Lately, I’ve been feeling like Tony La Russa with my picks. I’ve got my analysis in a 1-2 count and a K (W) is looming. I can feel it. Then, by the forces of the baseball gods, it all goes awry, and a 3-run bomb is hit. Ok, maybe that analogy doesn’t make complete sense, but neither does Mr. La Russa.
WHY THE HELL DID HE INTENTIONALLY WALK Trea Turner IN A 1-2 COUNT?! The baseball gods didn’t tell him to do that. HE DID THAT! There are only thirty of these jobs in the world and he somehow has one of them. Anywho, I’ll keep trusting the process of my analysis as it is a longgggg season.
Luis Castillo under 18.5 outs (-140) vs STL
Yes, this is juicy at -140, but it’s only juice if it doesn’t hit am I right, or am I right. I’m willing to drink the juice if for some reason it doesn’t hit though because all the analysis checks out here in my opinion. Luis Castillo has stayed under 6.1 innings pitched in five of his six starts this year, and in 27 of his last 39 starts (69%) dating back to 2021. The lone time he did manage to clear this prop this year was his previous start (111 pitches) against the Nationals, who see the fewest pitches per plate appearance.
Unfortunately for Castillo, the Cardinals are not the Nationals, and the sky is blue. The Red Birds have permitted only five of the last 25 right-handed starters to pitch into the 7th inning. Over the last 30 days, they have the 10th best wRC+ (117) against RHP and are definitely familiar with Castillo’s style of work, having seen him for a combined 191 plate appearances. As a team, St. Louis is league average when it comes to Pit/PA (3.90), but Castillo definitely is not. If he qualified, he would have the 4th highest Pit/PA (4.27) out of 118 starters.
If outs props aren’t available to you, I don’t mind the under on Castillo’s strikeouts at 5.5 (-122) considering the Cardinals have the 4th lowest K% (19.8%) vs RHP on the season. They’ve held 17 of the last 25 righty starters under 6 punch-outs and have just a 23% strikeout rate against Castillo across 182 plate appearances as a whole.
Triston McKenzie over 18.5 outs (+135) vs OAK
OAK/CLE F5 under 4.5 runs (-130)
The Oakland A’s are by far my favorite team to fade recently. Over the last 30 days, they have the 2nd worst wRC+ (81) against RHP and on the year see the 4th fewest Pit/PA (3.82). Triston McKenzie has done a fantastic job working deep into games lately and has eclipsed this in five of his last six starts including once against Oakland. Over those 6 starts, he has a 2.85 ERA and has held hitters to just a .150 batting average. Yikes did I really just cite ERA and batting average in the same sentence? He is in the top half of all pitchers in terms of Pit/PA (3.84) and the A’s swing at the ninth-highest rate. At this price, I really like this spot.
Andddd that +135 price is gone. I still like it at +105, but I will split up a unit and play that along with the first 5 under here. A little light bulb went off in my head when I stared at that total long enough. Paul Blackburn has been solid enough sporting a 3.57 xFIP this year and I already laid out how abysmal that A’s lineup is. The Guardians are just 20th in wRC+ (97) versus RHP over the last 30 days, and I think Blackburn can hold them at bay long enough. He has allowed two or fewer runs in 7 of his eleven starts this year.
Kyle Gibson over 4.5 strikeouts (-130) vs ARI
Yet another team I love to attack – The Snakes of Arizona. We faded them last article with Hunter Greene, so you best believe we’re going back to that well for some more punch-outs. If you look at Kyle Gibson’s game log this year, you would probably think this is a downright dumb and ugly play, but look at who he faced in those under spots. The Rockies (2), Mets (2), Dodgers, and Giants are all allergic to strikeouts. Everyone knows this.
The Diamondbacks, like the A’s (10 Ks), Braves (8), and Padres (7) rank in the upper echelon of strikeouts. Arizona has the third-highest K% against RHP (25.1%) this year and that rate has maintained over the last 14 days. Seven of the last ten righty starters have recorded at least 5 punchouts, so by the law of averages, he’s getting at least 5 tonight. Don’t trust my word? Trust the computers from FanGraphs SaberSim. He’s projected for 5.32 strikeouts, and is +880 to have 8 or more strikeouts on FanDuel…just sayin’.
Roansy Contreras over 4.5 strikeouts is juiced up to -150 but against the Braves and that league-high K% against RHP I think the Buccos rookie should get to at least 5 strikeouts. He’s got 26 strikeouts in 23.1 innings this year, and amassed 8 strikeouts against the D-Backs last start. A K ladder might just have to be in play for this young stud. It’s +130 for 6+Ks, +280 for 7, +615 for 8, and +1285 for 9 strikeouts. Live a little. It’s Friday.
No Runs First Inning in the ARI/PHI game intrigues me due to the NRFI records of Gibson who is 10-1 and Zac Gallen’s 9-1 record. That sits at -110.
The Yankees are rolling and welcome Wade Miley and the Cubs to town. It’s -118 for them to win on the Run Line, and with the way those bats are swinging, I’m having a hard time laying off my team at home against a subpar pitcher who they have smashed in the past for a collective .349 xwOBA in 165 plate appearances. Luis Severino is on the bump for the Yanks and he has been stellar since returning from injury. Just saw this funny little stat as well. Yankees are 15-3 to start a series…they’re also 41-16 on the season so that makes sense.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)