In sports betting, and particularly with baseball, we tend to stray farther and farther away from the basics in the pursuit of obscure advantages. With the almost infinite supply of player props and alternate lines, the temptation to explore the unknown can sometimes hinder our success. So today, we are getting back to basics and returning to simple bets that we know work:
Jonathan India/Starling Marte O/U 0.5 Hits
Alright, so maybe this isn’t necessarily the most straightforward of bets, but it is basically just the sportsbook version of the Beat The Streak game. If we were making a second half All-Star team it would start with Jonathan India at 2B. India ranks #15 in baseball in the second half with a .417 wOBA and has served as the catalyst for the scorching Cincinnati lineup. Cubs LHP Justin Steele has been moderately effective out of the bullpen but has just one start at the Major League level and allowed five hits and three ERs in five innings against Milwaukee last Tuesday. Look for India to continue his scorching post-All-Star break against the 26-year old and a shaky Chicago bullpen.
Starling Marte ranks #11 in baseball in the second half with a .443 wOBA and he easily tops in the sport with a .413 AVG in that time. The veteran has been a tremendous pickup for Oakland and has utilized his contact ability and athleticism to get on base seemingly every time he steps into the box. In fact, Marte has a hit in 25 of his last 27 games and multiple hits in 15 of those games. He has no problem hitting Dallas Keuchel in the past (3-for-6 career) and the White Sox starter has been his usual bleh self lately, with a 4.85 xFIP in the second half.
Pick: OVER 0.5 Hits (+118 DK, -109 FD)
Indians @ Twins O/U 9.5 Runs
When you see the pitching matchup of Cal Quantrill and Griffin Jax, do you also think low-scoring battle? No, me neither. But here is why you should. Quantrill has provided stability for a Cleveland rotation riddled with injuries and the 26-year old may finally be realizing his potential as a starter. He hasn’t allowed more than three ER in any of his last seven starts, all but one of which was a quality start. He has even struck out 21 batters in his last three starts spanning 19 innings.
Jax has enjoyed similar success over his last three starts, allowing just five ER in his last 16.1 IP, which included a 10-strikeout performance in his last start against the White Sox. Neither one of these offenses has been particularly effective this season and have fallen victim to the injuries and trades that deplete lineups this late in the season. 9.5 just seems like too high of a number for these teams and I’m looking for Quantrill and Jax to continue their surprising success on Monday.
Pick: UNDER 9.5 Runs (-110 DK, -105 FD)
Padres @ Rockies O/U 12.5 Runs
The Rockies remained surprisingly silent during the trade deadline and their lineup is reaping the rewards. C.J. Cron and Trevor Story certainly could have fetched some interesting pieces for the future, but instead they have been crushing the ball for Colorado, ranking #1 and #4 in all of baseball in wOBA over the last two weeks. Ryan Weathers is expected to start on Monday night and he has struggled immensely for the Padres lately. The 21-year old has started to show signs of wearing down, having allowed 20 ERs over his last 11.2 IP, coming against seemingly subpar offenses in Miami, Arizona, and Colorado.
Meanwhile, Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to the lineup in grand fashion, cranking two HRs as he debuted in RF. Tatis’ willingness to pay a new position just makes the San Diego lineup that much deeper and terrifying for opposing pitchers. Antonio Senzatela hasn’t allowed fewer than seven hits in any of his last seven starts and he won’t be able to strand runners as effectively against a lineup like the Padres, which features the likes of Eric Hosmer and Trent Grisham at the bottom. 12.5 runs is a very high total, yes, but I actually think it is about two runs too low.
Pick: OVER 12.5 Runs (-110 DK, -115 FD)
Kyle Stanzel Overall Record: 39-45-2
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): +$2.70
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)