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Easy Breezy: Chalk Stack
St. Louis Cardinals
The St. Louis Cardinals have found plenty of offensive success this season, ranking ninth in the MLB in runs scored, 17th in home runs, fifth in team batting average, and 11th in OPS. They found more success on the road in 2018, where they posted a .253 average with a .435 slugging percentage and a .763 OPS. St. Louis also averaged 5.0 runs and 3.3 extra-base hits per game away from home last season. Tonight, the Cardinals are -136 favorites in a game set at 11 runs, giving them the highest implied run total on the slate at 6 runs.
St. Louis gets a matchup against Adrian Sampson, who is expected to play the long reliever role tonight. He has struggled through nine games (five starts) this season, posting an 0-3 record with a 5.25 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP. He also brings a 5.67 xFIP and a 5.14 SIERA into this game. Sampson has also allowed a 41.3% fly ball rate in 2019, although he has only allowed a 14% HR/FB rate. Furthermore, his opponents have recorded a 47.5% hard hit rate against him, while also recording only a 15.6% soft hit rate. Sampson has struggled with strikeouts, as well, posting only 14.4% strikeout and 9.1% swinging strike rates in 2019. He has been a reverse splits pitcher throughout his career, allowing right-handed batters to hit for a .350 average with a .635 slugging percentage and a .437 wOBA. He has also allowed lefties to hit for a .248/.470/.321 line in the same categories, though. Furthermore, his opponents have hit for a career .300/.500/.360 line against him in Texas. Jose Leclerc is also expected to draw the start in this game, and he has been less than effective in 2019. This is an overall elite matchup for St. Louis.
Important Odds: Vegas Stack
Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers have featured an elite offense throughout the 2019 season. Through 45 games, they rank fourth in the MLB in runs scored and OPS, fifth in home runs, and eighth in team batting average. The Dodgers were better on the road this season, as they posted a .258 average with a .449 slugging percentage and a .793 OPS away from home. They also averaged 5.4 runs and 3.7 extra-base hits per game in those contests. Los Angeles is currently a -127 favorite in a game set at 9.5 runs, and they feature an implied run total of 5.1 runs tonight.
The Dodgers get a matchup against Anthony DeSclafani, who has seen mixed results this season. He enters this game with a 2-1 record with a 4.17 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP through eight starts. He also owns a 4.27 xFIP and a 3.95 SIERA this season. DeSclafani has allowd a terrible 45% fly ball rate in 2019, although his opponents only own a 14.3% HR/FB rate. He has also allowed a 41.1% hard hit rate this season, while posting a 17.9% soft hit rate. DeSclafani’s strikeout rate is also up to 26.4% this season, while his swinging strike rate sits at 10.6%. He struggled quite a bit against left-handed batters last season, allowing them to hit for a .288 average with a .575 slugging percentage and a .385 wOBA. He also allowed his opponents to hit for a .267/.473/.333 line in Cincinnati in 2018. Los Angeles is one of the most powerful offenses in the MLB, and they come with elite home run upside in this particular matchup.
Bales’ Bombs: HR Predictor
Pederson will be playing in the Cincinnati Reds hitter friendly stadium tonight, and he owns 0.175 wOBA and 0.251 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching. He has also been playing well recently, posting 58% hard hit and 41% fly ball rates with a 95 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days.
Hoskins enters this game with 54% hard hit and 41% fly ball rates to go along with a 97 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days. He has also been a reverse splits pitcher, as he brings 0.083 wOBA and 0.142 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching into this game.
Rendon has been a slightly better option against left-handed pitching, as he owns 0.001 wOBA and 0.059 ISO differentials against lefties. He has also posted 62% hard hit and 59% fly ball rates with a 97 MPH exit velocity since returning from injury. He’s also hitting .379 with a .707 slugging percentage at home this season.
Hidden Gem: Value Pitcher
Irvin has shown flashes in the MiLB, but he hasn’t necessarily been a dominant pitcher. He looked outstanding in his MLB debut, though, allowing only one run with five strikeouts over seven innings against the Kansas City Royals. He has never posted dominant strikeout numbers, and his strikeout rate is likely to sit around 18% throughout his Major League career. Irvin has flashed tremendous control, though, which will generally allow him to pitch deeper into games. Tonight, he’s a -119 favorite in a game set at 9 runs, and his opponents feature an implied run total of 4.4 runs.
Irvin gets a matchup against the Colorado Rockies, who rank fifth on the slate in strikeouts per at-bat, while also ranking in the bottom-three of the slate in team wOBA. It’s impossible to trust his current numbers because of the limited sample size, but logic would suggest that he’ll be better against left-handed batters. Irvin certainly comes with risk, but he makes a strong tournament option, as he would allow you to pay up for Jacob deGrom without losing all of your salary on pitching.
Hidden Gems: Value Hitters
Odor has quietly been playing well recently, as he’s hitting .237 with a .605 slugging percentage and an .898 OPS over his last 10 games. He owns six extra-base hits (four home runs), nine RBIs, and one steal over that span, as well. Odor has also posted 50% hard hit and fly ball rates with a 96 MPH exit velocity over the last 15 days. He gets a plus matchup tonight, and enters this game with 0.01 wOBA and 0.082 ISO differentials against right-handed pitching.
Odor gets a matchup against Miles Mikolas, who has seen a few ups and downs this season. He was at his worst against left-handed batters last season, allowing them to hit for a .283 average with a .415 slugging percentage and a .309 wOBA. Odor is expected to hit second in the Texas Rangers lineup tonight, and they feature one of the highest implied run totals on the slate. He’s a salary relief option, who can be considered in all leagues tonight.
Follow Justin Bales on Twitter (@BalesSJustin)
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