Buckle up for a full day of baseball. Saturday starts with AL Cy Young Award candidates Shane McClanahan and Kevin Gausman facing off at noon and Gerrit Cole pitching at Cleveland.
Those are only two of 19 games on the schedule. The Yankees will send Nestor Cortes to the mound for the evening portion of a doubleheader against the Guardians. Dylan Cease, Logan Webb, and Yu Darvish are among the other starters expected to take the mound.
With a wide catalog at our disposal, let’s pinpoint three intriguing bets to kick off the holiday weekend right.
Rangers at Mets: First 5 Innings Moneyline
Is Martín Pérez falling back to earth? Yes and no. After allowing six earned runs throughout nine superb starts, he yielded as many against the White Sox on June 11. He gave up four more in his last outing at Kansas City, bringing his June ERA to 3.90.
Those struggles catapulted his 2022 ERA …. to 2.22. With a 2.59 FIP and career-high 27.6% CSW rate, his breakout might not be all smoke and mirrors. While the lefty will likely keep regressing to the mean, he shouldn’t slip down to his career 4.52 ERA. And Saturday’s matchup might not be as bad for Pérez as it initially seems.
The Mets have received plenty of praise for putting the ball in play all year. Although they’ve excelled at situational hitting, they’re also experiencing the pitfalls of limited power. New York’s .137 ISO ranked 25th in June. Buck Showalter’s club posted the same wOBA (.297) as the Pirates last month.
Trevor Williams has held the fort well enough, posting a 3.64 ERA in 42 innings. However, excellent bullpen work has padded his overall numbers. When pressed into starting duty, the 30-year-old has relinquished a 4.88 ERA and .289/.330/.495 opposing slash line. In his defense, he’s already opposed the Dodgers and Rockies while allowing four runs at Coors Field. Yet the spot-starter is merely trying to keep his team afloat through four or five innings.
All that said, there’s enough doubt to shy away from a Rangers upset on the road. Let’s ignore Ehrmantraut’s advice and take a half measure with a Texas lead through five.
Pick: Rangers (+106 on FanDuel)
José Urquidy Strikeouts
I’ve realized I only endorsed the over on strikeout props. When stepping back, that’s an odd bias given my general pessimism everywhere else in life. It’s also one the sportsbooks are happy to exploit.
No offense has a higher strikeout rate than the Angels, and that clip expands to 26.5% against righties. As a result, DraftKings is daring users to take Urquidy’s under on a 5.5 line at +115, leaving no juice for the over at -150. FanDuel, on the other hand, sets the line at 6.5. There’s little use betting their under at -156.
Urquidy has tallied six or more punchouts in just three of 14 starts this season. He only hit that mark once in June despite posting a 3.68 ERA with four quality starts. Urquidy is averaging 3.9 strikeouts per start with a 17.0% K rate that ranks 105th out of 123 starters with at least 50 innings pitched. The 27-year-old has also generated fewer swinging and called strikes in 2022.
Despite a favorable matchup, he’s not likely to post six or more strikeouts even if pitching six or seven strong innings. Furthermore, a clean start against the Angels is far from guaranteed. There’s a whole lot of blue on his Statcast page, concerning for someone who has feasted off weak contact at his best. Urquidy’s hard-hit rate has jumped to 45.7%, 10 full points higher than his career average. He’s one barrel shy from matching the 29 he relinquished in 20 starts last season.
Urquidy is especially unlikely to stockpile strikeouts on a bad day, so bet on him not outperforming his 2022 norms. He opened the season with just two punchouts against the Angels.
Pick: Under 5.5 ( +115 on DraftKings)
Logan Webb Strikeouts
Now back to optimism. Once again, FanDuel has the line higher than DraftKings for Webb’s strikeout prop. A 5.5 line seems like the right spot for a starter averaging 5.4 punchouts per turn. He could still hit the over, but why take that chance at -108 odds when DraftKings is giving a -115 line for five or more strikeouts?
Webb has tallied at least six strikeouts in eight of his last 10 starts. In his past three turns, the Giants righty has accrued 22 Ks while allowing just two runs (one earned) in 20 innings. He only notched a 15.9 K% through April, but the 25-year-old has since delivered a strikeout per inning.
Can we trust him to work five innings against the White Sox? Sure we can! He’s worked 6.1 frames per start and completed five innings in 13 of 15 tries. When last falling short on June 4, he still offered six strikeouts in 4.2 frames against the Marlins. Although Webb will face a percolating White Sox offense, they haven’t met expectations this season with a 88 wRC+ against righties.
Just as they reacted strongly to the Angels’ high strikeout rate, DraftKings has over-adjusted to the White Sox limiting Ks (20.4%) against righties. Webb remains an unheralded ace with a 3.04 ERA and 3.03 FIP, so the opponent shouldn’t derail a reasonable quest for five strikeouts.
Pick: Over 4.5 ( -115 on DraftKings)
Andrew Gould Overall Record: 15-19-2
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): -$252.07
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)