A rainy Friday wiped out six games, setting the stage for a possibly packed Saturday docket.
If Mother Nature cooperates, 17 games will take place today. However, that’s not likely the case. The Rangers and Yankees already postponed their game. Keep close tabs on the weather forecast.
With three doubleheaders currently scheduled, now’s a good time to remember that the seven-inning samplers are gone. Maybe that creates enough chances for this writer to get something right.
Last Saturday’s picks did not go according to plan, as taking the over failed every time. Perhaps that’s a lesson to consider the under more while hitters keep struggling. Or maybe it’s just a betting cold streak. Those will happen throughout a six-month MLB season, and one must determine if they’re comfortable weathering the volatility.
For those ready to get back on the saddle and give this author another chance, here are another trio of picks for today’s action.
Framber Valdez Outs Recorded: O/U 16.5
Framber Valdez has opened the season with a 3.42 ERA, but he hasn’t enjoyed smooth sailing out of the gate. The Astros southpaw has issued 14 walks and three hit batters to only 19 strikeouts through 26.1 innings. That comes out to 5.2 innings per start, the exact number of outs he needs to reach the over.
He might deserve the benefit of the doubt. Valdez lasted just three frames against Arizona on April 13 and only worked 4.1 frames in his subsequent outing, where he surrendered six of his 10 runs allowed in 2022. However, he has since held the Rangers to one unearned run in six innings while tossing a quality start at Toronto. While his peripherals aren’t too pretty, Valdez continues to succeed on the strength of a 73.3% ground-ball rate.
We don’t need Valdez to dominate Detroit on Saturday. The 28-year-old just has to pitch 5.2 innings or more, a mark he hit in 16 of 22 starts last year. Though better against lefties, the Tigers are nevertheless a below-average offense that Valdez should handle at home. More daring bettors could bet on him recording his first win since Opening Day for +165 on DraftKings.
Pick: Over (-110 on DraftKings)
White Sox at Red Sox: Moneyline
The White Sox have not kept anyone cozy thus far in 2022. Expected to run away with the AL Central, the White Sox are instead tied with the Guardians for second place at 12-13. The 10-17 Red Sox, meanwhile, already trail the Yankees by nine games in the AL East.
At least one of these contenders is turning the corner. The White Sox have only surrendered four runs during a four-game winning streak, including Friday night’s 4-2 victory at Fenway Park. After concluding April with 10 hits, Luis Robert already has eight—and two walks—this month. Both offenses have underwhelmed, but only the Royals, A’s, and Reds have a lower team wRC+ than Boston.
The Red Sox are also receiving inferior starting pitching, only magnified in Saturday’s mismatch between Nick Pivetta and Dylan Cease. Following a solid 2021, Pivetta has turned back into a pumpkin with a 7.84 ERA through five starts. He’s also relinquished 13 walks, four home runs, and eight barrels in 20.2 innings. Cease, on the other hand, is looking like an early AL Cy Young Award candidate with a 2.48 ERA, 33.9% K rate, and 1.97 FIP.
The White Sox should be bigger favorites, but the Red Sox are getting more credit than they deserve at home. One possible obstacle: Liam Hendriks has saved each of the last four games. Although Chicago’s shutdown closer probably needs a breather, this matchup might not be close enough to matter.
Pick: White Sox (-122 on FanDuel, -125 on DraftKings)
Rockies at Diamondbacks: Moneyline
The NL West’s two expected punching bags are both over .500. While the Rockies have picked up 11 of 15 victories at home, the Diamondbacks have won eight of their last 10 games. Those trends make Arizona a favorite to prevail at Chase Field.
Since commencing the season with consecutive five-run outings at Coors Field, Kyle Freeland has yielded four earned runs (seven total) in his past three turns. The newly paid southpaw has submitted a 3.73 SIERA with the best swinging-strike (10.1%) and contact (78.7%) rates of a career. Saturday presents the perfect opportunity to manifest those skills into a strong performance. He’ll leave Coors to pitch at a far friendlier pitcher’s park against a lineup possessing MLB’s second-worst wRC+ against southpaws.
A strong matchup also provides hope of Freeland requiring fewer outs from a mediocre Colorado bullpen. On the other hand, Zach Davies hasn’t recorded an out past the fifth inning since last August. Arizona’s relievers have the lowest K-BB rate (6.9%) and SIERA (4.39), so don’t trust them to clean up the final few frames.
Pick: Over (+108 on FanDuel, +105 on DraftKings)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 3-8-1
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): -$469.70
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)