After two wins over the weekend, I am slowly but surely inching my way back toward .500. I have now won three of my last five bets. Things are looking up. Let’s make some money.
Twins at Cleveland Money Line
The Twins have been dreadful this season. Their record of 7-14 is the second-worst in all of baseball. After starting the year 5-2, they have lost 12 of 14. The combination of COVID-19 and a few injuries has hampered this team. Having said that, they have also been unlucky. In terms of team stats, they rank in the middle of the league when it comes to most hitting and pitching marks. They haven’t been good by any standards, but they haven’t been this terrible either.
With Kenta Maeda (1-1, 6.11 ERA) on the mound tonight, I believe the Twins will squeak out a win. On the season, Maeda has had three starts in which he hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs. In his last start though, the Athletics tagged him for seven earned in three innings. A 6.11 ERA from Maeda does not look great, but like many of his teammates, he too has been unlucky. His xFIP of 4.32 shows that he’s been better than the ERA indicates. More startling, his BABIP against is at a sky-high .400. That figure will begin to drop tonight against a weaker Cleveland lineup.
For Cleveland, Aaron Civale (3-0, 2.42 ERA) gets the start. Unlike Maeda, Civale has had some luck this season and his 4.15 xFIP shows that. Tonight is looking like a good old regress-to-the-mean game.
Pick: Twins ML (-112 FD)
Atlanta O/U 4.5 Runs
For the most part this season, Atlanta’s offense has been pretty good. After recording just one hit in two seven-inning games on Sunday against Arizona, Atlanta’s offense bounced back nicely in an 8-7 win over the Cubs.
Tonight against those same Cubs, they will get to tee off against Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.66 ERA). Surprisingly, or at least to me, Williams has been decent so far this season. His fWAR of 0.4 is second among all Cubs starters, just behind Jake Arrieta (0.5). In an earlier start against Atlanta this season, Williams went five innings while allowing one run. That said, I have a feeling that Atlanta will pile up some runs tonight in round two.
Pick: Atlanta over 4.5 runs (-114 DK)
Pirates O/U 3.5 Runs
Let’s take a moment to admire the fact that the Pirates are .500 (11-11) this late into the season.
With the combination of fundamental baseball, timely offense, and a great bullpen, the Pirates have been able to win 10 of their last 15 games after starting the year 1-6. To me, 3.5 total runs tonight seems a little light. During their current 15-game stretch, the Pirates have scored at least four runs nine times. With Jakob Junis (1-0, 3.71 ERA) getting the start tonight, I believe the Battling Buccos will be able to string some rallies together. Although Junis has struck out a fair amount of batters this season (26.5% K rate), he ranks in the third percentile when it comes to average exit velocity allowed (93.9 mph). That is not good. Expect the Pirates to make some hard contact tonight.
Pick: Pirates over 3.5 runs (-130 DK)
Nathan Hursh Overall Record: (6-14-1)
Net Money (assuming all wagers are $100): –$774.77
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)