Welcome to the Bets of the Day column for Tuesday. After some poor picks during the month of June, we started the month of July right by going 2-0-1! Sadly, the article last Tuesday never published due to the 4th of July holiday. Interestingly the one Tuesday in June I didn’t write an article (while I was on vacation), my picks went 3-0. Maybe I stop writing these articles and secretly share my picks via Discord or another outlet. LOL!
So what does the analysis like for today? As usual, I will highlight three picks. Let’s get to it!
New York Yankees -1.5 run line (-150)
For those who read this column, you know that I much prefer taking the run line for the favored team on the road instead of at home. After all, what if the game is tied or goes to extra innings? Your team wins but wins by just 1 run unless they hit a bomb with runners on base to end the game. And that is assuming the game is tied with one runner on base or the home is down by just one run with two runners on base. Those scenarios are highly unlikely to happen which is why sticking with the road team when playing the run line is a safer option.
However, I will be making an exception with this game. How often do we get a team which has won over 70% of its games to play a team with a sub 0.400 record? Well, we might get that a few more times since the A’s and Royals are awful and the Yankees will play both of them during the second half of the season. Still, this is a rare occurrence and I bet that Reds starting pitcher Graham Ashcraft has never been in the Big Apple before given that he is a rookie and is from Alabama. Yankee Stadium is arguably one of the most intimidating venues in all of sports. As Han Solo said to Luke Skywalker as he went off to fight the Evil Empire, “Good luck kid!”
Meanwhile, Gerrit Cole takes the mound for the Bronx Bombers and he has been impressive at home with a 2.31 ERA, 63 Ks, and 7 BBs all the while allowing an OPS of 0.555 over 50.2 innings pitched. No wonder the Yankees are 34-9 at home! On the other hand, the Reds have one of the worst road records in MLB.
True, the Reds have played better lately winning 4 in a row and the Cole lost his last start at home. However, the Reds beat up on the Rays who are dealing with several injuries and look like a AAA squad out there while the Yankees were no-hit by Cristian Javier who has been on fire. Ashcraft is no Javier and the Yankees bats will let him know that right away. Ashcraft has been awful on the road with a 6.98 ERA and allowing an OPS of 0.781. Expect those numbers to rise today and if you are feeling a bit adventurous, you could even take the Yankees at -2.5 for even money.
Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 run line (+110)
It has been 41 years since the Dodgers and Yankees squared off in the World Series and we could possibly see these two powerhouses in the Fall Classic this season. Interestingly, these two coastal teams went at it 3 times for all of the marbles from 1977 – 1981 and 7 times during the 40s and 50s when they were cross-town rivals. I am not sure why it has taken so long to get both of these teams to play each other in the World Series but if it happens this year, you can bet it will be a ratings bonanza for MLB.
Just as I have confidence in the Yankees to win by at least 2 runs today, I feel the same for the Dodgers. They are winners of seven straight games and have gone 9-1 in their last 10 games. With the return of Mookie Betts, the Dodgers are hitting the ball well again. In fact, the Dodgers had an OPS of 0.736 in June which is when Betts missed the second half that month due to injury. Since his return on July 3, the Dodgers are 7-1 and have an OPS of 0.825 this month. Don’t underestimate the value of a talented leadoff hitter.
The Cardinals are sending a young kid out there in Matthew Liberatore. He looked sharp in 4 innings pitched against the Braves in his last start but has been pummeled by the Phillies, Cubs, and Pirates earlier this season. He is also a lefty who does not fare well against right-handed bats. In 85 plate appearances against right-handed hitters, Liberatore is allowing an OPS of 0.968 and has struck out just 14 batters while walking 12. Meanwhile, the right-handed power of Dodgers which includes Betts, Trea Turner, and Will Smith feast off left-handed pitching. Their combined OPS against lefties this season is 0.889.
Don’t worry about Mitch White for the Dodgers. He will get the hook pretty quick after 4-5 IP and then let the Dodgers’ brilliant bullpen carry the rest of the way. After all, the Dodgers pitching staff leads all big-league teams with a 2.96 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. Those numbers are even better on the road. Combine this play with the Yankees in a parlay and you are looking at a 2.5x return on your money. Let’s call it the Fall Classic parlay!
San Diego Padres – Colorado Rockies Over 11.5 runs (-105)
I have to say that playing the run total for games in Colorado is tricky. It has been since a team was established in the Rocky Mountains back in 1993. We can go on and on about the thin air and high elevation but the sportsbooks will always adjust by making the line somewhere between 10 – 12 runs. There are a few things to consider when taking the over. How is the temperature? How are the starting pitchers? How are both teams hitting at the current moment? I would say that the answers to all three of those questions support taking the over.
First off, the game-time temperature for Colorado today is 90 degrees. Couple that with high elevation and we should see some HRs tonight. As for the pitching, last night we got close to 11.5 runs and both starting pitchers lasted six innings while giving up two runs each. Clearly, the bullpens for both teams are not playing well and could hemorrhage more runs today.
I highly doubt that the starting pitchers for tonight last more than five innings. In fact, Padres pitcher Mike Clevinger has reached 6 IP just twice in the eight games he has started this season and in one of those two games, he gave up 4 runs. As for Rockies pitcher Austin Gomber, he has reached 6 IP just once in his last 8 starts and his record at home is atrocious: 2-4, 6.64 ERA, 9 HRs allowed, and just 24 Ks over 7 starts/39.1 IP. He is especially bad against RHB this season with an allowed OPS of 0.939.
The projected 1-3-5 hitters for San Diego today are RHB and have done very well against left-handed pitching this season. Even Jake Cronenworth, a lefty and projected #2 in the batting order, is a reverse splits hitter. I wouldn’t be surprised if Padres get close to 11 or 12 runs on their own.
There you have it. Trust the data and let’s finish off the 1st half of the MLB season on a high note. Good luck!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)