Monkey Knife Fight Home Run Derby:
Washington Nationals at Baltimore Orioles
The Washington Nationals are playing about two hours from their home stadium tonight in Baltimore. The Orioles are expected to start Aaron Brooks, who currently owns a 2-3 record, 4.76 ERA, and 1.19 WHIP. In only two starts thus far in 2019, Brooks has allowed 1 home run over 8.2 innings pitched. Over the last 12 months, including his time as a long reliever, he is averaging 1.9 HR/9. Vegas has this game projected at 11.5 total runs, and the Nationals are -173 betting favorites, giving them an implied run total of 6.6. In the last 15 days, Brooks has an average exit velocity on batted balls of 94 MPH, a fly ball rate of 40%, and a hard hit the same. The Nationals are the team to target on Monkey Knife Fight. Begin with Anthony Rendon. He is expected to hit third tonight for the Nationals, and he is averaging 0.052 HR/AB. Over the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 231 feet, an average exit velocity on those batted balls of 92 MPH, a fly ball rate over 40%, and a hard hit rate approaching 40%. Next, move down one spot to Juan Soto. He is currently questionable with a sore shin, but will likely play. In his last 10 games, he is hitting just under .350 with 3 home runs and 9 RBIs. Tonight, he enters the game with 0.049 ISO and 0.072 wOBA differentials. His advanced metrics are close to in line with his real-world results, so he should continue to produce home runs. Finally, Howie Kendrick needs to be involved in this lineup. He is expected to hit fifth tonight for the Nationals, and he is leading the team with 0.056 HR/AB. In the last 15 days, he has an average batted ball distance of 236 feet, an average exit velocity on batted balls of 92 MPH, and a hard hit rate over 60%. The reason he has 0 home runs in his last 10 games is because his fly ball rate is low. That is an easier fix than hard hit rate, so Kendrick should figure it out soon. The Nationals are going to score, and Brooks is susceptible to the fly ball.
Recommended Batters: Anthony Rendon, Juan Soto, Howie Kendrick
Home Run Prop Bet:
Juan Soto (+225) – Washington Nationals – OF
Juan Soto has slightly wider odds to hit a home run tonight than Anthony Rendon. Howie Kendrick is not yet listed on MyBookie. Soto has been performing better recently, and he has the positive power splits tonight. He makes the most sense here.
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*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.*
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