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Marlins @ Blue Jays Total Runs O/U 8.5
Blue Jays Mafia get your folding tables ready! The Buffalo Blue Jays will play host for the first time this season as the upstart Marlins make the trip for a quick two-game series. This is a weird game to predict with all the variables in play so it makes sense to go with what you know. And I know that Hyun-Jin Ryu can lock down Miami. Ryu finally looked like his 2019 self in his last start, shutting out the Braves for five innings with eight Ks. Similar to the Blue Jays, Miami hasn’t been home in quite some time and it is starting to take a toll on the offense. In the seven games since Miami’s return from organizational quarantine the Marlins have only eclipsed four runs once.
The Blue Jays on the other hand have struggled to score runs all season with a 79 wRC+ and the young club has averaged just 2.7 runs per game in their last 10. Elieser Hernandez was very good in his only start of 2020 last Wednesday, striking out five in 4.1 shutout innings against Baltimore. You never know how an unfamiliar stadium will affect the teams and for some reason I just think it will affect hitters more than the pitchers.
Pick: Under 8.5 Runs (-115 DK/FD)
Royals @ Reds Run Line (+1.5 -127/-1.5 +107)
A promising young pitcher who had never pitched above High-A ball as of two weeks ago, Kris Bubic has been impressive in his first two major league starts. After holding his own against a tough White Sox lineup, Bubic allowed just 2 ERs and struck out nine in six innings pitched against the other Chicago team. But now he has to leave the friendly confines of Kauffman Stadium and ventures to Cincinnati to face a dangerous Reds lineup that has started to heat up with 15 runs in three weekend games against Milwaukee. Luis Castillo was dominant in his lone home start in 2020 and he has been much better at Great American Ballpark in his career (3.16 xFIP against 3.92 xFIP on the road). Look for the Reds to start playing closer to their talent level in this one against a team and pitcher who are playing a little over their head at the moment.
Pick: Reds -1.5 (+110 DK/+102 FD)
Cubs @ Indians Moneyline (-110/-106)
A rematch of the 2016 World Series, Jon Lester faces off against Adam Plutko after Zach Plesac decided a night out in Chicago was worth missing a start or two. Both of these teams come into the series on fire, although the Cubs have won six of seven against the likes of the Pirates and Royals, while the Indians have won five of the last six against tougher Reds and White Sox teams. The Cubs also haven’t played in five days due to their weekend series with the Cardinals being canceled.
Lester comes into the start with just a 0.82 ERA in two starts, but his 5.63 xFIP show once again that he is getting extremely lucky and is due to come down to earth. Cleveland’s bats have been coming around lately and Franmil Reyes and Francisco Lindor have had considerable success against Lester in the past. Plutko is a very serviceable pitcher who threw a quality start in his one 2020 start against the White Sox. FTN Bets has the Indians as slight home underdogs and I like their chances to come away with the win tonight.
Pick: Indians ML (-106 DK/-108 FD)
White Sox @ Tigers Total Runs O/U 9.5
The majority of this pick is based off the incredible tear that the Detroit offense has been on, especially against lefties. The FTN Bets Hot Hitter Report shows seven(!?!) Tigers in the top 60 hitters in baseball over the past week and the team has an incredible 160 wRC+ against LHP on the season, good for second-best in the majors. Gio Gonzalez got away with allowing eight baserunners in 3.2 IP against Kansas City, but it caught up with him in his most recent start against Milwaukee, allowing four earned runs in 4.1 IP.
Tyler Alexander makes his first start of the season for the Tigers against a White Sox lineup that has struggled lately, but is always dangerous against lefties. Alexander’s final two starts of 2019 were against the White Sox and he allowed a whopping 17 hits in 9.1 combined IP. The weather looks to be perfect in Detroit with a slight breeze blowing out to center, so I’m looking for a big offensive night between these two clubs.
Pick: Over 9.5 Runs (+102 DK, +100 FD)
Astros Total Runs O/U 5.5
At first glance, Tyler Anderson looks like he has been a very effective pitcher for the Giants this season. A 2.19 ERA and five shutout innings in his most recent start in Coors Field against the Rockies is nothing to laugh at. Then you look at his 6.09 xFIP and 0.88 K/BB ratio and you see that yea there is actually plenty to laugh at. The Astros are sporting a 125 wRC+ against lefties this season and their plethora of deadly RHH (Altuve, Springer, Bregman, et al) are surely chomping at the bit to step into the box against Anderson. Look for Houston to blow past the 5.5 run team total in this one
Pick: Over 5.5 Runs (+104 DK)
Kyle Stanzel Overall Record: 9-6
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