Happy Monday y’all! Let’s kick off the week with some winners on this small slate of games.
Dodgers Run Line -140 vs PIT
Some trends are too hard to ignore. The Harlem Shake, Planking, Ice Bucket Challenge, and taking the Dodgers on the run line this season are a few that come to my mind. When the World Series favorites win, they win by two runs or more and are 19-0 to the run line in their victories this year.
Today, they get the bottom-table tanking Pirates, and when they lose they typically lose by a wide margin. 13 of their 16 losses have been by two or more runs. Pittsburgh gives José Quintana the task of shutting down the star-studded L.A. cast, and they haven’t had much trouble against him in the past. The roster has a .299 batting average, and .367 xwOBA in 127 plate appearances against the veteran southpaw.
The Pirates on the other hand have had a much more difficult time handling lefties. Over the last 14 days, they have by far the worst wRC+ (49) when facing left-handed pitching, and now they get Julio Urías, who has allowed just two earned runs over his last four starts. The bullpens are on the opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of xFIP with LA ranking first and Pittsburg 27th. Over their six-game winning streak, the Dodgers have dismantled their opponents, having outscored them 38-8. Expect more of the same from them in this lopsided matchup.
Padres -.5 F5 -110 vs CHC
The Cubs are in a free fall with 14 losses in their last 17 games and the worst wRC+ (53) over the last 14 days. Facing one of the best pitching prospects in MacKenzie Gore for the first time is not the antidote the Cubbies are looking for either. Gore and his 1.71 ERA shouldn’t have any problem with the Cubs considering how poorly they have faired as of late.
Kyle Hendricks toes the slab for Chicago, and it is safe to say by now that he is a shell of his former self. He had a 4.61 xFIP in ’21 and has allowed four or more runs in half of his starts this year. Coming off the Sunday Night Baseball drubbing to the Dodgers, the Cubs also had to travel west late last night without a day of rest. The one edge the Cubs appear to have over the Friars is the bullpen, so avoid the back half of the game and bank on San Diego to have the lead after 5.
Zach Plesac Under 3.5 Ks +100 vs CHW
As the most popular prop bet in baseball, you’ve got to be quick when betting on strikeouts. It is crazy to see how much movement these lines have throughout the day, and if you snooze, you will lose out on the best value available. Zach Plesac’s line (along with Chris Flexen’s) was set at 4.5 earlier, but that won’t sway me from the current price.
Obviously, I’d much rather have the under at 4.5, especially with how the White Sox fair against right-handed pitching. 17 of the 21 righties Chicago has faced have stayed under that mark, but you know who has also stayed under 3.5 strikeouts? Our guy Plesac. He couldn’t find four punchouts despite pitching into the 7th inning against the South Side Sox. His 13.9 K% ranks in the bottom 7th percentile among all starting pitchers, not far off from being in the bottom 8% last season. Plesac has also been rocked in his last 2 starts allowing 10 earned runs and 12 hits in 8 2/3 innings.
I’ll also be taking the over on 1.5 total bases for Luis Robert which is set at +106. He is seeing the ball well lately and has cleared this in six of his last seven games, going 12-29 with a double and two home runs over that span. If history tends to repeat itself then Robert should find a way to go over this line since he is also 7-13 with three doubles against Plesac.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)