Baseball betting is a season-long roller coaster of ups and downs, and currently I am in the midst of a lengthy down. But fear not, loyal readers, because my confidence has never wavered and that is not changing tonight as there are three games I really like on the Thursday slate.
Padres @ Marlins Moneyline After First 5 Innings
With any first 5 inning bet, a lot rides on the performance of each starting pitcher, which is why I like the Marlins in an early underdog spot on Thursday. Blake Snell looked like he might be turning a corner for the Padres going into the All-Star Break, but unfortunately he took a step back against the Nationals in his first start of the second half, allowing 6 hits, 4 walks and 4 ER in 4 innings. The fact of the matter is Zach Thompson has just been a better pitcher lately than Snell has. While these two offenses are on opposite sides of the spectrum, the Padres did struggle offensively in their two game series with the Braves, and I can easily see the Marlins getting ahead of them early. Take a chance and bet on Thompson being better than Snell for the first half of the game.
Pick: Marlins (+120 DK)
Angels @ Twins Run Line After First 5 Innings
Two of the more tantalizing and enigmatic starters in the American League, Andrew Heaney and Kenta Maeda, face off in Minnesota on Thursday night. While Maeda has shown some positive signs with 25 strikeouts and just 3 ER in his last 16 innings, Heaney just hasn’t been able to put it together, with 14 ER in 12.1 IP in his last three starts. One of the problems with Maeda is that he has only pitched 6 innings or more twice this season, which is why we are again just looking at the first 5 innings. The Twins showed they still have a potent offense on Wednesday, putting up 7 runs against Dylan Cease and the White Sox, featuring a strong No. 1-4 of Max Kepler, Jorge Polanco, Nelson Cruz, and Josh Donaldson. Look for Minnesota to attack Heaney early and provide Maeda with a lead.
Pick: Twins -0.5 (-105 DK)
Athletics @ Mariners Total Runs O/U 7.5
Over the last two weeks, runs have been scarce for AL West teams, as all five teams are in the bottom third of baseball in wOBA during that span. That includes the Mariners (.308 wOBA) and Athletics (.299 wOBA), who face off Thursday night in Seattle. To make matters worse for batters, Sean Manaea (3.28 ERA) and Chris Flexen (3.35 ERA) are on the mound for their respective teams. Manaea hasn’t exactly been dominant of late, but he has done a good job of going deep into starts, and of course there is the complete game shutout he had against the Mariners in his last start against the team on June 2. Flexen, on the other hand, has allowed more than 1 ER just once in his last 6 starts. Expect runs to be at a premium in this one, with 7.5 being simply too high a number for these offenses against two solid and extremely underrated pitchers.
Pick: UNDER 7.5 (+100 DK, -106 FD)
Kyle Stanzel Overall Record: 36-39-2
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): +$275.50
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)