MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Friday, June 2nd

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MLB schedule today has 15 games

We are back to a full slate on Friday with all 30 teams in action heading into a jampacked weekend. Series between the Angels and Astros and Guardians and Twins continue, while everybody else faces a new opponent on June 2.

 

With a lot of games and a lot of action to get to, let’s dive right into today’s matchups.

Latest MLB betting splits | MLB odds from DraftKings Sportsbook

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Tune in for a new edition of VSiN Daily Baseball Bets this afternoon.

Here are some thoughts on the June 2 card (odds from DraftKings): 

Milwaukee Brewers (-165, 10) at Cincinnati Reds

The only afternoon game on Friday features the Brewers and the Reds, as we’ve got a 5:10 p.m. ET local start. Corbin Burnes is not the same, dominant pitcher this season that we’ve seen in past seasons. He has a 3.68 ERA with a 4.54 FIP and a 4.38 xFIP in his 63.2 innings of work, which is fine, but for a guy that has a career 3.26 ERA with a 3.04 FIP, this is certainly a departure.

Burnes has a 22.3% K%, which is down 8.2% from last season. His BB% is up 2.7%. His HR/FB% is a little lower, but his GB% is also lower, as he’s allowed nine homers in 11 starts, including four two starts ago against the Astros. He bounced back with seven solid innings against the Giants and just one run allowed on four hits with eight strikeouts, but you never quite know what you’re going to get from him.

After a dynamite debut at Coors Field, Brandon Williamson has morphed back into the pitcher we all expected coming up from the minors. He’s allowed eight runs on 10 hits and seven walks in his past two starts with six strikeouts. In three starts, he’s allowed a 50% Hard Hit% and seven barrels, to go along with some really shaky control. We’ll see if the Brewers, who finished May just 28th in wOBA, are able to get the bats going.

The other thing about Williamson is that he’s left-handed and Milwaukee ranks 30th in wOBA at .279 and has struck out in 29.5% of plate appearances against southpaws on the year. Certainly the Reds are tempting at that price and with how they’re playing, but Williamson just isn’t very trustworthy.

St. Louis Cardinals (-145, 9.5) at Pittsburgh Pirates

Jack Flaherty gets the call for the Cardinals here in a favorite role on the road against the Pirates. Flaherty has a 4.81 ERA with a 4.57 xERA and a 4.59 FIP in his 58 innings of work, but that only tells part of the story. Since giving up 10 runs to the Angels on May 4, Flaherty has a 2.66 ERA with a 3.50 FIP in his last 23.2 innings. He’s still walked 12 guys, but he has 22 strikeouts and has only allowed one home run.

His Hard Hit% against is just 26.6% and he’s only allowed three barrels, with zero of them in his last three starts against the Brewers, Dodgers, and Guardians. That said, Flaherty didn’t have many swings and misses against either the Dodgers or the Guardians, so we’ll see if he gets back to it here against the Pirates.

Roansy Contreras has a 4.33 ERA with a 4.53 FIP in his 52 innings of work. Contreras worked two innings in relief on May 28 and hasn’t made a start since May 21. He was supposed to work out of the bullpen as a “change of scenery”, but then Vince Velasquez hit the injured list once again. Contreras wasn’t pitching well when the Pirates had the idea to move him to the pen, as he had a 5.64 ERA and a 6.69 FIP in 22.1 innings from May 2-21. He had just 11 strikeouts against 11 walks.

We’ll see how he does here, but he’s tough to back given that he hasn’t pitched much lately and was struggling in a starting role. In those four starts, he allowed a 50.7% Hard Hit% and a 10.7% Barrel%, so it wasn’t just a lack of strikeouts, but an overall lack of command.

I don’t see much reason to lay the price with the Cardinals either, but I certainly don’t see a reason to take Pittsburgh.

Philadelphia Phillies (-190, 9) at Washington Nationals

Was Zack Wheeler’s last start a sign of things to come? He threw eight scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts against the Braves in a huge performance after allowing 14 runs over his previous four starts covering 24.1 innings of work. Wheeler has fallen on the wrong side of luck a lot this season with a 3.60 ERA and a 2.67 FIP in 65 innings pitched. The difference between his ERA and FIP can be attributed to a 68.1% LOB%.

Wheeler has only allowed a 34.8% Hard Hit% in his 178 batted ball events and just a 4.5% Barrel%, but he’s got a .316 BABIP against. Between bad batted ball luck and some unfortunate sequencing, his ERA isn’t where it should be, though that dominant start against Atlanta lowered his ERA from 4.11 down to 3.60.

He should be in line for another quality outing against the Nationals, who don’t strike out a lot, but are still just 23rd in wOBA against righties at .302. They also don’t walk much, which isn’t a big deal against Wheeler, who doesn’t issue walks anyway, but their .371 SLG ranks 26th, so they aren’t hitting for much in the way of power in this split. That should bode well for Wheeler.

On the Washington side, it will be Josiah Gray to take the mound. Gray has gotten the opposite treatment from his fielders and the baseball gods, as he has a 2.77 ERA with a 4.50 FIP and a 4.97 xFIP. His xERA is 4.18, so his numbers are pretty much worse than Wheeler’s across the board. He has an 85.6% LOB%, though, so that explains the big difference for him.

But, Gray only has a 19.1% K% and an 11.6% BB%, so he’s not done a good job of getting strikeouts and avoiding walks. What he has avoided well is hard contact with a 37.2% Hard Hit%, but a correction has been taking place with his numbers in that regard. Over his five May starts, Gray has allowed a 47.7% Hard Hit% and seven barrels. He’s living on the edge at this point, but managed to post a 2.89 ERA in the month with a 4.71 FIP. His K% was actually down and his BB% was actually up relative to his full-season marks.

The question is whether or not the Phillies can be the team to deal that blow and if they’ll do so to the point where the run line makes sense to cut down on the vig. I honestly don’t think -190 on its own is a bad play, but that’s a tough request to make for readers. The Phillies are 10th in wOBA at .323 against righties, which has easily been their better split with a borderline bottom-five offense against lefties.

I think it’s a worthwhile endeavor to expect Wheeler’s positive regression to continue and Gray to run into a really rough outing because he’s been building towards it for a while, but his last three starts have been against the Marlins, Tigers, and Royals, who are 24th, 27th, and 28th in wOBA, respectively.

Pick: Phillies Run Line (-1.5) (-110)

Atlanta Braves (-120, 9) at Arizona Diamondbacks

Charlie Morton and Merrill Kelly will get this series fired up, as the Snakes wrapped up a four-game sweep of the Rockies in comeback fashion yesterday, but failed to get there on the run line in a 5-4 win. Kelly is a really interesting matchup against the Braves, since he has a 27.4% K% on the season with a 2.83 ERA and a 3.41 FIP.

Since some early-season walk troubles coming out of the WBC, Kelly has only walked eight batters in his last six starts, but he has two double-digit strikeout games and another with nine punchies over seven innings. He has not faced a great slate of opponents recently, though, as his last six starts have been against the Rockies (at Coors), Nationals, Marlins, A’s, Pirates, and Red Sox. He was dominant with 10 strikeouts over 6.1 innings against Boston, though, so maybe that’s a good sign for him going forward.

Kelly’s got an 11.9% SwStr% and that’s the way to try and neutralize the Braves, who are 12th in wOBA at .320, but have a 98 wRC+ against righties, so they’ve been virtually a league average type of offense in that split.

Morton comes into this start with a 3.59 ERA, 3.80 FIP, and a 4.67 xERA, so there are some regression signs in the profile. He’s leaned heavily on a 78.9% LOB% and a big spike in GB% to 47.3% that has allowed him to really cut down on last year’s high home run rate. Morton can and will issue some walks, which isn’t as big of a deal against the Diamondbacks because of their aggressiveness in the box, but he can also run into some command troubles. His two most recent starts against the Dodgers and Phillies have resulted in 16 hard-hit balls in 31 batted ball events.

The Diamondbacks are a top-10 offense against both righties and lefties, as they are just having a really strong season overall. The Braves are still getting a ton of market respect, especially against righties, when I’m not sure that they have earned it. Kelly only allowed 21 homers in 200.1 innings last season and has only surrendered five long balls in 63.2 innings this season. Home run avoidance is a big deal against the Braves and Kelly’s been good at that, along with a high chase rate and a lot of swings and misses.

I just feel like this line is mispriced. Arizona is legitimately good and so is Kelly, so the Diamondbacks are worth a shot as a home underdog in this one.

Pick: Diamondbacks +100

Chicago Cubs at San Diego Padres (-155, 8.5)

It has been a rough year for Jameson Taillon. The Cubs right-hander missed a couple weeks due to injury and has not performed well since coming back. On the season as a whole, he has an 8.04 ERA with a 4.47 FIP and a 4.68 xFIP. He’s got 32 strikeouts in 31.1 innings of work, but he’s got a .378 BABIP against and a 48.9% LOB%. He’s had a ton of bad luck to this point and hasn’t really deserved it, seeing as how he has a good K% and has not allowed an average exit velocity of more than 89.5 mph in a single start.

Taillon’s Hard Hit% is slightly better than league average at 38.8%, though his Barrel% of 11.7% does leave something to be desired. Still, he’s certainly not been bad enough from a command standpoint to warrant such a high BABIP and such a low LOB%. Since returning on May 4, though, he has allowed a .393 BABIP with a 42.9% LOB% and just under a strikeout per inning. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last four starts and only has a 29.5% GB%, so he’s given up a lot of line drives and fly balls.

At some point, the tables will turn for him and he will get better results that more closely resemble some of his metrics, but he doesn’t have that quite yet and I don’t really know when he will.

The Padres have gotten some excellent work from Michael Wacha over his last five starts. He’s allowed a total of three earned runs over 32 innings of work. He struggled early in the season, allowing 19 runs over his first five starts, but he’s been magnificent since. On the whole, he has a 3.45 ERA with a 3.55 FIP in 57.1 innings. His Hard Hit% is spectacular at 31.3% and he’s done a good job of staying off the barrel with just six of those in his last seven starts after allowing eight in his first three outings.

I felt like this was a high number at first glance, but until Taillon’s positive regression signs start to show up, it’s really hard to put any faith in him, especially with Wacha pitching as well as he is.

Tampa Bay Rays (-140, 9) at Boston Red Sox

To the AL we go, beginning with an AL East rivalry between the Rays and Red Sox. It will be Tyler Glasnow in his second start of the season against Garrett Whitlock with the Rays lined as a short favorite at Fenway Park. The Rays have effectively been a .500 team over the last 3-4 weeks, so we definitely need to reimagine how we think of them, even though they still grade well in a lot of offensive categories.

Glasnow allowed three runs on five hits in 4.1 innings of work with eight strikeouts out of 19 batters in his return against the Dodgers. Eight of the 10 batted balls he allowed classified as hard-hit, including three barrels, so it wasn’t his sharpest outing from a command standpoint, but it is hard to argue with the strikeouts and his 18.1% SwStr%. It was a boom or bust outing from pitch to pitch and he had some of both.

This will be just the second appearance since returning from the IL for Whitlock, who allowed one run on three hits over five innings against the Diamondbacks on May 27. Whitlock has a career 3.02 ERA with a 3.37 FIP in his 172.2 innings with 13 starts and 68 relief appearances. He’s actually a guy that I do like long-term, but it’s hard to know what to expect here given how his season has gone from an injury standpoint. He was really good in two rehab starts prior to that strong effort against the Diamondbacks, but I’d need a better price here.

That being said, Tampa has had one of the league’s worst bullpens over the last month and they’ll be called into action fairly early with Glasnow still getting stretched out and Tampa’s reluctance to push too hard with one of their prized arms.

Seattle Mariners (-115, 8) at Texas Rangers

How good has Jon Gray been lately? His advanced metrics show a lot of regression signs, as he has a 2.81 ERA with a 4.64 FIP in 57.2 innings of work, but he’s found his strikeout prowess once again and has allowed just three runs over his last four starts covering 27 innings of work. Ironically, it was a start against Seattle that served as the catalyst for this recent run, as he has a 27/5 K/BB ratio in those four starts against Seattle, Oakland, Colorado, and Baltimore.

Gray’s FIP is not happy with him because of his early-season strikeout struggles, but he has a 14.3% SwStr% in those last four starts and he’s been absolutely pounding the strike zone to get ahead early in the count. Gray had a run from April 15-May 2 where he only struck out eight batters out of 83 batters faced and his numbers suffered as a result. Now, though, he’s racking up strikeouts and faces a Mariners lineup that will swing and miss at a high rate.

Luis Castillo gets the call to kick off the road trip for the M’s. He has a 2.69 ERA with a 3.58 xERA and a 2.92 FIP in his 63.2 innings of work. Most of his peripherals look strong, though he does have a 47.5% Hard Hit% over 162 batted ball events and a 9.9% Barrel. Castillo has actually been a big benefactor based on the schedule. He’s worked 47.2 innings at home, where he is virtually unhittable, and just 16 innings on the road. He’s allowed 11 runs in 16 innings on the road and 10 runs in 47.2 innings at home.

The sample sizes are obviously small, but Castillo has allowed a .378 wOBA on the road and a .223 wOBA at home. He made 11 starts for the Mariners last season and six of them came on the road. Overall, he allowed 26 runs in 65.1 innings of work, with 18 of them on the road. He allowed at least three runs in five of his six road starts, with two against Oakland, one against Cleveland, Kansas City, Los Angeles Angels, and New York Yankees.

He only allowed five earned runs in his five home starts, so he looks to be a different pitcher away from the safety net of T-Mobile Park. The Rangers are third in wOBA against righties at .335 and have a 113 wRC+. They actually lead all of baseball in home wOBA vs. RHP at .367.

Meanwhile, Seattle is 22nd in wOBA overall against righties at .307 and 17th in road wOBA at .312. I’m willing to take my chances on Gray and the Rangers here, as they have the better offense and the gap between Castillo and Gray may not be that big, given how Jon has pitched lately and how Castillo has been on the road.

Pick: Rangers -105

Los Angeles Angels at Houston Astros (-130, 7.5)

Shohei Ohtani draws Framber Valdez, as the Astros shifted their rotation to send out Valdez on Friday instead of Thursday. Ronel Blanco pitched instead and Houston came away with a 5-2 victory. Here’s what I wrote about Valdez yesterday, since the switch was made during the afternoon:

Valdez has a 2.38 ERA with a 2.94 FIP in 11 starts over 72 innings of work. He has a 4.01 xERA because of all the hard contact he has allowed, but he’s kept the ball on the ground at an elite rate with a 60.1% GB%. He’s actually improved both his strikeout and walk rates this season, so he’s been about as good as it gets for Houston.

The Angels are now up to sixth in wOBA against LHP at .347 and have a 120 wRC+ that ranks in the top five, but not all lefties are created like Valdez. It will be a good test for their offense against him, but he’s so tough to score off of because of all the ground balls. And because he keeps the ball on the ground, hitting homers off of him is even more difficult, though he has given up six in 72 innings after allowing just 11 in 201.1 innings last season.

Ohtani has been solid on the bump as well, posting a 2.91 ERA with a 2.87 xERA and a 3.78 FIP. The high FIP is a byproduct of a heightened walk rate at 10.9%, but he has a 35% K%, so you can deal with a higher walk percentage. He’s also allowed eight homers in his 65 innings after giving up 14 in 166 innings last season, but opposing batters have just a .154 BA with a .211 BABIP against him this season.

This game seems to be lined pretty fairly I think, as the Astros have been swinging the bats better of late and Valdez is one of the toughest guys to score off of in the league.

Detroit Tigers at Chicago White Sox (-155, 8.5)

The Tigers will send Reese Olson out for his MLB debut today. The 23-year-old right-hander has struggled this season over 10 starts with a 6.38 ERA and a 4.67 FIP over 36.2 innings of work. Throwing strikes has been a huge problem, as he’s walked 22 guys, but he’s also struck out 47, so you take the good with the bad. Also, he’s allowed just two runs on 10 hits in his last three starts over 14.1 innings of work with 22 strikeouts and six walks. He just had his first start of the season with zero walks and now he’s a Major Leaguer.

Olson did struggle a good bit early on with a 9.67 ERA over his first seven starts, so the Tigers made some adjustments and got him to a position where he could be an option today in his debut. I’m not entirely sure what he does against the White Sox, but this isn’t a bad lineup to face if you have control issues. Chicago is 26th in wOBA against RHP, largely due to a 6.2% BB% that is the lowest in the league.

Eric Longenhagen’s FanGraphs scouting report calls him a “five-and-dive” guy because of his inefficiency with throwing strikes, but praised the stuff, especially the breaking balls, mostly the changeup. If Olson can harness his fastball command, he could be a very viable weapon as a starter or as a dominant reliever.

In a vacuum today, I really don’t mind that sort of skill set against the White Sox, who are an impatient crew with the highest Chase Rate in the league at 33.5%.

The White Sox look to be sending out Mike Clevinger in his return from the IL. Clevinger has a 4.56 ERA with a 4.69 xERA and a 5.11 FIP in his 47.1 innings of work. None of his peripherals look all that great, as he has a 19% K% with a 10.4% BB% and the Tigers have been good at drawing walks this season with a BB% that ranks 12th against righties. 

When Clevinger hit the IL, he actually had a 5.81 ERA with a 5.81 FIP over his previous six starts. He didn’t make any minor league rehab starts and is said to have “10 pitches” shaved off of his pitch count, whatever that means. 

This line is too big for Olson vs. Clevinger and the Tigers have been a pretty scrappy team, not to mention they are willing to draw walks against an erratic starter and the White Sox are less likely to do that with Olson. I like Detroit’s bullpen and they’re good and rested after yesterday’s off day and a light early part of the week.

Pick: Tigers +135

Cleveland Guardians at Minnesota Twins (-135, 8)

The Guardians just keep finding ways to let me down this season. After taking a 6-3 lead into the eighth, Cleveland lost 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth, pulling a “Minnesota” from last season, as the Twins gave away a bunch of games in the late innings to the Guardians. Somehow, Cleveland is getting a little bit of love today in Aaron Civale’s return from the IL against Bailey Ober.

Civale made two starts against the Mariners on April 1 and 7 before hitting the IL with an oblique injury. He allowed four runs on 11 hits over 12.2 innings with eight strikeouts and two walks. Injuries cut short his 2022 season, where he had a 4.92 ERA with a 3.80 xERA and a 3.87 FIP. He was great after the second IL stint of the season, but it was largely a lost year due to all of the different ailments.

In three rehab starts, Civale allowed six runs on 13 hits over 11 innings pitched with 16 strikeouts against four walks. He allowed four runs on six hits in his final tune-up, but he’s back in the rotation in place of Hunter Gaddis to make this start against the Twins. I’m not sure why there’s some optimism for him here, other than maybe a bit of a fade of Ober.

There are some modest regression signs in the profile for Ober, who has a 2.68 ERA with a 3.66 xERA and a 3.24 FIP in his 40.1 innings of work. His LOB% sits at 78.8%, which is a little on the high side, but he has a 23.7% K% that is quite solid. He’s a fly ball guy, so he could run a lower BABIP than most and he has at .257. I guess we can look for some home run regression out of him with a 5.1% HR/FB%, but the Guardians don’t really hit home runs, so this may not be the right tree to bark up in that regard.

Ober has allowed more than three runs just once in his seven starts and that was two starts ago against the Giants when all four runs came in the first inning. He allowed just an 18.8% Hard Hit% in that start as well. Cleveland doesn’t hit many balls hard and ranks last in baseball in Barrel%, two things that you’d have to worry about with Ober as a fly ball guy.

Cleveland’s bullpen, as we saw yesterday, is still in a state of flux, as Trevor Stephan struggled in a back-to-back and his third appearance in four days. Emmanuel Clase has been shaky as can be and the team has started to move Enyel de los Santos into high-leverage innings. The lineup was also missing Josh Naylor yesterday with some wrist discomfort, though Cleveland scored six runs, so it wasn’t the lineup’s fault.

I’ll lay it with the Twins here. I’m not sure what we get from Civale in his first start back and he’s not much of a strikeout guy, which is Minnesota’s biggest weakness on offense.

Pick: Twins -135

Oakland A’s at Miami Marlins (-195, 8.5)

Shintaro Fujinami is listed as Oakland’s starter here, as the A’s head to Miami as a huge underdog to open up a weekend interleague set. Fujinami will open for Hogan Harris, but he’s at least a guy capable of working more than one inning, so this could be more of a piggyback situation and less of an opener and bulk guy deal. Whatever the case, Fujinami has been bad as a reliever with a 9.60 ERA over 15 innings and a .262/.392/.393 slash against with a .350 wOBA

Harris allowed six runs in one-third of an inning in his first appearance and then threw five shutout innings in his second start against Houston. That outing came five days ago and was quite a surprise, given how bad the first appearance went. He walked five and allowed one hit en route to giving up six runs against the Mets. He only walked one against Houston. He has a 3.77 ERA with a 31/20 K/BB ratio in eight minor league starts.

Edward Cabrera goes for the Marlins today. He’s a weird guy to bet on or against. He has a 5.02 ERA with a 4.18 xERA and a 4.64 FIP in his 52 innings of work. He’s got a 28.4% K%, but also a 15.1% BB%. My guess is that he’s pretty tough on teams seeing him for the first time because the stuff grades out pretty well, but he just has no idea where it’s going.

This might be the easiest game of the year to pass on.

Toronto Blue Jays at New York Mets (-135, 8.5)

Chris Bassitt faces his former team here as the Blue Jays visit the Mets for some weekend interleague action. Bassitt has had quite the season thus far. He has a 3.80 ERA with a 5.22 FIP in his 66.1 innings of work, but he’s coming off of his second-worst start of the season with seven runs allowed on nine hits in four innings of work against Minnesota. For most guys, that would be the worst start of the season, but he gave up nine runs in 3.1 innings to the Cardinals in his first start.

Bassitt has allowed 11 home runs, but they’ve been clustered together. He gave up four long balls in that Cardinals start and has allowed five in his last two starts. He gave up six runs to the Rays two starts ago, but only two of the runs were technically earned. He had thrown 27 straight scoreless innings going into that Rays start, but obviously he’s seen a pretty big correction in his numbers now.

Justin Verlander is also coming off of a rotten start and his second in three outings. He allowed six runs on nine hits at Coors Field with just two strikeouts out of 25 batters. He didn’t give up a home run, but he has allowed five of those in five starts. It was the third straight game in which Verlander had a single-digit SwStr%. It seems like he’s fighting it a bit right now.

That makes this game a really difficult handicap and I’m not really sure which guy (if either) gets back on track. It’s an easy pass for me.

Colorado Rockies at Kansas City Royals (-125, 9)

Jordan Lyles is favored in this matchup between the Rockies and Royals. Jordan Lyles. The guy with a 7.30 ERA, 5.46 xERA, and a 6.37 FIP over 61.2 innings is favored. I’m just trying to keep repeating it until I believe it. He’s given up 16 home runs in 11 starts and the Royals have lost  all 11 of his starts, with Lyles serving as the losing pitcher in nine of them. He has a 16.6% K% with an 8.5% BB%. They’ve lost 10 of 11 on the run line.

Lyles is running a 48.7% LOB%, which is unsustainably low for any pitcher, as bad as Lyles is. At some point, he’ll have to run into some positive outings, but who knows when. He’s allowed at least four runs in each of his last 10 starts, including five runs allowed against Washington over five innings last time out.

So, Chase Anderson must be like the worst pitcher on the planet, right? Well, he’s actually thrown the ball well this season. There are some pretty big regression signs, but Anderson has allowed three runs on 15 hits in 20.2 innings of work with 10 strikeouts against five walks. He’s faced 80 batters and only has 10 strikeouts, leading to a 1.31 ERA with a 3.97 FIP and a 5.11 xFIP. He has only allowed a 28.6% Hard Hit% and a 3.2% Barrel% in three starts and two relief appearances, which came with the Rays. All three starts have been with the Rockies and all three have been at Coors Field.

As ludicrous as it looks and feels for Lyles to be favored, I’m still not excited about taking the Rockies here. They’re notoriously known for being a subpar road offense and their pitchers can struggle with control and command because pitching closer to sea level does weird things with the ball compared to what they’re used to.

I may regret not taking the underdog here given what Lyles has done this season, but it’s just not a play for me.

New York Yankees at Los Angeles Dodgers (-135, 8)

The highlight series of the weekend is this interleague matchup between two historic franchises, as the Yankees and the Dodgers face off at Dodger Stadium. It will be Luis Severino for the Yankees and Clayton Kershaw for the Dodgers, with Los Angeles favored by a decent margin against a New York bunch that has been swinging the bats rather well of late.

Severino is making his third start of the season with two earned runs allowed on five hits over 11.1 innings of work with 10 strikeouts and four walks. In his two starts, he’s done a masterful job of limiting hard contact, holding opponents to an average exit velocity of 81.1 mph and a Hard Hit% of 17.2%. He didn’t allow a single hard-hit ball against the Reds and only five hard-hit balls against the Padres in 17 batted ball events.

Thus far, Severino has had a bit of a hard time keeping the ball down. He has a 34.5% GB% on the season, which is well below his 45.7% GB% for his career. His velocity is back to his 2018 levels, but he hasn’t quite gotten all the swings and misses back just yet. He has a 9.5% SwStr%, which is well below his 11.8% mark. But, he’s inducing a lot of weak contact, so that’s a positive, though he’s stepping up in class in this outing.

Kershaw has had a tough go of it lately. He’s allowed 10 runs on 18 hits in his last 12.2 innings of work. His mother passed away just before Mother’s Day and he hasn’t missed a turn in the rotation, despite spending a few days on the bereavement list. Maybe he’ll settle back in here. He does have just a 32.1% Hard Hit% in his 162 batted ball events. Even in his last three starts, he has a 27.8% Hard Hit%.

Overall, he has a 3.32 ERA with a 3.42 FIP and a 76.1% LOB% with a .305 BABIP against. His last three starts may have led to a correction in some of those numbers to put them in a more normal range.

Tough handicap here. Kershaw’s peripherals all look pretty good and look good for a bounce back, but Severino’s been sharp as well.