Thank you to those that served and sacrificed for their country. Let’s celebrate them this Memorial Day Monday.
Oakland A’s (+150) vs. HOU
Does the trend continue, or does it fade as soon as I take them? That is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take Paul Blackburn’s arm against a sea of Astros, and by opposing end them? I want to keep going with this soliloquy and intertwine Blackburn stats, but I’ll stop that and say the A’s are 8-1 when Blackburn starts this year.
His dazzling 1.70 ERA isn’t as shiny as it appears under the hood with a 3.39 xFIP, but he is still pitching great. There’s also no denying the Astros’ bats have been ice-cold lately. Houston has the worst wRC+ over the last seven days and has scored two or fewer runs in seven of their last nine games. Facing off against lefty Framber Valdez also works in the A’s favor considering they have the sixth-best wRC+ (118) vs LHP over the last 30 days.
Oakland has a lineup full of batters hitting from the right side today, while the ‘Stros will be without Kyle Tucker. Hitting out of the second spot, I’m also liking Chad Pinder’s total base prop over 1.5 at +152. He is 6-for-16 with two homers against Valdez and is 12-for-36 with four doubles and two dingers over his last 11 appearances. He has cleared this prop in seven of his last nine starts. I took the A’s to have under 69.5 wins earlier this year, but I’ll ignore that today and hope this Blackburn trend continues.
Zac Gallen Over 17.5 Outs (-120) vs. ATL
Shameless Twitter plug insert here. I post plays on the daily there as well. Unfortunately, that Atlanta team total no longer exists, and the line sits at 1.5 (+130) instead of 2.5 (-140). The under is still enticing considering Zac Gallen hasn’t allowed more than one run to score in the first five innings in seven of his eight starts. However, his out prop is another way to fade Atlanta’s incompetent lineup.
As stated in tweet form, Atlanta has the worst wRC+ and worst strikeout rate against RHP over the last 14 days. Gallen doesn’t produce the most strikeouts and his line is set at 6.5 (+120), so I’m looking to his out prop instead. Ignoring his first two starts when he was building up his pitch count, Gallen has pitched at least six innings in four of his last six starts.
It is highly unlikely the Diamondbacks will turn to their league-worst bullpen (4.57 xFIP) too early either. Atlanta has permitted 8 of the last 11 opposing righthanded starters to go at least six innings, and Gallen ranks in the top 95 percentile in xwOBA, xERA, and xBA during a fantastic season. He should shake off his last outing and go at least six innings in this plus matchup.
Dodgers Half-Time/Full-Time (-120) vs, PIT
Pirates vs Dodgers. David vs Goliath. David is not coming out on top in this one. Ultimately this wager comes down to if Goliath will have the lead after five innings, and if they can hold onto that lead to a victory after all nine. With Walker Buehler on the bump, I see no reason why the Dodgers don’t get this done.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)