Monkey Knife Fight Home Run Derby:
Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros
Today will be the last article prior to the start of the All-Star break, so enjoy it! There is a decent seven-game slate tonight, but not a single game is set in the double digits regarding total runs via Vegas. Fortunately, three teams have an implied run total of 5.1 or higher. The Oakland Athletics are expected to score 5.2 runs, but Marco Gonzales is a ground ball pitcher with little home run liability. That leaves the Houston Astros (5.1) and New York Mets (5.1). Andrew Heaney is allowing 1.8 HR/9 compared to Jake Arrieta at 1.4. On top of that, the weather will be slightly hotter with slightly higher wind speeds in Houston. If that isn’t enough, Heaney has a fly ball rate over 30% and a hard hit rate just under 60%, while Arrieta has a ground ball rate of 55% and a hard hit rate under 35%. The Astros are the recommendation, but which specific players should be rostered? There are two obvious options, and from there, the third spot on the lineup is wide open. Alex Bregman is a must play. He is expected to hit third for the Astros tonight, and he is hitting 0.066 HR/AB. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 221 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 91 MPH, a fly ball rate over 55%, and a hard hit rate over 30%. In his last 10 games, he has 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. With 23 home runs on the season, he is a clear power option. Next, roster Yordan Alvarez. In his last 10 games, ‘Air Yordan’ is hitting .289 with 3 home runs and 13 RBIs. He has seven home runs on the season, which is impressive considering his limited at-bats. That translates to a team-high 0.117 HR/AB. His advanced metrics are also insane. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 242 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 97 MPH, a fly ball rate over 40%, and a hard hit rate over 50%. He should hit fifth in the batting order tonight. Finally, pass on George Springer due to a low average exit velocity (89 MPH); pass on Robinson Chirinos due to a low fly ball rate (29%); pass on Jose Altuve for the same reason as Springer (87 MPH); and roster Tyler White. White has been terrible over his last 10 games, hitting .107 with only 1 home run. However, he has an average exit velocity of 90 MPH over the last 15 days, and his fly ball rate is 45%. If his 25% hard hit rate starts to increase, so will his home runs and batting average. White is a long shot to go distance, but luckily, this lineup already has both Bregman and Alvarez.
Recommended Batters: Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, Tyler White
Home Run Prop Bet:
Yordan Alvarez (TBA) – Houston Astros – OF
Tyler White is out of contention for a solo home run bet. That leaves both Alex Bregman and Yordan Alvarez. Alvarez is currently winning in both average exit velocity on batted balls over the last 15 days and hard hit rate. Bregman is hitting more fly balls, but fly balls without exit velocity are outs. Alvarez makes slightly more sense, especially if the MyBookie odds enough up being very close together.
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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