MLB Best Bets Today: Odds, predictions and picks for Wednesday, April 26th

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MLB schedule today has 15 games

We’ve got a 5-5-5 deal on the MLB card for Wednesday, as we’ve got five games in the NL, five games in the AL, and five interleague matchups to climb over the hump of the work week. There are a lot of day games on the docket, including three in the AL and four of the interleague games, so let’s jump right in with today’s card. (Tracking sheet)

 

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Here are some thoughts on the April 26 card (odds from DraftKings):

Los Angeles Dodgers (-145, 8.5) at Pittsburgh Pirates

The Dodgers escaped with an 8-7 win yesterday. Max Muncy and Brusdar Graterol are both on the paternity list after Evan Phillips and Mookie Betts missed time last week for the same reason. That’s not the only reason why the line was so short yesterday, but the line is not as short today. We saw some betting activity on Pittsburgh yesterday to drag the line down a bit. We aren’t really seeing the same today.

One trend to watch with the Dodgers this season is that they are going to get more respect when facing pitchers who have walk issues. Roansy Contreras has walk issues. He has a 10.6% BB% this season and a 9.7% for this MLB career over 119.2 innings of work. He has a 4.57 ERA with a 3.10 FIP, but money has come in on the Dodgers here. Contreras has subpar K/BB rates, but his issue is a .359 BABIP exacerbated by a 67.6% LOB%. Nearly all of his damage came in his start against the Astros on April 10 with seven runs allowed on nine hits and four walks.

His 35.9% Hard Hit% does not really support such a high BABIP, so I’d expect it to come down, but maybe today isn’t the day against a good Dodgers lineup that is patient and will likely draw walks to put him in tough situations.

Tony Gonsolin will make his 2023 debut for the Dodgers. He finished last season with a 2.14 ERA and a 3.28 FIP, as he ran a .207 BABIP and an 83.8% LOB%. He only made one rehab start and pitched three innings with two runs allowed on a hit that was a home run. He struck out seven of the 12 batters he faced. He threw 57 pitches, so I’d assume somewhere around 65 or 70 for him tonight.

This is maybe a bit of a steep price in that respect, but a fully-loaded Gonsolin is probably 10-15 cents higher here. No play for me in this one, but let’s see how Contreras fares against a really patient lineup. It may be a betting angle to follow all season long.

Washington Nationals at New York Mets (-200, 8.5)

Unlike yesterday, we know who the Mets starter will be and it is Kodai Senga. The Nationals will counter with MacKenzie Gore, who will try to follow in Josiah Gray’s footsteps following yesterday’s 5-0 win. Gray struck out nine over six scoreless frames in his best start of the year. Gore has a 3.43 ERA with a 4.18 FIP on the season, as he’s running an 80.2% LOB% with a high strikeout rate, but he’s given himself a lot of trouble with walks. He’s struck out 25 in 21 innings, but also walked 14. He’s been fortunate not to allow more than three runs in any start.

He’s kept the barrels to a minimum, but is allowing a 40.4% Hard Hit% on just 47 batted ball events over four starts. Given that 39 of his 86 plate appearances have been strikeouts or walks, there haven’t been a lot of balls in play. He has a 53.2% GB%, so he’s kept the ball on the ground nicely. It’s usually pretty expensive to fade the Nationals, but Gore is kind of developing a fade-worthy profile.

Senga had two excellent starts against the Marlins to begin his MLB tenure, but his starts in the Bay Area were not as successful. He’s allowed eight runs on 12 hits over his last 9.2 innings with an 11/8 K/BB ratio. His Hard Hit% sits at 41.8% and he, too, has been the benefactor of timely strikeouts with an 88% LOB%. Senga has allowed five homers in his last three starts.

Senga’s fastball results are a little on the lucky side. His forkball is one of the game’s nastiest pitches and a true out pitch for him. He’s also gotten good swing and miss numbers with the heat, but he’s given up a lot of loud contact as well. This should be a good matchup against a Nationals team that is quite bad against righties, so I’d like to see him bounce back.

Miami Marlins at Atlanta Braves (-150, 8)

Sandy Alcantara returns from biceps soreness to face the Braves in this one, as he’ll make his fifth start of the year. He hasn’t pitched since April 16 and has allowed 14 runs (12 ER) in his last 10 innings with 16 hits allowed. Even in his first start, Alcantara wasn’t super sharp against the Mets with only two strikeouts and four walks in 23 batters. His Hard Hit% sits at 37.3%, which isn’t that bad, but his average exit velocity is over 90 mph. He was at 87.8 mph last season, so he’s definitely located poorly by his standards to start.

I’m also not terribly surprised that the Marlins erred on the side of caution with him because it was cold and miserable in Cleveland last week and skipping his slated Saturday start made all the sense in the world. I’m just not sure what we’ll get from him here. His velocity and spin rates were fine compared to previous seasons and he actually had his highest velo of this season in his last start.

Bryce Elder gets the call for the Braves, as he looks to continue an excellent start to the season. He’s allowed just three earned runs in four starts over 23.2 innings with a 23/7 K/BB ratio. He’s had a couple stiff tests against the Astros and Cardinals, but has done well to avoid damage. That said, he’s running an 86.7% LOB% and has an average exit velocity against of 92.3 mph with a 53.1% Hard Hit%. A rough start is absolutely coming. He allowed 11 hard-hit balls in 16 batted ball events last start against the Astros, but only gave up an unearned run and five hits over six innings.

Elder’s next start may be Monday’s getaway day game against the Mets. That may be a fade spot for me. I don’t like the Marlins offense at all, so I’m not interested in this one whatsoever and have no idea how Alcantara will look.

San Diego Padres at Chicago Cubs (-110, 8)

The Justin Steele Express just kept right on rolling down the tracks yesterday. I guess I should have trusted myself and my distrust of Blake Snell, but we move on. Today’s game features Michael Wacha and Drew Smyly. Smyly flirted with perfection last time out, allowing just one “hit” over his 7.2 innings of work with 10 strikeouts and zero walks.

Aside from an ugly start to the season against the Reds, Smyly has allowed two runs on seven hits with 20 strikeouts against three walks in his last three starts. He’s done that against the Mariners and Dodgers twice, which is thoroughly impressive. For the season, he’s only allowed a 23.3% Hard Hit%. Even in his bad start against the Reds, it was death by papercuts with a 21.1% Hard Hit%.

In some respects, he’s adopted a similar strategy to Steele. Instead of a slider, he’s throwing a curveball, but 94% of Smyly’s arsenal this season has been sinkers and curveballs. The Cubs have adopted a “throw your best pitches more” mentality, even if that means becoming a two-pitch pitcher. They did it with Smyly last season and he had a 3.47 ERA with a 4.23 FIP. A low K% was the root cause of the high FIP.

This season, Smyly has struck out a batter per inning and commanded both pitches extremely well. His spin rates and velocity are actually down a little from last season, but he’s done a much better job of locating the sinker this season.

Michael Wacha gets the ball for the Padres today and it has been a struggle. He’s allowed 16 runs on 29 hits in 20.1 innings. That even includes six shutout innings against the Braves with 10 strikeouts. He’s only struck out eight batters in his other three starts and has allowed nine barrels in 69 batted ball events. His Hard Hit% of 39.1% is essentially league average, but he’s given up some extreme contact at times. He’s also moved from being a neutral batted ball guy to being a pretty extreme fly ball dude.

The weather conditions should help Wacha tonight with another chilly evening on the North Side, but his command of every pitch but the changeup has been subpar. Wacha does draw a Cubs lineup that ranks second in batting average against righties and sixth in wOBA, so this is a tough test. The Cubs also have the third-lowest K% against righties, so Wacha, who hasn’t generated many strikeouts in three of his four starts, probably won’t here either.

The Padres are 21st in wOBA against LHP this season and have a 90 wRC+. They’ve hit for a little power, but have just a 6.7% BB%. They have the third-most PA against LHP, so they’ve been exposed to a lot of them and haven’t found a groove.

Smyly should continue to limit hard contact and the cold weather conditions should assist with any mistake he does make. Wacha doesn’t have the same swing and miss upside or the command. The Cubs bullpen should be in good shape from a rest standpoint. I’ll take them in a toss-up spot here for the 1st 5 and avoid any potential bullpen mishaps.

Pick: Cubs 1st 5 -110

St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants (-110, 8.5)

The Giants draw yet another left-hander here in the person of Steven Matz, who badly needs a confidence-building outing. Matz has a 6.55 ERA with a 4.87 FIP in his 22 innings of work. He’s given up at least four runs in three of his four starts and walked five in the one against the Pirates where he gave up two runs on three hits. Matz has walked 10 overall, but does have 24 strikeouts, so there have been flashes with the stuff.

There has also been a lot of hard contact with a 46% Hard Hit%. The Cardinals have all sorts of issues, but the starting rotation is definitely one of them, as they’re off to their worst start since 1973. It is imperative that some of these guys with track records start performing and that the offense gets it going. Yesterday’s meltdown was about the bullpen, but Matz needs to set the tone today against a lineup that ranks 30th in wOBA against LHP at .263 and dead last in wRC+ at 63.

How bad are those numbers? They are 14 points lower in wOBA than any other team (Brewers) and four points lower than any other team in wRC+ (Rockies – who are really punished by Coors Field with park-adjusted metrics). The Giants have struck out in 31% of plate appearances against lefties and have only walked 5.7% of the time. In other words, if Matz can’t dominate this lineup, that’s a huge issue.

Anthony DeSclafani makes his fifth start of the season here. Disco has a 2.63 ERA with a 2.91 FIP, which probably makes a lot of people wonder how this line could possibly be where it is. He’s struck out 21 and only walked two in his 24 innings of work. But, the red flags are swaying in the breeze. He’s allowed 24 hard-hit balls over his last two starts and owns a 50.7% Hard Hit% for the season. Those starts came against the Mets and Tigers and he got fortunate to only allow six earned runs.

DeSclafani has adopted the Jakob Junis approach of throwing a bunch of sliders. His slider usage sits at 43.4% and rising for the season. Opposing batters are only hitting .205 with a .308 SLG on that pitch this season. Righties only have a .132/.154/.211 slash and a .162 wOBA over 39 plate appearances.

Despite all that, I got close to taking the Cardinals today. The Giants are just so awful against lefties that you have to think about fading them every time, but the Cardinals just aren’t right at this point. I am curious to see how DeSclafani fares here because I think he could be a fade candidate when heading out on the road where the park factor won’t help as much.

Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles (-130, 8.5)

Tanner Houck and Tyler Wells kick off our look at the Junior Circuit with some day baseball at Camden Yards. Houck has allowed 10 runs on 18 hits in 21 innings leading to a 4.29 ERA and a 4.23 FIP. He’s got a solid 22/8 K/BB ratio, but his Hard Hit% sits at 44.6%. That being said, his GB% is 58.9%, so he’s kept the ball on the ground and avoided a lot of the doubles and homers that really hurt a pitcher. He has allowed three homers, but two came in one start.

Ironically, that was his first start against Baltimore, so we’ll see what adjustments he makes here. Houck has consistently showcased really good whiff rates in his starts with a SwStr% of 13% for the season and at least 10.8% in every start. Turning lineups over has been the difficulty, as he’s been great the first time through and less great moving forward. That’s all part of the maturation process for a pitcher. It’s also part of a live betting angle.

Wells comes into this start with some regression signs with a 2.70 ERA, 3.88 FIP, and a 4.65 xFIP. He’s a pretty big fly ball guy running a .175 BABIP and a 76.3% LOB%. He’s one of the few Baltimore pitchers not negatively impacted by what has been a bad defensive team aside from the catching position most of the season. As a pitch-to-contact guy, that is worth watching closely with Wells.

But, you can maintain a low BABIP as a fly ball guy with a 34.8% Hard Hit%. That’s not to say he’ll be roughly 120 points better than league average, but his .246 BABIP from last season is hardly out of the question. He’s only walked two batters in 23.1 innings, which is a really important factor for a pitch-to-contact cat like him. 

This game has a good chance at storms in the middle innings, plus it starts early, so I don’t have a bet, but hopefully I get some data on both starters before Mother Nature interjects.

Chicago White Sox at Toronto Blue Jays (-195, 10)

I am alarmed at how bad the White Sox have been to start the season. There have been injuries, but every team deals with injuries. This team just stinks. They are 7-17 with a -41 run differential and have now dropped six in a row. I am really surprised to see them playing like this with a new manager and a lot of the pieces from the last few seasons on the roster. They just haven’t gotten reliable relief work and have not gotten much offense.

They’ve also gotten really bad efforts from guys like Michael Kopech. Kopech has a 6.97 ERA with an 8.17 FIP in his 20.2 innings of work. He made one “good” start against the Pirates where he danced around a bunch of hard contact, but that’s been about it. He’s allowed 16 runs on 22 hits with 23 strikeouts, but also 14 walks. He’s given up eight homers, though five came in one game against the Giants. His Hard Hit% sits at 57.6% and his Barrel% is 25.4%. 

His velocity has come back, but he’s still throwing a ton of fastballs and allowing a lot of rockets. Righties own a .344/.432/.719 slash with a .484 wOBA in 37 PA, which seems bad going to face a Blue Jays lineup with a lot of right-handed power in a venue that should boost power production throughout the season.

Yusei Kikuchi has allowed one run in three of his starts and six runs in the other. He’s given up six homers already, so he’s got a 5.81 FIP, but he’s got a 3.80 ERA because he’s running a 96.4% LOB%. The song remains the same with Kikuchi. You see flashes in the stuff and with the velo increase he had after coming to America, but the command profile is still severely lacking. He’s got a 45% Hard Hit% and a 91.7 mph average exit velocity. He had similar numbers last season in that department and had a 5.19 ERA with a 5.63 FIP.

This should be a good matchup for a White Sox team that has historically hit lefties well, but that is definitely reflected in the total of 9.5 here. Nothing for me in this one, but let’s see if the trends for these two starters continue.

New York Yankees (-115, 7.5) at Minnesota Twins

An oddsmaker buddy of mine texted last night and asked what I’d make the Twins to win the AL Central. The Guardians look about as bad as they possibly could and Minnesota’s lead is out to three in the division. I said -175 because Cleveland’s rotation is leveling up with some recent promotions and this offense isn’t going to be this bad all year. I see -155 at DraftKings. I guess that’s fair. My initial gut reaction was -150, but Minnesota’s played a way tougher schedule than Cleveland, as the Guardians have already played about half of their games against Oakland and lost Miami and now Colorado, not to mention the Nationals. They haven’t taken advantage at all.

Anyway, the Twins won a season series against the Yankees for the first time since 2001, so maybe that’s a good sign for the season as a whole. We’ll see if they can complete the sweep here with Kenta Maeda on the hill against Domingo German. There will surely be some extra juice and vigor behind the Twins in this one because German was thought to be cheating last time out against Minnesota. Rocco Baldelli was ejected after German was simply told to wash his hands following a prolonged foreign substance check.

German was stellar with 11 strikeouts over 6.1 innings and just one run allowed on three hits. In his follow-up start against the Blue Jays, he allowed four runs on five hits, including two homers. On the whole, he has allowed 10 earned runs (11 total) on 14 hits in 20 innings with a 25/7 K/BB ratio. He had zero strikeouts and five walks over 17 batters against Cleveland the start before he had an 11/0 K/BB ratio against the Twins, so that was odd to say the least.

Maeda went down in a heap in his last start after taking a comebacker off the ankle. He only pitched two innings after having his previous start skipped, so he hasn’t gotten a lot of work over the last 16 days. I have no idea how he’s going to look here as a result. He’s allowed six runs on 12 hits in 13 innings with a 12/1 K/BB ratio in his return from Tommy John surgery. He was said to be experiencing some arm fatigue after his April 10 start against the White Sox.

Let’s see if the Twins exact their revenge against German in what is one of today’s more interesting storylines.

Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays (-125, 8.5)

A day early and a few dollars short. That’s how I feel about fading the Rays. Jose Urquidy couldn’t get us there, but Luis Garcia was terrific yet again last night, as he seems to have put his early-season struggles in the rearview mirror. This is a short favorite role for the Rays as they take their hacks against Hunter Brown.

Brown has had a bit of a weird start to the season. He struggled a bit against the hapless Tigers in his first 2023 start before shutting down the Twins and Rangers. He gave up four runs on seven hits to the Braves over 4.2 innings last time out. But, Brown has over a strikeout per inning, hasn’t allowed a home run, and owns a 37.1% Hard Hit% with a pretty unlucky 64.5% LOB%. He’s given up three unearned runs thus far.

What really stands out with Brown is that once he settles in, he’s golden. He has allowed six runs on 10 hits the first time through against 36 batters. He’s allowed three unearned runs on seven hits with a higher K% and a lower BB% the second time through to 36 batters. Brown also has premier velo when he really gets going with a hard, heavy cutter/slider and a good curveball.

The Rays counter with Calvin Faucher, who they’re hoping can become a starter in light of all the injuries. Faucher allowed three runs on five hits over 11 batters faced last time out. He’s given up a run in five straight appearances and has a 44.4% Hard Hit% against for the season. He’s only faced four batters the second time through, but two have reached and both scored.

Rays beat writers said to expect Josh Fleming to work after Faucher. He had a 6.43 ERA with a 4.43 FIP last season over 35 innings and a 5.09 ERA with a 4.27 FIP in 104.1 innings in 2021. So far this season, he’s allowed five runs on 10 hits to the Nationals and then two runs on just five hits in his last three outings against the Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Reds. It has been a very impressive turnaround, though he did walk four in his 3.1 innings against Toronto. The Jays just couldn’t fully capitalize.

At plus money, I have to give the Astros a look here. I know Yordan Alvarez is still out, but the Astros should match up well with Fleming and have a good chance at jumping out to a lead against Faucher. As much as Fleming has improved this season, righties still own a .371/.450/.400 slash with a .379 wOBA in 40 PA this season and a .287/.352/.435 slash with a .339 wOBA lifetime.

DraftKings has one of the lowest prices in the market on Houston. Shop around for a better one.

Pick: Astros +105

Oakland A’s at Los Angeles Angels (-230, 9.5)

A day after Mason Miller made his second start of the season, the A’s will send a new rookie to the bump in Luis Medina. The former Yankees farmhand will make his MLB debut in tonight’s matchup with the Halos. He allowed five runs on five hits in 9.1 innings across three Triple-A starts before getting the call. He’s a guy that has incredible strikeout upside, but also no idea where the ball is going most of the time. Back in 2019, he had 70 walks and 127 strikeouts in 103.2 innings of work.

When he joined Oakland’s Double-A team last season, he had 22 walks in 20.2 innings and gave up 28 runs on 35 hits, but had 26 strikeouts. He has very limited hope of working deep into games because he runs so many deep counts. He throws absurdly hard and can touch 101 with a ton of movement, but his control is, uh, undesirable. He has walked 274 in 391.1 minor league innings At least he has struck out 468 hitters.

Speaking of walks, what’s the deal with Patrick Sandoval? He just walked six Yankees in his last start and now has a 15/12 K/BB ratio on the season in 18.2 innings covering four starts. That start against the Yankees was easily his worst of the season, as he had only allowed two earned runs in the previous three outings. 

He’s also held opponents to just 27.6% in the Hard Hit% department. Both the Yankees and Red Sox have not really chased outside the zone in his last two starts. He did have a first inning from hell last time out and allowed five runs, including a bases loaded walk and then a three-run double. After that, Sandoval only allowed one hit and three walks, so he settled down a bit.

I don’t have anything here, as the Angels bullpen is rather terrifying if Medina and the A’s can keep it close. I also don’t want to lay juice on a home team run line price.

Colorado Rockies at Cleveland Guardians (-180, 7.5)

Alright, so I won’t have this out with much or any lead time, but I have to talk about Tanner Bibee because it’s a name you should know. Bibee has been on Cleveland’s velocity program and now sits in the mid-90s with the ability to touch 99, as we saw in his last minor league start.

In stark contrast to a guy like Medina, Bibee has struck out 186 and walked just 35 in 148 minor league innings. The Cal State Fullerton product was the Friday night starter for the Titans and then hit the ground running in a big way last season for the Guardians organization. He made 12 starts at High-A Lake County and finished at Double-A Akron before making three starts at Triple-A Columbus this season.

Bibee has drawn some comparisons to Shane Bieber, just with more velocity. He has only allowed 12 homers at the minor league level in 148 innings and has exceptional control. My bold call is that he’ll be the best starter in the Guardians rotation by season’s end. He is a legitimate pitching prospect and Cleveland’s pitching factory has done quite well. I’m excited for this start and all of his starts going forward.

German Marquez is back. A last quick note I added, remember his home/road splits going forward as long as he looks healthy here.

Detroit Tigers at Milwaukee Brewers (-200, 8)

We’re seeing a bit of a correction for both teams in this series. The Tigers have taken down the first two games, as they aren’t nearly as bad as they’ve played to this point. Meanwhile, the Brewers are regressing to their mean a little bit, especially with the pitcher injuries that they’ve had to deal with. You can still see how limited the Tigers are getting two starters that they could handle and only managing four runs in each game, but they’re at least showing some signs of life with a couple dubs.

I’m not sure they get one today with Michael Lorenzen up against Freddy Peralta. Lorenzen allowed six runs in his first start against the Giants, but bounced back really nicely with five shutout innings against the Orioles. That was one of those starts where the BABIP gods shined down because his average exit velo against was 94 mph and he only allowed three hits. 

Peralta needs a bounce back effort here. He’s allowed nine runs on 14 hits in his last two starts over 10.2 innings with only nine strikeouts in 49 batters. He had 14 strikeouts over his first 48 batters and there were a lot of glowing reports about how his stuff looked. The last two starts have been the opposite against the Padres and Red Sox. This is a Tigers lineup he should find a lot of success against, particularly in the K% department.

I got close to taking the Brewers run line here. Getaway day games can be tricky and the Tigers have some more positive vibes going after a rough start to the season, but the Brewers are way better against righties than lefties and Lorenzen is a below average pitcher, while Peralta shouldn’t be here. I think this is a decent bounce back spot for the Brewers.

I also have to take into account the lead time of the article and respect the readers. This is a 10:40 a.m. PT first pitch and I’m writing this sentence at 9:35 a.m. PT. That’s not very fair to all involved, so it’s a pass, but it is one I’d look at closely if you read this quickly enough.

Kansas City Royals at Arizona Diamondbacks (-265, 8.5)

Huge number here for Zac Gallen and the Snakes as they wrap up with the Royals and Ryan Yarbrough. After allowing 10 runs on 13 hits in his first two starts, Gallen hasn’t allowed a run over his last three outings with 29 strikeouts against one walk. He’s allowed seven hits in those starts against the Brewers, Marlins, and Padres. Whatever issue he had at the start of the year is long, long gone.

Yarbrough has allowed 11 runs on 15 hits in 13 innings of work and I don’t have high hopes for him this season. He’s away from the safety net of Tropicana Field and I just don’t think he’s a very effective pitcher after a series of injuries. The shift ban also hurts a pitch-to-contact guy like him, as he’s only struck out five of 59 batters.

Gallen has a good chance to carve up the Royals, but remember, they’re making a lot of hard contact with minimal results, so maybe we can pick off some dog prices going forward. Just not today.

Seattle Mariners (-120, 8.5) at Philadelphia Phillies

Guess I should have stuck with the M’s despite the pitching change yesterday, eh? Marco Gonzales and the Mariners were victorious over the Phillies and will look for another victory with Logan Gilbert on the hill against Taijuan Walker. I had written up a glowing review of Gilbert yesterday that had to go in the virtual shredder when his start was pushed back a day, but a lot of what I wrote still rings true for me today.

Gilbert had his start pushed back because of “muscle spasms in his scapula area” while working out on Sunday. He’s said to be fine and told reporters he could’ve pitched on Tuesday, but his routine was altered a bit when he played catch on Monday to make sure everything was okay. So, the Mariners erred on the side of caution. It has now been eight days since Gilbert pitched, but that may not be a bad thing coming off of his rockiest outing of the season against the Brewers.

But, Gilbert has allowed nine runs on 19 hits in 22.2 innings with a 28/4 K/BB ratio. He’s shaved a ton off of his Hard Hit%, going from 45.6% in 2022 to 36.2% in 2023. He’s also shaved 2.5 mph off of his average exit velocity. He’s actually inducing more ground balls this season to go along with more strikeouts and a better walk rate. I’m not sure if I love or hate the ground ball thing, but it speaks to an arsenal change where he’s throwing more curveballs and has introduced a splitter.

I think Gilbert has the chance to improve even more, as his first-strike percentage is 54.4% this season, well below last year’s 63.7%. His SwStr% is down a little because he’s been behind in the count more, but his Chase Rate is up and so is his called strike percentage. At 6-foot-6, Gilbert has 100th percentile extension, which should make him a really tough matchup for a Phillies lineup that hasn’t been exposed much.

I love the pitch usage changes. He’s actually gotten unlucky on fastball results per xBA and xSLG as well, so he’s putting up great numbers and has room for improvement. He’s always been a guy with great control and good command and the splitter is a good pitch to try and keep the ball down and cut down on the long ball.

Taijuan Walker only has 17 strikeouts in 21.1 innings this season. He’s also walked 12 guys. Walker battled a bit of a dead arm earlier in the season and has done well to limit hard contact,  but it’s not a profile I’m super excited about. He’s kept the ball on the ground at the highest rate of his career, but ha