MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Tuesday, May 9th

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MLB schedule today has 15 games

Everybody will be in action on Tuesday night as all 30 teams line it up with nighttime starts. The Tigers and Guardians start the day at 6:10 p.m. ET and action will roll late into the night. For those who like symmetry, we’ve got six games in the AL and six games in the NL to go along with three interleague matchups.

 

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It will take some time getting through today’s card, so without further ado, let’s get after it. (Tracking sheet)

Follow me on Twitter, @SkatingTripods, to get the link to the article right as it goes live.

Catch a new episode of VSiN Daily Baseball Bets this afternoon as well.

Here are some thoughts on the May 9 card (odds from DraftKings):

Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates (-170, 9)

With the injury to Vince Velasquez, the Pirates turn to Luis L. Ortiz for his fifth career MLB start. Ortiz had a cameo last season with 16 innings at the big-league level and allowed nine runs (eight earned) on eight hits with 17 strikeouts against 10 walks in 69 batters faced. Ortiz started the season at Double-A, but only threw 10 Triple-A innings prior to getting called up.

This season, Ortiz has allowed eight runs on 20 hits in seven Triple-A starts with a 29/11 K/BB ratio. The 24-year-old may end up being more of an elite reliever than a starter because he’s primarily a two-pitch pitcher, but he was the 77th-ranked prospect per FanGraphs coming into this season. He’s a big kid at 6-foot-2 and 240 pounds with a heavy fastball and one of the best sweepers in the minor leagues. Eric Longenhagen noted that it had a 50% Whiff% and a 38% Chase Rate last season in the minors.

If you are interested in the Pirates today, their bullpen is extremely rested. Mitch Keller went the distance yesterday and last week’s losses meant that the primary relievers got a few days off. David Bednar hasn’t pitched since Friday, while Colin Holderman (immaculate inning on Thursday), Robert Stephenson, and Duane Underwood Jr. haven’t pitched since Thursday.

The Pirates will take their hacks against Connor Seabold, as he makes his second start of the season. He’s allowed 11 runs on 25 hits in 18.2 innings of work, including three runs (all solo HR) on seven hits last time out against the Brewers over five innings. I’m not really sure what to expect from Ortiz, but Seabold is barely a Major League pitcher. This line may be a little short in all honesty.

New York Mets (-190, 10) at Cincinnati Reds

Max Scherzer will try it again after a pretty ugly outing against the Tigers in his return from suspension. Scherzer told reporters that he’s still dealing with some discomfort below his right scapula, but it seems he’s trying to fight through it with the other issues that the Mets rotation is having. He allowed six runs on eight hits in just 3.1 innings in his first start since April 19.

Maybe it will help Scherzer to be back on his routine. Maybe the discomfort is something more. He’s given up six homers and has a 5.56 ERA with a 6.35 FIP in his 22.2 innings of work this season. Per Statcast, his fastball velocity is down almost a full mph from last season. His 92.7 mph average FB velocity was the lowest of the season in that Tigers start. His spin rates were down significantly on the fastball and curveball from his April 19 start to his May 3 start. There was also a major drop in his vertical release point. It’s pretty clear that he is hurt and I don’t think he can be trusted.

Perhaps the spin rate decrease has something to do with the foreign substance he was busted for using, but the velo drop and the release point variance are good signs of injury. So is a decrease in spin.

Unfortunately, the Reds are running out Luke Weaver, who has allowed 14 runs on 21 hits in 16 innings of work. He had 16 strikeouts over his first two starts, but only struck out three of 22 batters last time out. He has allowed a 59.6% Hard Hit% out of 47 batted balls and owns a 17% Barrel%. He didn’t allow any homers against the Padres with four runs allowed on nine hits, but had allowed five homers in his previous two starts, including three to the Rangers in his lone Great American Ball Park start.

It will be in the 70s at first pitch with a helping breeze to RF in this one. Ran a query in the Killer Sports database today looking up Los Angeles Dodgers (-115, 9.5) at Milwaukee Brewers

There is a lot to unpack about this game and about last night’s series opener. It sure looked like a throwaway game to the Dodgers, who really mailed it in after the early-morning arrival in Milwaukee. The first 4.5 innings flew by before the Brewers woke up a bit and then they put the game away in the seventh. We’ll see if the Dodgers can rally to avoid the series loss today.

I’ve talked about how much the vs. LHP and vs. RHP splits have impacted lines this season. Everybody knows that the Dodgers have been bad against lefties. They are 25th in wOBA at .297 and that’s even with an 11.1% BB%. Their .376 SLG ranks 24th and their 26.9% K% is the fifth-highest. One of the few teams worse against lefties is actually the Brewers.

However, the Brewers don’t get a lefty today. The Dodgers do. This one features Eric Lauer and Noah Syndergaard, which would seem to benefit the Brewers, who are 10th in wOBA against RHP. But, the line is moving in the opposite direction with the Dodgers a clear road favorite.

Lauer is the main reason why. He has a 4.40 ERA with a 5.84 xERA and a 5.37 FIP in his 30.2 innings of work. He’s dealing with a major velocity decrease and it has impacted both his control and his command. He’s allowed 19 runs on 33 hits in 30.2 innings of work with 29 strikeouts against 14 walks. He just allowed four unearned runs last time out against the Rockies with a season-high four walks. He’s allowed a 45.1% Hard Hit% and an 11% Barrel%.

His velocity is coming back up a little bit based on his last two starts, but he sat 93.3 mph last year and is only up to 90.7 mph this season. His last two starts have been higher, but still under 92 mph. His 10.4% BB% is not a good sign against the patient Dodgers lineup. Lauer has also allowed 10 runs on 15 hits in just seven innings in two home starts thus far.

The market’s distaste for Lauer is plenty evident when you consider that Syndergaard’s numbers are equally concerning. His velo is down over two mph. He’s got a 6.32 ERA, but his comes with a 4.67 xERA and a 4.75 FIP, so there are some positive regression signs in the profile. The two big differences are that Syndergaard has allowed four walks total and a 35.5% Hard Hit%. That said, Thor has allowed 19 hard-hit balls in 42 batted ball events in his last two starts for a 45.2% Hard Hit%. 

Syndergaard was skipped to work on his mechanics and apparently he’s resorted to hypnosis to try and get back on track. He has four combined strikeouts in his last three starts, so I’d try anything at this point. There’s way too much going on with this game to feel comfortable one way or the other, but the Dodgers got a good night’s sleep at least.

St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs (-130, 7.5)

Sometimes you just need to trust yourself. I went on Live Bet Sunday with Ben Wilson and my long lost stepbrother Danny Burke and talked about liking the Cardinals. My colleague Stormy Buonantony is filling in on Follow The Money this week and she asked me on Sunday night which games I liked for Monday morning, to which I replied the Cardinals and the White Sox/Royals over. Both hit. Neither were plays in the article.

This will shock you with the depth of research and all the writing I do, but sometimes I get caught up in overanalysis and outfox myself. Sometimes it works the other way, like it did with the Rangers yesterday, a play that I never really had on my radar the night before. I’ve done this for a long time and I’m still fighting to find the right balance.

Anyway, Cardinals/Cubs went to the Redbirds yesterday, and both teams did have good chances to score runs. Today, Jameson Taillon makes his second start back from injury. He gave up three runs on three hits with four strikeouts and no walks over three innings against the Nationals. He only faced 12 batters and threw 42 pitches. I would expect him to maybe be around 55-60 today, as he didn’t make any rehab starts between April 15 and his May 4 return. He threw a 45-pitch sim game on May 2, two days before his start, so it seems like the Cubs are trying to build him back up with a split between side work and game days.

The Cubs used Javier Assad for 50 pitches in relief of Taillon last time out, so I would assume we see a similar thing today, especially with how the Cubs pen has been used the last four days. Assad threw five shutout innings in relief of Taillon after giving up eight runs on nine hits in his first three appearances.

Meanwhile, St. Louis sends Jack Flaherty to the bump amidst some controversy. The whole Contreras as catcher thing has been a big storyline and handled way too publicly by the Cardinals, as it slipped out that Flaherty and Adam Wainwright seemed to oppose Contreras behind the dish. I’m pretty sure Contreras isn’t the reason why Flaherty has a 6.29 ERA with a 5.41 FIP or why he’s walked over 14% of the batters that he has faced.

In fairness to Flaherty, he gave up 10 runs on nine hits in 2.1 innings last time out, which drove his ERA from 3.94 to 6.29, but he was a regression candidate anyway with a 5.16 FIP heading into that start. He did give up 13 of his 22 walks in his first two starts, so he’s been better with control since then, but he’s also allowed a homer in five straight starts now and has allowed a 50.9% Hard Hit% and a 16.4% Barrel% in his last four starts against the Diamondbacks, Mariners, Dodgers, and Angels.

It’s another day in the 50s with a little bit of wind blowing in, so suboptimal hitting conditions at Wrigley, which is unfortunate because this game also looks to have the potential for some runs. I’ll be staying away today, though. I’m not sure there’s a good edge on the side or the total.

Miami Marlins at Arizona Diamondbacks (-115, 9)

The MLB debut for Brandon Pfaadt did not go as planned. The Diamondbacks top prospect allowed seven runs on nine hits in 4.2 innings of work and gave up four home runs as the Rangers jumped all over him for four barrels and 12 hard-hit balls. The home run was definitely an issue for Pfaadt on his ascent to the big leagues, but, as I pointed out prior to his debut, his home ballpark in Double-A was in Amarillo and his home park in the hitter-happy PCL was Reno, so he hasn’t really been able to escape warmth or altitude very much. The roof was open at Globe Life Park when he got tagged and that venue plays way different when that’s the case.

I would assume Pfaadt’s second start goes a bit better. He’s stepping down in class in a pretty big way and he’ll be at home. He was good the first time through the order, but things fell apart as he got deeper into his start and really fell apart the third time through. 

Miami will counter with Jesus Luzardo. The Marlins southpaw has a 3.66 ERA with a 3.96 FIP in his 39.1 innings of work with 43 strikeouts against 14 walks. He’s allowed four of his five homers in his last three starts and has a 5.06 ERA with a 4.81 FIP in his last five starts after beginning the year on a heater. He’s allowed 11 barrels and a 40.2% Hard Hit% in that span against the Phillies, Giants, Guardians, Cubs, and Braves, so a wide mix of teams.

The Diamondbacks are 15th in wOBA against lefties, which is rather impressive given their low 5.7% BB%. They had some success last night against Braxton Garrett with four runs in 5.1 innings of work. On the other side, the Marlins are 29th in wOBA against RHP at .284 and have a 24.4% K% against a 6.7% BB%. 

The Rangers? They’re sixth in wOBA, fourth in home wOBA (D-Backs are sixth), and third in home wOBA vs. RHP. Miami is 25th in road wOBA vs. RHP. This is a really big step down in class for Pfaadt and a much better situation.

This will be just the third road start for Luzardo, who faced the Phillies and Guardians. He’s allowed seven runs on 16 hits in 10.1 innings and even gave up two homers to the Guardians, who have homered twice in a game just four times this season. The Diamondbacks are sixth in home wOBA vs. LHP at .352. With Luzardo struggling to locate and Pfaadt in a much better spot, I’ll lay the short Arizona price tonight.

Pick: Diamondbacks -115

Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants (-245, 8.5)

Anthony DeSclafani’s regression hit immediately on Monday night, as the Giants right-hander gave up five runs and Jake Irvin spun 6.1 shutout innings for the Nationals to come away with a 5-1 win. The Nationals are now only one game worse in the loss column than the Giants, as this team has been a big surprise to this point in the season.

The Giants face a left-hander today, so it is not out of the realm of possibility that Washington ends the day with a better record than San Francisco. Unfortunately, that left-hander is Patrick Corbin, which is one of the reasons why this line is where it is. Corbin has a 5.17 ERA with a 4.68 FIP on the season, but he hasn’t been the punching bag that we’re used to seeing lately. Since April 16, Corbin has a 3.70 ERA with a 3.84 FIP in his last four starts with an 18/3 K/BB ratio and just three homers allowed.

I can’t say I’m terribly encouraged by the Statcast data, given that Corbin has allowed a .354 BA and a .549 SLG on his sinker while throwing it at the same rate as last season, but the success he’s had on his slider is a big detour from last season. Corbin’s GB% is up from 44.2% to 48.5% and that has made a huge difference, along with cutting down on his walk rate. I don’t really see a ton mechanically to point to, so maybe he’s just been sequencing and commanding better.

He’s throwing more sliders and fewer four-seam fastballs, so maybe that has a lot to do with it. All I know is that a surging Corbin draws a Giants lineup that is putrid against lefties and this line may be a little big. The Giants are 26th in wOBA against LHP. The one thing I worry about is that a 29.6% K% is doing a lot of lifting in their metrics against southpaws and Corbin doesn’t miss many bats.

It seems as though Logan Webb has settled down. After allowing four runs in each of his first four starts, he has allowed two runs in each of his last three starts against the Mets, Cardinals, and Astros with a 20/4 K/BB ratio. Now that he has stabilized, I have a hard time going against him because I love guys with over a strikeout per inning and a high GB%.

Maybe the under makes sense here. I’m just going to stay off the game, but buyer beware if you want to keep fading Corbin.

Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Guardians (-205, 7.5)

The Tigers made Tanner Bibee really uncomfortable yesterday, as the rookie failed to locate for the first time this season and maybe his first time as a pro. He was visibly frustrated, overthrowing, and rushing his delivery. That could be a live betting angle in his starts going forward because his body language was not good without his usual control and command. A better lineup probably does even more damage against him. A better lineup might be a better bet today.

When will Shane Bieber’s regression hit? That’s the question on my mind. He has a 2.96 ERA with a 4.86 xERA and a 4.03 FIP in his 45.2 innings of work. His K% is down to an anemic 16.6%, which is 8.4% below last season and nearly 12% below his career average. Despite the huge drop in K%, his LOB% is actually higher by 3% than what it was last season at 78.8%. His Hard Hit% is up to 48.6%, easily a career-high, even though he’s been around 43% each of the last three seasons.

Somehow, Bieber has not allowed more than three runs in any of his seven starts this season. He’s had exactly four strikeouts in five straight starts. If this keeps up, I’m going to lose a lot of money fading him this season. He’s running a .246 BABIP with that 48.6% Hard Hit% with a decrease in GB% and a defense that does not grade nearly as well from the metrics this season as it did last season.

Along with my lack of trust in the Tigers offense, Michael Lorenzen isn’t exactly a guy to trust either. He has a 5.14 ERA with a 4.82 FIP in his 21 innings of work with 12 runs allowed on 22 hits in four starts. He just worked seven masterful innings against the Mets with one run allowed on four hits, but he only struck out one of the 26 batters he faced.

It will be a clear night in Cleveland, but a subtle lake breeze is forecasted to be blowing in and temps will be in the upper 50s. Not exactly great hitting conditions yet again. Admittedly, I gave a lot of thought to the over here and even some thought to the Tigers, but there should be a better spot to fade Bieber soon. His next three starts project to be at the White Sox, at the Mets, and then home against the Cardinals.

Tampa Bay Rays (-140, 8) at Baltimore Orioles

Grayson Rodriguez will hope to bounce back tonight as the Orioles host the Rays. He allowed six runs on eight hits, including three homers, against the Royals last time out. He had worked 10 scoreless innings in back-to-back starts against the Tigers, but he couldn’t locate his fastball against the Royals and they jumped all over it. That bad start pushed G-Rod’s ERA up to 5.46 and he has a 4.31 FIP after giving up the three homers. He has 37 strikeouts in 28 innings, so FIP really likes that and he’s done a good job for the most part of limiting walks.

Rodriguez has faced the Rangers, A’s, White Sox, Tigers twice, and Royals, though, so the fact that he’s had three subpar starts out of that run of teams is a problem going into a start against the Rays, who are the league’s top offense against righties. He’s allowed a 46.7% Hard Hit% overall and a 54.2% Hard Hit% in his last four starts, including those scoreless efforts against the Tigers.

I think the raw stuff is MLB-ready, but the command profile may not be yet. That’s a lot of hard contact to give up, especially with an Orioles defense that grades pretty poorly this season. He also puts a lot of strain on the bullpen because he doesn’t work all that deep into games and he’s on an innings limit this season.

Zach Eflin gets the call for the Rays against an Orioles lineup that is basically league average against righties, but crushes lefties. Eflin has not faced a murderer’s row of opponents with the Tigers, A’s, White Sox, and Pirates sprinkled around an IL stint. This will be his fourth start back off the injury, but he’s got a 2.25 ERA with a 2.95 FIP. His Hard Hit% is 40.5% on the season, so he’s allowed a bit of hard contact as well, but not to the extent of Rodriguez. He also hasn’t allowed an average exit velo of higher than 89.9 mph in any of his five starts. Rodriguez has done it three times.

The Rays bullpen has worked a ton this week. Closer Jason Adam has pitched four of the last five days. Colin Poche and Kevin Kelly have worked three of the last four. Ryan Thompson has worked three of the last five and Jalen Beeks worked B2B days on Saturday and Sunday. I do like Eflin and the Rays over Rodriguez and the O’s for the 1st 5, but I don’t think I can lay the full-game price with those bullpen concerns.

But, the two lines are pretty close to identical across most of the market, so I’d rather lay the 1st 5 than go up against a more rested O’s bullpen.

Pick: Rays 1st 5 (-140)

Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees (-265, 8.5)

Aaron Judge is set to be activated tonight as Drew Rucinski and the A’s take on Clarke Schmidt and the Yankees. Even in his decent starts, Schmidt has struggled. He only recorded 13 outs against Cleveland with two unearned runs allowed on six hits and two walks. He did lower his ERA to 5.83, but that’s still not going to get it done moving forward. He also has a 5.12 FIP and has given up seven homers in 29.1 innings of work.

The A’s are better on the road and better against lefties, but Schmidt is a righty, so we’ll see if he can keep Oakland at bay. It’s a really big price on him and I could see some Oakland interest if it wasn’t Rucinski on the hill. In two starts back from the KBO, Rucinski has allowed 10 runs on 15 hits in 9.1 innings with six walks against four strikeouts and both of them were at home.

The Yankees haven’t been hitting, but getting Judge back should provide a boost and facing Rucinski should also provide a boost. A good portion of the market is 9 on this total and the 8.5s that are out there are predominantly -120. It’s probably a little low, especially with Rucinski not working deep into games and Oakland’s 30th-ranked bullpen.

Schmidt has also allowed a 51.6% Hard Hit% in seven starts and a 12.9% Barrel%. This total actually opened 9.5 at some places before coming down. The A’s are a below average offense against righties, but they are ninth in wOBA at .325 against righties on the road. They will strike out, but they’ll also hit for some power.

At 8.5, I’ll take this over. Schmidt had allowed at least three runs in every start before that Guardians outing. That would be a good enough start for the A’s I think, especially with Rucinski on the other side and Judge back to provide a boost. The Yankees have also had some middle relief issues, which could be relevant if Schmidt has another early exit.

Pick: Over 8.5 (-120)

Chicago White Sox (-150, 9) at Kansas City Royals

Lucas Giolito and Jordan Lyles are the listed starters here with a surging KC offense. A lot of that regression I’ve been talking about has come to the forefront, as the Royals are starting to convert their hard-hit contact into more offense. Their record still stinks, but they lead MLB in wOBA and runs scored over the last seven days and rank fourth in wOBA over the last 14 days.

We’ll see how they fare today against Giolito, who seems to have figured some things out this season. He allowed seven runs on 12 hits to the Pirates on April 7 and has allowed just 10 earned runs on 25 hits in his other six starts. Since that big blow-up, he’s allowed just eight runs over five starts with a 2.20 ERA and a 3.59 FIP. He’s struck out 32 and only walked eight in two starts against the Twins, two against the Rays, and one against the Phillies.

Meanwhile, the White Sox offense has a chance to stay hot against Lyles, who has a 6.69 ERA with a 6.52 FIP in his 40.1 innings of work. Lyles has allowed at least four runs in each of his last six starts and has allowed 11 home runs on the season. He hasn’t had the easiest road with two starts against the Twins, two against the Royals, and then outings against the Jays, Angels, and Orioles. Those are some pretty good offensive teams. I wouldn’t put Chicago in that class by any means, but backing Lyles seems like a poor life choice at this point.

No play on this one from me, but it is nice to see I was right about the Royals offense.

Houston Astros at Los Angeles Angels (-140, 8)

Framber Valdez draws a top-five offense against lefties as he looks to go into battle against Shohei Ohtani and the Angels. The Angels are fourth in batting average and third in wOBA against southpaws on the season with the third-lowest K% (Astros, Nats) in that split, so they’re putting a lot of balls in play and getting rewarded for it. The Angels are fourth in wRC+ behind the Rays, Braves, and Rangers against lefties.

Those looking for regression from Valdez may seek it here. He has a 2.60 ERA in his 45 innings of work, but a 4.21 xERA and a 3.30 FIP. He’s allowed a lot of hard contact, but his 65% GB% has negated most of the damage, plus he has 45 strikeouts in his seven starts. Valdez has a 46.8% Hard Hit%, but with so many of those batted balls on the ground, we haven’t really seen them be all that impactful. He hasn’t allowed more than three earned runs in any start.

Let’s see what Ohtani does here. He’s allowed nine runs on eight hits in his last 11 innings with four home runs allowed. He’s also struck out 21 of the 48 batters he has faced, so he’s had some weird and wonky statlines in those two most recent games. Ohtani hadn’t allowed a barrel in his first five starts, but has allowed five in his last two outings.

His velocity and spin rates look fine. He just hasn’t located as sharply. I’m not eager to fade him, especially with his offense against a lefty, but I did give a thought to taking Houston, given how this line jumped up with the Angels’ splits against lefties and Valdez’s mild regression signs.

Texas Rangers at Seattle Mariners (-165, 7.5)

Andrew Heaney and George Kirby are the listed hurlers for this one after Texas came away with a gritty 2-1 win for us last night. This game is lined in a similar spot, but there are some notable differences. The first is that the Mariners are dead last in wOBA against lefties at .272. They have a 27.7% K% in that split and rank better than just the Brewers in wRC+ against LHP.

The second is that Heaney has more good outings to his name than Gray. Heaney’s allowed 13 of his 18 earned runs in two bad efforts, one against Baltimore and one against Arizona. Those are both better offenses against lefties than the Mariners are. In between, Heaney had solid starts against the Royals, Astros, A’s, and Yankees.

Like Gray, Heaney has a low 32.1% Hard Hit%, so he’s been able to mostly avoid hard-hit balls, though 10 of his 25 hard-hit balls have been barrels, including five over his last two starts. Globe Life Park is playing pretty small this year, especially when the road is open, and this is going to be just the second road start for Heaney, who threw five shutout innings at Minute Maid Park in Houston on April 16.

Going against Kirby is a bit tougher than going against Gilbert was. Kirby has only allowed two homers this season with a 26/3 K/BB ratio over 37.2 innings of work. He doesn’t have the same strikeout rate as Gilbert this season, but he’s still had better command. He’s allowed a 30.8% Hard Hit% and it is just 26.7% over his last five starts.

I do think this line might be a touch high, but I’m not as confident in today’s as I was in yesterday’s. Maybe I should be with Seattle’s numbers against lefties, but it wasn’t a play I could make today.

Toronto Blue Jays at Philadelphia Phillies (-135, 9)

What do we get from Alek Manoah today? The Blue Jays right-hander has a 4.71 ERA with a 5.49 FIP as he’s seen a major reversal of fortunes from 2022 to 2023. Last season, Manoah ran a .244 BABIP against with an 82.6% LOB% to a 2.24 ERA with a 3.31 xERA and a 3.35 FIP. This season, he’s got a .309 BABIP with a 73.7% LOB% and has a 6.72 xERA.

It isn’t just the BABIP and LOB% regression for Manoah. He’s striking out fewer guys and walking more of them. His Hard Hit% is up 8.5%. Frankly, he’s been kind of a mess. He’s mixed in some good starts, but he’s also had a few really ugly ones. He’s just not trustworthy. My initial thought was that the Blue Jays looked like a decent underdog play, but when you really dig into Manoah, who also has a velo decrease this season, you just don’t see enough encouraging signs.

That being said, I’m not totally enamored with what I’m seeing from Aaron Nola either. He has a 4.64 ERA with a 4.03 FIP in his 42.2 innings of work. He’s only struck out 33 batters, but has limited the opposition to nine walks and five homers, mostly solo. His Hard Hit% is just 33.3%, so he’s made up for the lack of strikeouts in some ways. However, his K% is down nearly 10% from last season and that will have an impact no matter the context. His LOB% is down to 61.9%, which represents over an 11% drop from last season.

I wish I had a little more faith in Manoah. I also wish I knew if Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be back in the lineup. The way that the AL East is running over non-division opponents almost pushes me to make this play regardless.

Also, the Phillies are a pretty big regression candidate on offense. They are 12th in wOBA, but have the highest BABIP in baseball at  .329. They are 19th in runs scored, despite having the sixth-ranked BABIP with RISP. Even with a high BABIP, they are 24th in wOBA with RISP. I may regret leaving this one off the card.

The Orioles are 18-8 outside the division. The Red Sox are 14-8. The Yankees are 15-12. The Rays are 22-4. The Blue Jays are 17-8. That’s a collective record of 86-40.

Boston Red Sox at Atlanta Braves (-