Monkey Knife Fight Home Run Derby:
Cincinnati Reds at Colorado Rockies
This is an odd, but interesting, MLB slate tonight. The Colorado Rockies are at home against the Cincinnati Reds in what is expected to be a very high-scoring affair. Vegas has the game set at 12 total runs, the highest on the slate. However, neither the Rockies nor the Reds have the highest implied run total. That belongs to the New York Yankees, who are expected to score 7.1 runs against the Toronto Blue Jays and Aaron Sanchez. Unfortunately, Sanchez has a low fly ball rate, so attacking Gray makes much more sense, but which Gray? Sonny Gray is on the mound for the Reds, while Jon Gray is on the mound for the Rockies. Sonny is allowing 0.9 HR/9 to Jon’s 1.4. Sonny has a 59% ground ball rate to Jon’s 40%. Sonny has a 25% hard hit rate to Jon’s 43%. Do you notice a trend? Yes; attack Jon Gray. The Reds are the betting underdogs, but still expected to score 5.6 runs, and their team is loaded with power (a good strategy when you play half your games in Cincinnati’s hitter-friendly stadium). First, roster Eugenio Suarez. Suarez is expected to hit third in the Reds’ batting order, and he is averaging 0.06 HR/AB. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 246 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 98 MPH, a fly ball rate just under 40%, and a hard hit rate over 60%. That has translated well into real-world situations. In his last 10 games, he is hitting .256 with 4 home runs and 9 RBIs. Suarez is a lock tonight. Next, look toward Derek Dietrich for home run upside. He is expected to hit sixth tonight for the Reds, and he gets a good matchup against the right-handed Gray. He enters tonight’s game with 0.092 ISO and 0.055 wOBA differentials, and he is hitting slightly more home runs per-at-bat than Suarez at 0.061. Dietrich has been struggling, but he is expected to play tonight against a right-hander in Coors Field. If he is ever going to go yard, tonight is the night. Finally, round out the lineup with Yasiel Puig. Puig has been on fire over his last 10 games, hitting .412 with 4 home runs and 7 RBIs. He is expected to hit fifth tonight for the Reds, and he has positive splits against right-handed pitching. He enters tonight’s game with 0.063 ISO and 0.062 wOBA differentials. On the season, he is hitting 0.07 HR/AB. In the last 15 days, he has a good average exit velocity of 95 MPH, a decent fly ball rate of 37%, and a good hard hit rate closing in on 50%. The Reds are going to score, and scoring in Coors Field generally entails home runs. As a side note, if Dietrich is out tonight, just swap him for Scooter Gennett.
Recommended Batters: Eugenio Suarez, Derek Dietrich, Yasiel Puig
Home Run Prop Bet:
Eugenio Suarez (+205) – Cincinnati Reds – 3B
Eugenio Suarez and Yasiel Puig are both likely to hit a home run tonight, but Suarez is sporting slightly better odds value. He has advanced metrics similar to, if not better than, Puig, despite Puig’s better performances of recent. Derek Dietrich is not currently listed as a betting option (it is possible that he does not play tonight), but if he does eventually get listed, and the odds are over +300, make the bet.
Currently, PrizePicks does not offer a chance to wager on any of these three recommendations. Check back later, as their website is consistently updated throughout the day.
*Odds are from MyBookie. They continually update available prop bets on their prop builder, so odds should be released closer to the start of the contests. If you do not see the recommended player available, he will likely become available later in the day, and odds will be updated in the article when that happens.*
Follow Jason Bales (@BalesTJason)
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