throw a couple of solid bullpen arms in Diego Castillo and Jalen Beeks tonight. One bad inning could blow up this under play but I’m willing to take the risk with Kluber dominating the Rays in one half of this matchup.
Prediction: Under 7
913 Atlanta Braves vs. 914 San Francisco Giants, 9:10 p.m. CT
The Giants have become the walking wounded. Buster Posey (hip) is out for the season, talented youngster Steven Duggar (shoulder) is also out for the year and Andrew McCutchen is in New York playing with the Yankees now. They have no offense. Braves’ starter Sean Newcomb has struggled with command (11.7% walk rate) but he’s striking out batters at a healthy 22.1% clip and he’ll benefit pitching tonight at AT&T Park. Meanwhile, Dereck Rodriguez has been quite the find for the struggling Giants, as he owns a 2.41 ERA in 15 starts this season. He’s due for some regression with only a 19.9% strikeout rate and a 40.9% hard-contact rate but he doesn’t walk many batters (6.9%) and he too will benefit pitching in spacious AT&T Park tonight. I don’t see either offense producing.
Prediction: Under 7.5
MLB: 45-21-1 (68%)
College Football: 7-5 (58%)
More: Heroes and Villains, CFB Week Two: And Now the Real Season Begins for Mizzou