We’re a little over a week into the marathon MLB season, and as I said last week, it is best to take it easy on your unit size until more data comes along. Except for these bets. Put the life savings on these because we’re busting out the brooms and sweeping this card on Aloha Friday.
Miles Mikolas under 3.5Ks +130 vs MIL
Before the 2021 season, Miles Mikolas went to the doctor’s office with arm trouble and left diagnosed with K-itus. The disease is exclusively found in pitchers who are in the bottom 10% in strikeout rate. It is treatable, but Mikolas has a long road ahead of him before he finds a way to beating the anti-punchout disease. Projected for just 2.81 strikeouts via SaberSim, this +130 price has so much value to it. In 2021, Mikolas was in the bottom 4% in K%, bottom 1% in Whiff%, and has gone under 3.5 punchouts in eight of his last 10 starts. The Brewers won’t be the antidote to his sickness either. In 84 plate appearances versus Mikolas, Milwaukee hitters have a paltry 19% K rate and 16% Whiff rate. Mikolas, like all pitchers coming off the shortened spring training, is still building up the stamina to go deep into games. Taking that into consideration as well, this seems like a clear play at this price.
Zach Eflin over 4.5Ks +120 vs MIA
Do you know what fish do when they are out of water? They flop around. That is exactly what the Marlins bats will do when they face Zach Eflin and the Phillies tonight. The Marlins are swinging at the third-most pitches outside the zone and have the fourth-lowest contact rate on those pitches. This should bode well for Eflin, whose chase rate was in the top 94% in 2020 and the top 74% in 2021. In the 28 starts across ’20 and ’21, he eclipsed this line in all but six games, averaging six strikeouts each outing. Five of the six starters to face the Marlins this year have recorded five or more punchouts; the Marlins also have the seventh-highest K% and seventh-lowest wRC+ to start the season. We’re getting tremendous value at +120 for this wager.
Astros Team Total over 4 runs -120 vs SEA
The Astros offense has not been at their best to start the season, but that changes tonight when they face off against the gas can that is Marco Gonzales. He was lit up in his first start of the year for six runs on just two innings pitched against a similar high-powered offense in Minnesota. Despite their shortcomings in the first six games, the longer sample size will prevail for this elite group of bats. The Astros led the majors in wRC+ last year and should have no issue getting to the soft-tossing lefty Gonzales, who had a 5.16 xFIP in 2021. Houston’s roster has also smoked the cover off the ball against him for a .368 xwOBA across 156 plate appearances. Expect the ‘Stros to wake up tonight and look to play spoiler in Seattle’s home-opener.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)