Let’s be honest. Nobody actually cares about this little intro blurb. It’s all about the picks. So without further adieu, this is the intro today. I hope you enjoyed it.
Adam Wainwright over 4.5 Ks +106 & PIT under 1.5 runs F5 +115
Pirates aren’t known for fearing much, but you might as well call Adam Wainwright Davey Jones at this point. Uncle Charlie shoves every single time he gets to face Pittsburgh. Their roster possesses a measly .223 xwOBA and 35.6% K rate across the compiled 101 plate appearances they have against Waino.
Since 2021, he has faced the Pirates five times and has racked up at least 5 strikeouts every time. He has thrown 36 innings and allowed just one run over this span! The Buccos have the fourth-highest strikeout rate and fourth-worst wRC+ when facing right-handed pitching this year. How about some more stats to back this up?! PIT is a bottomless pit versus curveballs with the second-worst weighted runs value (-8.1) and also have the worst rating against cutters (-7.0). Wainwright throws these pitches 53% of the time. I guess I didn’t have to go that deep into it…we all know the Pirates aren’t good.
Cardinals F5 ML -141
Now that we’ve got Wainwright’s dominance out of the way, let’s double down on why the Red Birds will lead after 5. The Pirates aren’t good. That and the Cardinals are mashing the baseball over the month of May with the sixth-best wRC+ (119) when facing righties. Zach Thompson and his 5.47 ERA will have a tough task at hand trying to slow them down today. His xERA does sit a full run lower at 4.54, but that still ranks in the bottom 27th percentile in the league. There’s no trusting the St. Louis bullpen right now with a collective xFIP of 4.65 over the last 14 days, so avoid the full game and bank on them leading after 5 innings behind Waino.
Robbie Ray over 17.5 outs -115 vs BOS
The swing-heavy Sox of Beantown simply don’t have it when facing southpaws. They swing at the highest rate in the league and have the third-worst wRC+ (79) against lefties and their form recently has been just as bad (77) over the last 14 days. There’s no better stat to back this wager up than relying on the fact that they see the fewest pitches per plate appearance (3.72) out of all teams. Despite being known as a punch-out prone pitcher, Robbie Ray actually ranks in the top 30% of all starting pitchers in terms of his Pit/PA (3.75), and has thrown the eighth-most pitches out of 137 starting pitchers.
As the ace of the Mariners, he definitely has a longer leash than most starters, going at least 6 innings in six of his eight starts this year. Dating back to ’21, Ray has eclipsed this line in 29/40 (73%) of his starts. If Martín Pérez and Dallas Keuchel can go 6 innings against the Red Sox, I’m sure the reigning Cy Young winner can as well.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)