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The One Hitter: MLB game-by-game betting breakdown (6/11)

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Matt Kupferle

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Each day, we are going to try and give you a quick preview of today’s main slate and any interesting betting angles that we spot. Take a peek and let us know what your thoughts are around our new daily piece.

San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals

Giants (+152), Nationals (-180)
Total: 7.5 runs
Anthony DeSclafani (R) vs. Max Scherzer (R)

Tony Disco and Mad Max square up in the game with the second-lowest over/under total of the day, and this should be a good one to watch. The series opener was delayed by a day thanks to inclement weather, but this one we should get excited about. DeSclafani has finally gotten out of Cincinnati and been unleashed, and he has been solid with nearly a strikeout per inning in 66 frames. Scherzer? Yea, he’s still dope – he’s got a career best strikeout rate (36.2%) humming so far this year.

Best bets: This is a tiny over/under, so I’m avoiding that bet. The Nats offense is dreadful, so perhaps pick a home run prop or two.

San Diego Padres at New York Mets

Padres (+158), Mets (-188)
Total: 5.5 runs
Blake Snell (L) vs. Jacob deGrom (R)

I tried doing some over/under research here, because I am not sure I have ever seen a total this low. This is truly incredible – and while we all understand and love the exploits of a guy like deGrom, this over/under hinges on which Blake Snell shows up. He was brilliant last time out, firing his slider for strikes instead of as a wipeout pitch, and that led him to seven scoreless frames against this same team. No one needs to wax poetically about the superlatives on deGrom. 

Best bets: The OVER feels obvious here. While I think JdG beasts out, I don’t see a repeat performance from Snell. 

Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays

Orioles (+146), Rays (-174)
Total: 7.5 runs
Keegan Akin (L) vs. Ryan Yarbrough (L)

The Rays have surged to the top of the AL East for one reason – and it has absolutely nothing to do with their offense. They have a fairly mediocre team wOBA (.304), and they are second-worst in major league baseball with a 27.2% strikeout clip. It’s their beautiful pitching staff that continues to crush, and Ryan Yarbrough has been really good again this season. But, he will face a modicum of solid starting pitching on the other side of the hill tonight – Keegan Akin has been really good (3.25 FIP, 21.2% strikeout rate).

Best bets: After the comments from Willy Adames, where he said The Trop was a horrible place to hit, it is starting to make sense. Still, I like a F5 bet for the Rays. 

Colorado Rockies at Cincinnati Reds

Rockies (+184), Reds (-220)
Total: 9.5 runs
Kyle Freeland (L) vs. Tyler Mahle (R)

Is the fire sale out of Denver about to begin? As they continue to drop into a place of despair, it only is a matter of time before big bats like Charlie Blackmon and Trevor Story are shipped off, right? The Rockies have continued their poor hitting tendencies away from altitude, sporting a 27.2% strikeout rate and sub-.300 wOBA. Now, maybe a hitter-haven like Great American Smallpark can cure their ills, but their pitching has to be figured out. Kyle Freeland gets the ball, and he’s been torched in 13 innings pitched this season for a 6.56 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, and only seven strikeouts.

Best bets: Major, major smash spot here for the Reds. Moneyline, F5, home run calls, they all make sense. 

Toronto Blue Jays at Boston Red Sox

Blue Jays (+106), Red Sox (-124)
Total: 9.5 runs
Ross Stripling (R) vs. Garrett Richards (R)

A day after a nail-biting pitching affair in Boston (perhaps that was a little tongue in cheek), the Red Sox offense may have awakened from their recent Rumpelstiltskin-like slumber rapping out 12 runs. Could Friday be the same remix? I think that it could. Ross Stripling, long the coveted darling of the Dodgers organization, the right-hander continues to run into trouble thanks to home runs, allowing 1.71 per nine (HR/9) this season. On the flip side, Garrett Richards has not possessed those same issues, but handing out free passes like Halloween candy has been a major concern, sporting an 11.3% walk rate. 

Best bets: The OVER. These offenses are two of the best in the game, and with poor hurlers on the mound, this thing could skyrocket. 

Chicago White Sox at Detroit Tigers

White Sox (-166), Tigers (+140)
Total: 8.5 runs
Lucas Giolito (R) vs. Tarik Skubal (L)

Other pitching matchups on the slate will get attention, but this duo of Lucas Giolito and Tarik Skubal is the bees’ knees. Skubal has been truly outstanding in recent turns on the bump, and his biggest concern will be the White Sox and their league-leading team wOBA mark of .367 against lefties. On the flip side, a quick peek at Giolito’s season-long metrics may give you pause – but let’s be real here. A Patriot’s Day game disaster in Boston, where Giolito couldn’t make it through two frames, buried his traditional metrics. That outing aside, he’s got a sub-3.00 ERA for the year.

Best bets: I love strikeout props for both of these arms – the White Sox are good against lefties, so a homer prop with José Abreu makes a ton of sense. 

Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians

Mariners (+150), Indians (-178)
Total: 9.0 runs
Justin Dunn (R) vs. Aaron Civale (R)

After trading away Francisco Lindor, Cleveland fans and fantasy baseball players alike were wondering where the offense was going to come from. News flash: with a .296 wOBA and 23.3% strikeout rate, it may not be coming. And while the arms have been solid, Aaron Civale has not taken the leap forward that many had hoped for. Among qualified starters (63), Civale sports the second-worst called-plus-swinging-strike rate (CSW) in the league. 

Best bets: Justin Dunn, the Mariners starter, struggled before hitting the Injured List, and the Mariners have one of the league’s worst bullpens. I like a Cleveland F5 bet here.

Atlanta Braves at Miami Marlins

Braves (-118), Marlins (+100)
Total: 7.5 runs
Charlie Morton (R) vs. Sandy Alcantara (R)

There’s no arguing the Braves have one of the league’s best offenses, headlined by sluggers like Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies (team .322 wOBA). But in an interesting split here, would you be surprised to understand that Los Bravos dip to a team wOBA mark of .300 on the road (11th-worst)? It’s true – and Marlins Park will do them no favors. So far in 2021, it ranks easily as the league’s toughest park in terms of park factor.

Best bets: This is a dicey number, but given the park and these teams respective struggles, I like the UNDER.

Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers

Pirates (+250), Brewers (-310)
Total: 7.5 runs
Chase De Jong (R) vs. Brandon Woodruff (R)

Could Milwaukee’s offense be truly resurrected by the acquisition of Willy Adames from the Rays? It may be true, and it’s not like Keston Hiura, recently demoted to Nashville for the second time on this young season, was helping much. Adames sports some interesting career splits – in nearly 1,300 plate appearances his 130 wRC+ road mark blows away his mark at the top of 78. And he’s been an absolute monster since the trade (small sample size alert), sporting a mark of 140.

Best bets: Total and utter smash spot for the Brewers here – F5, moneyline, Woodruff K prop. You name it. 

Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins

Astros (-164), Twins (+138)
Total: 11.0 runs
José Urquidy (R) vs. Matt Shoemaker (R)

Matt Shoemaker is a microcosm of the entire Twins season so far – their pitching has been absolutely dreadful, and it could be a big reason why this contender-turned-pretender could be a deadline seller this season. Shoemaker has been rocked for a 5.99 FIP, and hitters are teeing off – he’s allowed 1.95 HR/9. José Urquidy, meanwhile, has been outstanding since returning from injury – he may not whiff a ton of bats, but a 5.4% walk rate shows his elite control and command.

Best bets: I know the ‘Stros were involved in a blood bath yesterday, but I just can’t get my arms around this bet. Maybe an Astros home run prop or the UNDER. 

Los Angeles Angels at Arizona Diamondbacks

Angels (-142), Diamondbacks (+120)
Total: 9.0 runs
Shohei Ohtani (R) vs. Merrill Kelly (R)

Let’s gush a bit on Shohei Ohtani, shall we? Since the likes of Babe Ruth, we have yet to see a player with this kind of talent absolutely smash on both sides of the field. Ohtani is on pace to rip 40 homers and steal 20 bags, and he could log a 30% strikeout rate. Truly insane and absolutely fun to watch. What makes this game appear even more lopsided is that Merrill Kelly has stunk so far this year – his 36.7% hard-hit rate continually puts him in trouble.

Best bets: I am perplexed that this line isn’t more one sided, but I love an Angels moneyline bet here. 

Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics

Royals (+112), A’s (-132)
Total: 8.5 runs
Brady Singer (R) vs. Cole Irvin (L)

I initially read this line as 98.5 runs, and that seems a bit more reasonable than the 8.5 over/under total currently set at many books. Brady Singer has whiffed plenty of hitters this season with nearly a K per inning, but he’s been obliterated as well – he’s got a WHIP of 1.46 this season, and constantly pitching with runners on base has gotten him into trouble. Likewise, pitch-to-contact southpaw Cole Irvin has come back down to earth as well, and he has been struggling as of late.

Best bets: I know that Oakland doesn’t play super hitter friendly, but these arms have stunk recently. Smash the OVER. 

Texas Rangers at Los Angeles Dodgers

Rangers (+280), Dodgers (-350)
Total: 8.0 runs
Mike Foltynewicz (R) vs. Clayton Kershaw (L)

On Friday’s slate specifically, with some gigantic arms taking the ball, Clayton Kershaw flies a bit under the radar, but should he? I don’t think so, but crusty old vets like Kershaw seem to get overlooked often for the shiny new toy. Peep Kershaw’s numbers this season – he’s been reliably, firing 76.1 innings this season to the tune of a 2.89 FIP. That’s matched by an equally impressive 28.3% strikeout rate and 4.6% walk rate. While Mike Foltynewicz has been solid this season, Kershaw should feast on a team with a wRC+ mark against lefties in 2021.

Best bets: Watch the Kershaw strikeout prop carefully – the Rangers have limited their whiffs in this split to 23.5%. However, a same-game parlay stacking Dodgers bets is a great one.

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