Welcome to the Bets of the Day column for Tuesday. Also, Happy Summer! If you have kids, they are probably in their last week of school or already wrapped up the school year. With warm temperatures and sunny skies throughout most of the US and the smell of BBQ every night, summer has arrived! Yours truly is currently sitting poolside while writing this article and enjoying the sound of sprinklers and the cool morning breeze. I can’t think of a better feeling except for one … going 13-2 last month! Three times the picks went 3-0! I call that an outstanding month!
It is hard to keep up that momentum and there will be some days the picks go 1-2 or the dreaded 0-3. Still, if we are vigilant about using in-season data and judicious about which games to play, we can achieve profitability in the long run. So what does the analysis like for today? As usual, I will highlight three picks. Let’s get to it!
Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5 Run Line (+130)
By now you should know that I rarely take the -1.5 run line when the favored team is at home. It’s just too risky given the nature of baseball. The home team is up by two or more runs but the bullpen gives up some runs to tie the game. Then the home team gets the game-winning run in the bottom of the 9th or extra innings. The home team wins by one run and you lose your bet. That’s no fun and it’s a total slap in the face since you were right for most of the game but the way baseball is played screwed you.
Instead, we must be judicious when taking the run line as I mentioned earlier in this article. That is why we are taking one of the best teams in baseball on the road against a mediocre home team. The Dodgers have the third-best overall record in the majors and are tied with the Yankees for the best road record at 0.667. What’s even more impressive is that 17 of the Dodgers’ 18 road victories have been by two or more runs. Meanwhile, the White Sox have struggled at home with an 11-13 record. Of the White Sox’s 13 home losses, 11 of them have been by two or more runs.
While the pitching matchup looks stronger for Chicago, let’s dive a bit deeper. Michael Kopech is no doubt a better pitcher than Mitch White but according to Statcast, Kopech is due for negative regression. His current ERA is 2.20 but his expected ERA is 3.48. The longer we go into the season and the wider the delta between real and expected ERA, the more likely he will get blown up. If you do the math, Kopech would have to give up 8 earned runs for 5 innings pitched for his real ERA to match his expected ERA. That is certainly possible since Kopech averages 5 innings per start and the Dodgers can pop off for 8 runs in any given game.
As for White, his real ERA and expected ERA are about the same. While a 4.79 ERA is not great, the Dodgers will not hesitate to pull him if he gets into a jam. After all, the Dodgers have one of the best bullpens in all of baseball and after a day off yesterday, the bullpen is well-rested. The Dodgers are due for a big win and today could be that day they blow up.
Houston Astros Money Line (-250)
Now we take a more conservative approach with Houston. You could try to sweeten the pot by taking the -1.5 run line but I would caution against that. Houston is a better team than Seattle and Justin Verlander is a WAY better pitcher than Chris Flexen. And yes, Houston is heavily favored. Still, Houston sometimes can find themselves in a big hole and sometimes will need late-game heroics to dig them out of that hole. Seattle has not been bad going 7-3 in their last 10 games while Houston is 6-4. However, the Astros win 2 out of 3 games at home while the Mariners usually lose 2 out of 3 games on the road. Of course, Seattle won last night so the trend we should expect today is for Houston to win today and tomorrow to take the series victory. Since we already have a positive multiplier with the Dodgers’ -1.5 run line, let’s play it safe with the Houston money line. Parlaying those two will pay more than 2x.
San Francisco Giants Money Line (-225)
Here we have another conservative selection. The Giants are your typical walk-off win type of team. I have been blessed to have seen so many dramatic 1-run victories at Oracle Park, especially in the postseason. While that is exciting for the home crowd, it can burn a hole in your pocket if you take the -1.5 run line. Given that the Giants play in a pitcher’s park and the evening temperatures could dip to the low 50s as the game wears on, expect a low scoring and close game but the Giants to pull it out at the end.
Carlos Rodón takes the hill for the Giants and he has been spectacular. He should provide at least 6 solid innings with near double-digit Ks and keep the walks and earned runs down to a minimum. Meanwhile, the Rockies struggle on the road, especially in the first game away from Coors Field. They struggle when they have to play in San Francisco. You go from super high elevation to sea level and from a warm climate to a frigid one. The under could be a good play but German Marquez might get blown up. The Giants’ bats are pesky and you just never know when the splash hits are coming.
Still, four of the Giants’ 13 home victories this season have been by just one run. You will be kicking yourself at the end of the night if you parlayed LAD -1.5 run line, HOU money line, and then SFG -1.5 run line only to see the Giants get another walk-off win at home and you lose your parlay. Play it safe by taking the money line. A parlay with HOU and SFG, both money lines, pays even money. You could also consider a Round Robin with my three plays.
There you have it. Trust the data and we should have another perfect day. Great way to start the summer season!
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)