All we’ve heard about all weekend is all the Game 7s happening in the NBA and NHL playoffs. Well, guess what? We’ve had a pretty good weekend of baseball too, and it continues on Sunday with a loaded slate that features a ton of great pitching matchups, including a beautiful 11:35 AM EST battle between Joe Musgrove and the Padres and Kyle Wright and the Braves. What a great time to be a sports fan.
This season, I have decided to treat readers to four bets in each article under the following parameters: 1) A bet on a team, 2) A bet on a total, 3) A batter prop bet, and 4) A pitcher prop bet. Hopefully, this diversification will lead to success in our wagers (but probably not).
Royals @ Rockies Run Line
After a week-long road trip, the Colorado Rockies returned home to Coors Field on Friday and have torched Royals pitching, scoring ten runs in each of the first two games of this series. Coors Field is always going to produce some great offensive numbers, and Colorado has also been particularly impressive against LHP so far this season, hitting over .300 and putting up a 119 wRC+ (4th in baseball). Daniel Lynch takes the mound for Kansas City, and he has labored in his last two starts after an encouraging stretch. I believe in Lynch long-term, but he walked four batters in 3.2 innings in his last start, and his stuff will flatten in the thin Denver air. That is not a great combination against a sneaky dangerous Rockies lineup.
Austin Gomber starts for Colorado, and for whatever reason, he has not experienced the struggles at Coors Field that most pitchers do. In 12 career starts, the 28-year-old lefty is 7-2 with a 2.52 ERA and a terrific 1.10 WHIP. He held a hot Nationals team to just 2 ERs in 6.2 innings in his last home start, and he should have an easier assignment here with a Kansas City team that has produced a bottom ten wRC+ of 88 against LHP. Everything sets up here nicely for a Rockies win, and I think this is a game where the Royals will just want to take their lumps and get on the plane to go home after over a week and a half on the road.
Pick: Rockies -1.5 (+125 DK, +120 FD)
Yankees @ White Sox O/U 2.5 Runs After 3 Innings
One of the more intriguing pitching matchups of the day has surprising Pinstripes upstart Nestor Cortes facing off against former top prospect Michael Kopech in Chicago. Cortes was absolutely brilliant in his last start, carrying a no-hitter into the 8th inning with 11 strikeouts against the Rangers. Unfortunately, this is not the Rangers. Once again, the White Sox are the top team in baseball against LHP, and even a crafty magician like Cortes could see some trouble with the likes of Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu at the top of that lineup.
It really is great to see Kopech finally realizing his tremendous potential this season after experiencing an array of struggles early in his Major League career. The uber-talented 26-year-old hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, striking out 12 in 10 innings. However, those starts were against the Indians and Cubs. This is a Yankees team that put up 25 runs in the first two games of this series. In the last week, Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge have combined for 8 HRs and 23 RBI. I think both of these pitchers are going to experience some struggles early in this game that they haven’t really experienced yet this season. It happens to everyone at some point, and these two teams have the offensive firepower to score on anyone. In the first three games of this series, New York and Chicago have averaged five runs in the first three innings of each game, and I expect that trend to continue despite the quality starting pitching.
Pick: OVER 2.5 Runs After 3 Innings (+100 DK, -108 FD)
Taylor Ward O/U 0.5 Hits & CJ Cron O/U 1.5 Total Bases
Man, am I glad I picked up Taylor Ward in almost every fantasy league. The 28-year-old continued his All-Star-level play on Saturday, going 3 for 3 with a grand slam, and he is now slashing .384/.505/.744 on the young season. He just continues to be the perfect table-setter for Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani and is a big reason for the Angels’ early-season success. On Sunday, the Halos face Oakland power righty Frankie Montas, who has been just so-so of late. On top of that, in 5 ABs against Montas, Ward has three hits and a home run. One hit should be no problem.
As we detailed above, the Rockies love to hit LHPs, and C.J. Cron epitomizes that notion. The powerful veteran already has 9 HRs on the year, including three against lefties, and has a career 125 wRC+ against southpaws compared to 110 wRC+ against RHPs. Cron’s HR prop did tantalize me a little bit, but the odds just weren’t that great, so I will settle for parlaying his total bases with Ward to get a hit. With Cron’s success against LHPs like Daniel Lynch and Coors Field’s propensity for extra-base hits, I’m confident in this batter parlay.
Pick: Ward OVER 0.5 Hits & Cron OVER 1.5 Total Bases (+151 DK, +139)
Tarik Skubal to Record a Win
Another budding star I am happy to roster in multiple fantasy leagues, Tarik Skubal, has been a tremendous bright spot for a struggling Detroit team that had high hopes coming into the season. In back-to-back starts against the Astros and Athletics, Skubal combined to allow just 2 ERs in 13 innings while striking out 14 batters.
On Sunday, he faces a Baltimore Orioles squad that has scored just six runs in its last four games and has struggled mightily against LHPs this season, producing a 3rd-worst 81 wRC+ and a 26.8% K%. Detroit and Skubal will be looking for the sweep as they take on Tyler Wells, who has also been a bright spot for a struggling Orioles team. While he has done a great job of limiting hard contact, Wells just doesn’t miss enough bats (17.3%), and I think Detroit will be able to push across enough runs to support Skubal for the win.
Pick: Skubal to Record a Win (+130 DK)
Kyle Stanzel Overall Record: 21-19-0
Net Money (Assuming all wagers are $100): $522.30
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)