We’re three weeks into the baseball season, and with more data in-store, things are beginning to look a little clearer than at the beginning of the season. Am I hinting at the fact that I have been on a heater with these articles? Nope, not at all. Definitely not jinxing the run at all by alluding to that, because that mumbo-jumbo isn’t real. Let’s bust out the brooms and sweep again today.
Adam Wainwright over 4.5 strikeouts -107
My early season favorite fade has been of the Arizona Diamondbacks‘ ineptitude to put the ball in play. The Snakes have the 4th highest strikeout rate that gets even worse against right-handed pitching with the 2nd highest K%. Uncle Charlie toes the slab tonight for the Red Birds, and SaberSim has him projected for 5.07 punch-outs. He has cleared this in three of his first four starts with a 9.43 K/9, and since 2021, he has had 4 or more strikeouts in 30 of 36 starts. Adam Wainwright’s primary putaway pitch has always been his curveball and the D-backs have the 2nd worst wCB rating with a -6.8 rating against the pitch. In a plus matchup, Waino should find at least 5 strikeouts tonight.
Cardinals over 4 runs -110 & Paul Goldschmidt over 1.5 total bases -102
Sorry Diamondback fans. The fade does not stop, and neither will the Cardinals bats tonight against Madison Bumgarner. St. Louis has obliterated left-handed pitching and leads the majors in wRC+ (150) against southpaws. Not only that, but they also have an extensive history of abusing Mad-Bums pitching. The roster has a whopping .446 xwOBA across 253 plate appearances against Mason Saunders and Paul Goldschmidt has been the main culprit in contributing to that.
Goldy has reeled in everything the rodeo star has thrown his way en route to a .528 xwOBA in 85 plate appearances. Of his 24 hits against Saunders, he has five doubles, two triples, and three home runs. He is seeing the ball extremely well lately with a hit in seven consecutive games and he has cleared this total base prop in six of those seven.
If the Cardinals are unable to clear the 4-run threshold while Mad-Bum is pitching, they should be able to get there once the bullpen, which ranks dead-last in xFIP (4.52), gets involved. I like to take these team totals in situations where the moneyline is far too juiced, and with it up to -195, the Cards run total seems like the wise play here.
Yusei Kikuchi under 4.5 strikeouts -130
I can’t be the only one who gets Sam Smith’s song stuck in their head when they read Yusei Kikuchi’s name, right? I know I’m not the only one!!! Alright, so anyways, onto Sam Smith’s muse…Yusei draws a tough card facing the whiff-prone Astro lineup that has the 5th lowest strikeout rate (19.6%) against left-handed pitching. Despite their poor offensive results early on, the Houston roster typically mashes lefties, and they had the best wRC+ against them last season.
They’ve also had a fair amount of success against Kikuchi in 161 PAs with a .385 xwOBA and microscopic 15.6 K%. Yusei has failed to eclipse this mark in all three starts this year, and seven of the eight southpaws the ‘Stros have faced this year (including Kikuchi) have gone under 4.5 K’s. I’ve looked into my crystal ball (sing it with me now!), and I know, and I know, and I know, and I know, and I know, and I know, know, I know he’s staying under this.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)