Friday gives us a full slate with all thirty teams in action and more importantly a chance to forget last week’s disgraceful hat trick.
Colorado Rockies Total Runs
Overall, the Rockies’ offense has been not so good to put it modestly with a team wOBA of .301 (21st). A return to Coors Field and a faceoff with an equally struggling Diamondbacks’ pitching staff could provide a one night panacea for their woes. Journeyman Seth Frankoff will be making just his fifth major-league appearance since his debut back in 2017 for the Cubs. He spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons in the KBO and returned a modest K rate of 21.6% and 22.4% in those two years respectively. Point being, we can expect plenty of balls to be put in play and at Coors that’s a recipe for runs. The Diamondbacks’ bullpen has struggled too with their relievers combining for a 4.94 ERA (5th worst). And their relievers’ combined K-BB% this year is also fifth-worst at 12.7%. Supposing we don’t get some really watered down version of their lineup this evening, I like the Rockies’ chances of going over this total. I’m no weatherman, of course, but things do look conducive for offense tonight in Denver with temperatures around 76 degrees at game time to go along with wind gusts blowing straight out.
Pick: Over 5.5 (-129 DraftKings)
Aaron Nola Total Strikeouts
Aaron Nola has been sublime through his first nine turns with a 23.3% K-BB% and 30.5% CSW. He gets the Red Sox, who have struck out at a 24.3% rate against RHP this season which is good for 13th highest, so they aren’t necessarily the worst matchup in the world for strikeouts. Nola’s K rate has regressed, not surprisingly, from last year’s 33.2% but still stands at an excellent 27.2% on the year. A key advantage for Nola getting to this total is that he’ll be at home and get at least a couple of opportunities against an A.L. pitcher trying to wield a bat in Martín Pérez. And another plus is that Joe Girardi has shown that he’s perfectly fine letting his ace go if he’s pitching well as we’ve seen Nola’s pitch count crest to 114 three starts ago against the Brewers. At these odds, I’d be willing to take a chance on a pitcher of Nola’s caliber.
I’m also at least a little tempted by Jordan Montgomery’s K prop on DraftKings of 4.5 as he has reached that threshold in four of his eight starts, however, the one thing holding me back there is his pitch count. The Yankees have been so tight with the lefty as he still hasn’t reached 90 pitches in a start yet and against a White Sox offense with a reputation for eating up lefties it’s hard to imagine him being let loose tonight.
Pick: Over 7.5 (+100 DraftKings)
Mike Minor Total Strikeouts
In his last start out against a White Sox offense whose reputation precedes them, Mike Minor tallied seven strikeouts backed by a 28% CSW. An encouraging start, but admittedly 2021 as a whole hasn’t graced us with the best version of the veteran lefty. Velocity wise he’s still off relative to his stellar 2019 and his changeup hasn’t been as reliable this year in terms of whiffs. But really this comes down to picking on the Tigers. So far this year they lead the pack with a 33.7% K rate as a team against lefties, ahead of the Rays at 31.5%. Minor has managed seven plus strikeouts in three of his last five starts and now with the best matchup on the board for strikeouts on tap, I think he’s got a decent chance to get there again tonight.
Pick: Over 6.5 (-109 DraftKings)
Ryan Amore Overall Record: 8-13-0
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)