MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Saturday, April 29th

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MLB schedule today has 17 games

We’re fully locked and loaded with 17 games on the betting board for Saturday, including a game in Mexico City with a total of 15.5. All 30 teams are in action and we’ve got doubleheaders in Detroit and D.C. to think about as well. It will be a busy day that starts bright and early with the double dip in Motown and ends late with the Cardinals and Dodgers.

 

Top MLB Resources:

With a lot of games to get to, let’s dive in. I wrote a ton this morning and got it out as quickly as I could with a lot to say. (Tracking sheet)

Follow me on Twitter, @SkatingTripods, as I post the article link right when it goes live.

I talked about the light offense from this past week and a whole lot more on VSiN Daily Baseball Bets, so take a second to catch up if you missed anything on this week’s episodes.

Here are some thoughts on the April 29 card (odds from DraftKings):

Pittsburgh Pirates (-140, 9) at Washington Nationals Game 1

Pittsburgh Pirates (-145, 9) at Washington Nationals Game 2

The Buccos are big favorites for both games of today’s twin bill at Nationals Park. Washington has shifted their rotation, so it will be Patrick Corbin in Game 1 and Chad Kuhl in Game 2. Any way you slice it, it could be a really long day for the Nationals and a robust hitting day for the visitors.

I’m not betting either game, but I’ll repost my thoughts from yesterday on Hill and Kuhl and then also talk about Corbin and Vince Velasquez.

Game 1

Hill made a mechanical change that I talked about, but I haven’t seen mentioned anywhere else out there and it has paid huge dividends. He allowed 10 runs on 11 hits in his first nine innings and everybody dismissed him. Well, he changed his horizontal release point for his next start against the Astros and had good results, which he followed up with strong efforts against the Rockies in Denver and the Reds. Since the change, Hill has allowed just four runs on 17 hits in 17 innings with 14 strikeouts against seven walks.

His full-season numbers show a 4.85 ERA with a 6.20 FIP, but that is hardly indicative of how he has pitched since making the change. He also allowed five homers in his first two starts, but has surrendered just two in his last three efforts. I’m torn a bit here because Hill has clearly improved for the better, but this Nationals bunch is ninth with a .337 wOBA and 10th with a 111 wRC+ against lefties this season.

Corbin continues to be a gas can. He’s allowed 21 runs on 36 hits in 26 innings of work. Only 17 of the runs are earned, but he’s given up five homers, only has 19 strikeouts, and has allowed a 43.3% Hard Hit%. I’m actually a little bit surprised that this line isn’t higher given the market’s outright hatred of Corbin. Bettors do load up on team total over props against him pretty regularly.

Hill has ramped up the swing and miss on his fastball with better extension to add more perceived velocity to the pitch and it comes in there about 14 mph faster than his curveball, so he’s been able to mix it up well. As much as I want to like the Pirates today, the Nationals are the first top-10 offense against lefties that Hill has faced this season. The Astros are 15th in wOBA and the others are all bottom-10 groups.

The Pirates are probably the side here despite that concern, but this is a 10:05 a.m. PT start and there wouldn’t be a whole lot of lead time on the game.

Game 2

Kuhl isn’t much of a pitcher. He’s got a 7.36 ERA with a 7.33 FIP and has given up 15 runs on 20 hits in just 18.1 innings of work. His last outing against the Twins was useful with one run allowed on a solo homer and two other hits in 3.2 innings, but he did walk four of the 18 batters he faced. He’s got 14 strikeouts against 12 walks on the season, has allowed a homer in every start, and has a 50.8% Hard Hit% against with a 15.3% Barrel% against.

Kuhl used to be able to survive as a pitcher when his velo sat 94-96, but he’s sitting primarily 92 mph now and that’s just not going to get it done. Out of 18 batted ball events on sinkers/fastballs, opponents have nine hits, with five singles, two doubles, a triple, and a homer. Then he’s also allowed three homers on his slider, which is far and away his most-used pitch.

Velasquez has been an early-season success story for the Pirates. He’s only allowed 11 runs on 21 hits in 26.1 innings with a big uptick in strikeouts and generally better command across the board. I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop here and with the Pirates in general, but it’ll start with stuff like this. With guys like Velasquez and Mitch Keller coming back to earth. Maybe the Pirates have made substantive changes to Velasquez and he won’t be awful like he’s been the last four seasons, but I’m not buying it.

If the Nationals were better against righties, an Over would definitely be in play here, but I also don’t know how Game 1 will play out, who will be used in the bullpen, etc.

Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

This game was postponed, but I left in my write-up since I already did one.

The Braves won a rain-shortened 4-0 decision yesterday and look to secure at least a split in the series with ace Spencer Strider on the bump against Tylor Megill. This is a four-game wraparound that carries over into Monday. Much like yesterday, rain is very much in the forecast.

Strider’s season is off to a ridiculous start. He’s struck out 49 batters out of 115 plate appearances against only 11 walks. He’s struck out at least nine in every start and ramped it up with 13 over eight innings against the Marlins while flirting with a perfect game last time out. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 14 innings and hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start. There will rarely be equity in betting against a guy like that because there aren’t many paths to victory for the opposition. He’ll have some bad starts because everybody does, but a bad start for him is way different than a bad start for most guys.

Generally speaking, I like Megill. He’s a regression candidate this season with some ugly peripherals and not enough swing and miss for me to give him a good chance today. He’s struck out only 19 and walked 12 in his 25 innings of work. He’s got an 87.1% LOB% despite the low K%, which is usually a pretty good sign of regression. He also has a 3.96 ERA with a 5.99 FIP, so that’s another good sign. He’s allowed five homers with that ugly K/BB ratio, so that’s why his FIP is as high as it is.

He’s actually allowed a lower Hard Hit% than average at 37.2%, but his SwStr% is 8.4% and he’s getting no chases outside the zone, so I would anticipate that number goes up. It probably goes up against a Braves team that makes a lot of violent contact. The only way I would entertain playing this is with the Braves run line, but I’m scared with the rain because a delay that knocks Strider out would completely change the complexion of this handicap.

Chicago Cubs at Miami Marlins (-130, 9)

Caleb Kilian makes his MLB return as the Cubs battle the Marlins. His first Triple-A start against the Columbus Clippers was an abject disaster, as he allowed eight runs on nine hits, including four homers. Since then, he’s allowed one run on seven hits over nine innings of work, but he hasn’t pitched in 10 days and only has six strikeouts in 52 batters at the minor league level.

This is effectively a bullpen game for the Cubs today. Killian will start it, but a lot of guys have the chance to make an appearance. Two guys that may not are Michael Fulmer and Mark Leiter Jr., who have pitched back-to-back days. Leiter only threw five pitches, but that was his third appearance in four days. The Cubs are up against it a little bit here. They’re going to really need Justin Steele to be an ace tomorrow.

Anyway, back to Kilian, who allowed 15 runs on 11 hits in 11.1 innings last season at the MLB level. He also walked 12 guys, hit one, threw three wild pitches, and simply looked all out of sorts. He had a 4.22 ERA in Triple-A over 106.2 innings of work. It could be a tough day for the Cubs.

The Marlins send Edward Cabrera to the bump and there is no telling what you might get from him. He’s allowed 12 runs on 19 hits with a 4.91 ERA and a 5.67 FIP over five starts. He’s walked 20, struck out 24, and had only allowed two runs in each of his first four starts until the Braves touched him up for four runs in 4.1 innings last time out. He’s an extreme ground ball guy at 56.7%, so his 41.7% Hard Hit% hasn’t really hurt him too much on balls in play. He’s just allowed way too many baserunners via the walk.

The Cubs do have a top-five offense against righties, which they may need to rely on given the pitching situation. I just don’t like taking overs with the Marlins or at Marlins Park. The total of 98 between Trevor Rogers and Madison Bumgarner back on April 14 was only the San Francisco Giants vs. San Diego Padres (-180, 15.5)

No, that total is not a typo. This game will be played at Alfredo Harp Helu Stadium in Mexico City, which is about 7,350 in elevation. Think Coors Field on steroids. The Mile High City is exactly that, around 5,280 feet in elevation. Think about the impacts on the baseball in Denver and then add to them here in this game. Spin rates are likely to be really depressed. The ball is going to carry farther. 

It is 325 down both lines and 400 to dead central, which is a little bit shorter than an average MLB stadium. Keep this game in mind if both starters have some ugly numbers because they will absolutely skew the year-to-date metrics and be detrimental for a good bit of time after that.

Sean Manaea and Joe Musgrove drew the short straws here to pitch Game 1 of this abbreviated two-game set. Manaea’s GB% is down to 30.2% this season, which is not at all what you want going into this venue. He’s already allowed five homers in 16.1 innings of work with 12 runs allowed on 14 hits. He’s allowed a 48.8% Hard Hit% and eight barrels for an 18.6% Barrel%.

There are a lot of reasons to be worried about Manaea, but this will only be the second MLB start of the year for Musgrove, who fractured his toe prior to the start of the Cactus League schedule. He made two rehab starts 10 days apart and then his first MLB start on April 22, so he hasn’t really been in much of a rhythm and hasn’t gotten a whole lot of reps. He allowed three runs on seven hits to the Diamondbacks in that start with six strikeouts against zero walks.

Musgrove is more of a ground ball pitcher than Manaea, which I would think serves him better in this start. The Giants rank ninth in fly ball percentage, but the Padres rank first at 42.6%. I do think there are more than a few things that are in San Diego’s favor here, but this is a big number in a game that will likely end up a crapshoot. I’m certainly assuming that the ball and the ballpark will greatly benefit offense, but that could be true for both teams and this just becomes a weird bullpen battle late.

It should be a great celebration of baseball and certainly a game worth watching.

Arizona Diamondbacks (-120, 12.5) at Colorado Rockies

Lost in the race to the bottom between the A’s, Royals, and White Sox is that the Colorado Rockies are terrible as well. It doesn’t seem to be getting as much run as other teams have gotten, but this team is baaaaaaaaaaaaaad. The Rockies scored one run at home yesterday. They’ve scored 46 runs in 11 games at Coors Field. Opponents have scored 85. Now German Marquez might need Tommy John surgery, so their biggest trade chip won’t net them much of a prospect return this season, if they can even move him.

Noah Davis has been something of a bright spot with just one earned run allowed on nine hits in 9.2 innings of work, but Davis will make his first start at Coors Field here. His two other starts came in Seattle and Philadelphia and both were pretty decent, but now he gets to learn the Coors Field Effect firsthand. Two-thirds of his balls in play have been hit on the ground and he has struck out nearly 25% of batters faced, which are the two things you want in hopes of surviving Coors.

He had a 5.54 ERA and a 5.31 FIP in 133.1 innings in Double-A last season for the Hartford Yard Goats and has only worked 17.1 innings at the Triple-A level in Albuquerque. I wish we had more data points from Albuquerque, which is comparable to Denver in elevation. Hartford is basically at sea level, so we can’t really take too much out of his numbers there in hopes of translating them to Coors.

The Snakes will counter with Tommy Henry, who slotted into the rotation when Arizona realized that Madison Bumgarner was a sunken cost. Henry worked 47 MLB innings last season with a 5.36 ERA and a 5.88 FIP in nine starts, so that wasn’t great. He surrendered three runs on for hits and walked four in his start against the Royals five days ago. He also allowed 15 runs on 23 hits in 21.1 Triple-A innings before getting called up.

I guess I can’t fault the Diamondbacks for going with Henry over top prospect Brandon Pfaadt. With the way that the schedule is shaking out, the D-Backs can get by with a four-man rotation for a bit and then slot Pfaadt in there next weekend, which means that maybe the Super Two deadline will be almost here and they could possibly steal another year of control.

This game is kind of a dumpster fire. Based on what we’ve seen throughout the season, the price is probably low on Arizona, but I don’t have high hopes for Henry. That said, the Rockies are one of the worst offenses in baseball against lefties, so that could be his saving grace. The total of 12.5 is just a little rich for my blood.

St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers (-145, 8)

Jordan Montgomery will try to stop the bleeding for the Cardinals as he goes up against future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers. I’ve really fixated on the lefty/righty splits for the Giants this season, but I’ve incorrectly ignored the Dodgers and the same thing. The Dodgers come into this one 27th in wOBA against lefties. They’re walking at the second-highest rate in the league, but also have one of the highest K% at 27.9% and only have a .354 SLG.

They’re running a .177 BABIP in this split, so it’s very hard to see them continuing to be this bad, but they’re a top-five offense against righties and well below that against lefties. Montgomery is a lefty, so we’ll see if they’re able to get on the right track against southpaws.

This will be Montgomery’s second straight start against a team like that, as he just held the Giants to an unearned run over six innings of work with six strikeouts. He’s been really good this season with a 3.81 ERA and a 2.78 FIP, as he’s only allowed one home run and has a 25/6 K/BB ratio in 28.1 innings of work. His 67.4% LOB% is the reason why his ERA is a full run higher than his FIP. He’s also running a .322 BABIP with basically a league average Hard Hit% at 39.6%.

I think some more strikeouts are coming for Montgomery. He hasn’t used his changeup as much this season because he doesn’t throw it against lefties like he does his other pitches. He should in this start and I think we see some more curveballs as well, since those are his two swing-and-miss pitches. He actually hasn’t had a great feel for the curveball yet, but he did use it more last time out against the Giants and got some more swings and misses with it. He also used his changeup more and it looked great. I think he’s got more confidence with those two pitches going into this start.

Once he does vary his pitch mix, his SwStr% should come up and so will his Chase Rate, which is 6.4% lower than it was last season. The other thing I like about Montgomery here is that he only has a 6.6% BB% for his career, a 4.9% mark this season, and a 5% mark last season. The Dodgers draw a lot of walks, but I think you can beat them by forcing them to put the ball in play, especially as a lefty.

Kershaw is off to a terrific start this season himself with only eight earned runs allowed in 31 innings of work. He’s struck out 32 and walked only five batters to this point. He’s earned his .228 BABIP with a 34.9% Hard Hit%, so he could keep running a lower one if it continues.

That being said, he draws the best lineup in baseball against lefties here. The Cardinals have a .399 wOBA and a 154 wRC+ in this split. They have far and away the highest OBP and rank second to the Rays in SLG. Kershaw just faced a top-five Cubs offense against southpaws and the stat line looked fine, but he allowed his highest Hard Hit% of the season (43.8%) and two barrels. The Cubs elevated the ball more than any other team has this season.

The key guys in the St. Louis pen have had their ups and downs, but they are well-rested here. So is the Dodgers pen, but I’m hoping that the Cardinals can get a lead and protect it.

This is a worthwhile matchup for taking a shot on the Cardinals. Shop around, as +125 at DK is the lowest price in the market. You can find +130 or even +135 at some places. Squeeze every cent you can out of every bet you make. I’m using DK lines for the article and for tracking, but you can shop around and I recommend doing that with every wager.

Pick: Cardinals +125

Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers (-110, 7.5) Game 1

Baltimore Orioles (-155, 7.5) at Detroit Tigers Game 2

Game 1 had already started by the time I published, but I wanted to note a couple of things. We got robbed of Rodriguez vs. Rodriguez by Mother Nature, as Eduardo will pitch Game 1 for the Tigers and Grayson will pitch Game 2 for the Orioles. It’s a smart move by the Orioles to send out Dean Kremer for G1, as he probably has a little less of a chance of having a short start and getting the bullpen wrecked, but I guess we’ll see.

Here’s what I wrote yesterday on the two Rodriguezes, plus some thoughts on Matthew Boyd as the G2 starter for the Tigers.

Game 1

Eduardo has actually been quite good this season in 31 innings with a 2.32 ERA and a 3.48 FIP. He’s been a rare bright spot for the Tigers in what has already been a tough start to the campaign. He missed a lot of time tending to personal issues last season and has come back with a vengeance this season.

He has only allowed one run on 12 hits over his last three starts covering 21 innings of work. He’s in a nice groove and just shut down a Baltimore lineup that has been strong against lefties this season, holding them to one hit over seven shutout innings. How will Baltimore adjust today? 

I had a short write-up on this game because the weather forecast looked bad, so that was all I wrote on Eduardo.

Game 2

Grayson is also getting his second run at the same team and he had a successful start with five shutout innings, but he also allowed six hard-hit balls and an average exit velocity of 94.8 mph over 13 batted ball events. He has a 44.2% Hard Hit% on the season with an average exit velo of 90.8 mph. We’ve seen the good and the bad from him, as he has a 28.7% K%, but an 11.5% BB%.

G-Rod is a huge favorite here, due in large part to the presence of Matthew Boyd and the strength of the Orioles lineup against lefties. They’re a league average offense against righties, but a top-10 unit against lefties with a .347 wOBA and a 123 wRC+. I’m not really a Boyd guy, as I mentioned prior to his last start, but he’s pitched well this season with nine runs allowed on 17 hits in 19 innings of work. That being said, he’s faced the Brewers and Guardians in his last two starts and both teams are terrible against lefties.

No plays on Game 2.

Kansas City Royals at Minnesota Twins (-240, 8.5)

One of the more annoying things about sports betting is feeling like a line is too high, yet feeling like you still can’t really play it. That’s the case in this game. I don’t think Bailey Ober deserves to be this large of a favorite against anybody, but the Royals are certainly one of the teams that you could justify it with.

Ober does own a 3.74 ERA and a 3.92 FIP in his 154 MLB innings. He has one good start to his name this season, though he did walk three over 5.2 innings against the Nationals six days ago. He was recalled from Triple-A after Kenta Maeda was put on the IL. In his four Triple-A starts this season, he’s allowed six runs (five earned) on 13 hits with 22 strikeouts in 17.2 innings of work. He also had a 3.21 ERA with a 2.92 FIP in 56 innings at the MLB level last season.

All of the numbers are honestly pretty promising, but it’s just such a big number for a guy who is a depth option. However, when you look at Brad Keller, you start to understand why. Keller has a 3.96 ERA with a 4.79 FIP in his 25 innings, but he’s walked 19 and struck out 20. He’s very lucky to be running a .258 BABIP with a 59.7% GB%. Some of the chickens have come home to roost in his recent starts, as he’s allowed seven runs on seven hits with 11 walks and four strikeouts in his last two starts across eight innings.

His fastball velo also took a tumble last time out and I wonder if the complete lack of control is an underlying injury. It’ll be something to monitor.

Seattle Mariners at Toronto Blue Jays (-265, 9)

We’ve got a late pitching change here, as the Mariners will send out Easton McGee for his first MLB start. It was originally supposed to be Chris Flexen, but he was scratched and McGee was recalled. In five starts for Triple-A Tacoma, McGee has allowed 10 runs on 26 hits in 28.2 innings with 24 strikeouts against nine walks. He was formerly with the Rays and made his MLB debut last season with three innings in relief.

McGee is a long and lanky right-hander at 6-foot-6 and 205 pounds. He has mostly been a ground ball guy in the minor leagues, but did allow 24 homers in 107.2 innings in Triple-A last season. In 75 PA this season, righties own a .225/.267/.338 slash against him, while lefties have been a good bit better at .270/.349/.351.

Last season, lefties hit .315/.356/.584, while righties hit .256/.300/.440. He pitches to a lot of contact, which is always going to be scary against the Blue Jays and in this ballpark.

Kevin Gausman gets the call for Toronto and he has a 41/5 K/BB ratio in 31.2 innings with 14 runs allowed on 27 hits. Four of the runs are unearned and seven of his 10 runs came in his April 17 start against Houston. Gausman once again has a really high Hard Hit%, but more than makes up for it with the strikeouts and the low walk rates. His 48.1% Hard Hit% is definitely a concern, but he should get some run support today.

Cleveland Guardians at Boston Red Sox (-130, 9)

Brayan Bello is back in the big leagues and a sizable favorite against Zach Plesac and the Guardians. The Red Sox right-hander was recalled from Triple-A to make this start after getting sent down following his April 23 outing against the Brewers. In two MLB starts this season, Bello has allowed eight runs on 13 hits with an 8/3 K/BB ratio. He’s allowed 14 hard-hit balls in 27 batted ball events, which is a 51.9% Hard Hit%. That is well above last year’s 37.5% mark, but the sample size remains small.

Last season, Bello had a 4.71 ERA with a 2.94 FIP, as he got unlucky to run a .404 BABIP against and a 68.2% LOB%. He was pretty bad in his first three starts with 14 runs allowed on 22 hits in 12 innings, but only allowed 16 earned runs in his final 45.1 innings of work. He had a 3.18 ERA and a 2.69 FIP in eight starts and two relief outings to round out the season.

I’m not sure this is a great matchup for Bello, though. Cleveland has drawn a lot of walks this season and Bello has had control problems in the upper minors and in the big leagues. He’s generated a lot of swings and misses throughout his career, but the Guardians don’t swing and miss much, so that leads to a lot of balls in play and his command can be spotty. He’s been excellent at limiting home runs, but that’s what happens as an extreme ground ball guy. The Red Sox don’t have a great defensive infield either.

I’m not sure effective is the right word to use for Plesac, but he’s been more useful in recent starts. While trying to hold on to his spot in the rotation, Plesac has really ramped up his slider usage. He scaled it back and threw more changeups last time out against the Marlins, which wound up being an unsound strategy because he allowed three runs on 10 hits. He’s running a .397 BABIP and a 59.6% LOB%, so there are some reasons for optimism with him, but they are a little bit tough to see at times.

Plesac’s slider usage against Seattle and against Washington came in at 54.9% and 54.4%. I would expect more of the same today. The Red Sox are a top-10 offense against righties, so I don’t love this matchup for Plesac, but I don’t see why Bello and the Red Sox are this clear of a favorite. I think this is more of a toss-up game than the line indicates, especially because I think Cleveland matches up pretty well with Bello. It’s a worthwhile gamble to take a shot on the Guardians at today’s price.

Pick: Guardians +110

New York Yankees at Texas Rangers (-165, 8.5)

With Aaron Judge still sidelined, the Yankees will try to solve Nate Eovaldi on Saturday evening in Arlington. Eovaldi has been the victim of some bad luck this season. He has a 5.20 ERA with a 3.73 xERA and a 2.23 FIP, but he has a .413 BABIP against and a 59.6% LOB%. One really bad outing against the Royals stands out, as he allowed six runs on 10 hits in five innings of work. Otherwise, he’s allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of his four other starts.

Eovaldi has a solid 31/5 K/BB ratio and has only allowed one homer, so FIP loves him. He has allowed a 45.7% Hard Hit%, so I do think that he has kind of earned his .413 BABIP to some degree, though that is one of the most extreme outliers in the league. A correction is probably coming, but it is a bit concerning that he’s faced the Phillies, Cubs, Royals twice, and Reds, so he hasn’t seen a lot of stellar offenses.

Of course, the Yankees aren’t a stellar offense without Judge, so we’ll see what happens with Eovaldi, who has only allowed two barrels this season while running a 44.4% GB%.

Jhony Brito allowed seven runs in less than an inning back on April 13 against the Twins, so he has a 6.11 ERA with a 4.42 FIP. He’s only struck out 12 and walked 10, which is also contributing to the high FIP, but he’s allowed five runs in 17 innings aside from that first-inning melt against Minnesota. That being said, he’s just not super trustworthy with a pitch-to-contact style and questionable control. He’s only struck out six of the last 61 batters that he has faced.

I don’t really see an angle worthy of playing here, but keep an eye on Eovaldi with that huge BABIP and his big ERA-FIP discrepancy. We’ve seen a line move on him today (could also be Judge’s absence), but I think we’ll see more if he keeps running a 5 ERA with a sub-3 FIP.

As a side note, I mentioned looking to fade Martin Perez on Sunday. I see -130 as the DK opener on that one. I still like it, even without Judge, but I’d hope to get a little better of a price than that. Check back later tonight or tomorrow morning. It won’t be officially tracked as an article bet, but it’ll likely be one I do have.

Tampa Bay Rays (-135, 9.5) at Chicago White Sox

Calvin Faucher will open for the second time in four days as the Rays take on the White Sox. It will be Yonny Chirinos in a bulk relief role for TB when Faucher runs out of steam. It was an unearned run on Wednesday, but Faucher gave up a run in his sixth straight appearance. He did keep the Astros at bay otherwise and has allowed one run in five of those six appearances, but the one where he allowed more than that came against the White Sox on April 21.

The Rays were hoping to be able to stretch Faucher out into a starter for their beleaguered rotation, but it seems like they’ve resigned themselves to using him as a multi-inning opener instead. He only has 10 strikeouts in 57 batters faced and has allowed eight runs (seven earned) on 15 hits in 12.2 innings.

Chirinos, who missed most of 2020, all of 2021, and most of 2022, will make his fourth appearance of this season. He has not allowed a run in 9.1 innings of work with three hits scattered across three appearances in nine days. He’s only struck out five of the 34 batters he has faced, but he’s been effective. The White Sox haven’t really been effective at any point this season and both Faucher and Chirinos are righties, so that doesn’t give me much confidence.

Also, Lance Lynn continues to have problems. Lynn has had no command this season. He’s struck out 32 over 26.1 innings, but he’s also given up seven homers and has allowed a .380 BABIP with a 44.9% Hard Hit% against. He allowed 24 barrels in 359 batted ball events and has already allowed seven in 78 this season. 

Given that the Rays lead the league in basically every category against righties, this is a bad lineup to face with no command. I definitely gave some thought to the Rays and the run line. I did have just enough concerns about the Rays to stay away. Chirinos is a reverse platoon split guy for his career, so righties have hit him a little better than lefties. He’s also facing the White Sox for the second straight time. Also, the Rays bullpen has a lot of negative regres