God, was it good to have baseball back or was it good to have baseball back? Thursday’s opening slate of games had me sweeping the floors with some newfound cash. It’s hard being this humble all the time, sorry not sorry. Time to back up yesterday with a couple of plays for Friday’s game.
Tampa Bay Rays Total Runs Over 4 (-125)
Formerly known as the Devil Rays, the team in Tampa has some devil-voodoo magic conjuring down in the Trop. Opposing players repeatedly say it is a hell-hole to play down there, and everything about their operation is just flat-out bizarre. How do they make all of this work year in and year out with that payroll, fan base, and location? How do all of their trades and prospects always pan out? It’s devil-voodoo magic, and it is unexplainable. They’re going to bring this demon-like energy to John Means today.
In 114 plate appearances against Means, the Devil Rays roster has a .353 xwOBA. Last year the Rays were 7th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching and dominated Means in the 5 appearances they faced him. He posted a 5.40 ERA (4.37 xFIP) in those contests, and it was even worse in his 2 starts at the Trop where he had a 9.00 ERA. The Rays averaged 8.2 runs per game over those 5 matchups and cleared this 4 run mark in 4 of the 5 games, with the outlier being a push. If they are unable to get the 5 runs against him, they won’t have any trouble with the run-funneling bullpen of Baltimore, which had the highest ERA in ’21.
If you’re unable to isolate the Rays on their own, taking the full game total over of 7.5 runs between both teams is fine as well. Despite only driving in 5 runs over 17 innings vs Shane McClanahan, the O’s roster has struck the ball well against him to a tune of a .359 xwOBA across 79 at-bats.
Red Sox Moneyline +145
For the record, I am not actually going to place this bet. As a die-hard Yankee fan, writing this makes me want to puke. It’s opening day. One of the best days of the year…and I’m advising taking the foot-warming Beantowners? It’s not too late. I could turn back, erase all of this like it never happened, but betting is about value, and the value is all over the feet-coverers.
The last time these teams and pitchers faced, we all know what happened. gags The Red Sox and Nathan Eovaldi advanced to the ALDS in a 6-2 victory over Gerrit Cole and the Yankees. Since that traitor joined the Sox, Eovaldi has a 3.13 ERA across 66.2 innings pitched against the Yanks. The deeper numbers do tell a slightly different story with his xFIP sitting closer to 3.80, but the point is Eovaldi is a very good pitcher and has found success against the Bronx Bombers pukes.
Despite losing Kyle Schwarber and Hunter Renfroe, Boston’s lineup can go head-to-head with anyone in the game. They also added Trevor Story to offset those subtractions. dry heaves Cole hasn’t faired the best versus the Sox since joining the Yankees either with a 4.64 ERA (3.41 xFIP excluding that Wild Card game though!) in 31 innings pitched. sobbing Boston’s roster has a .338 xwOBA against him as well. This +145 price is far too enticing based on the talent the dumb article of clothing worn.
sobbing stops devilish grin appears THIS IS A HOAX. I BLEED PINSTRIPES. GO AHEAD AND DONATE YOUR MONEY TO THE BOOKS. DO IT. I DARE YOU. 27 RINGS. THE CURSE OF THE COLE STARTS TOMORROW. DO YOU GET IT? IT’S LIKE THE CURSE OF THE BAMBINO BUT…LET’S GO YANKEES!!!
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)