We’re entering the final stretch of games before the All-Star break, but don’t fret! Not only will I have picks for you the next two days, but I’ll also have articles up for both the Home Run Derby and the Midsummer Classic. I am a gracious God.
Still, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We’ve got a full slate of baseball on Thursday. We’re 40-34 on article plays of the season. Here’s a few bets I’m eyeing tonight.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
It would appear that whatever magic pitching dust the Dodgers sprinkled on Tyler Anderson this spring is starting to wear off. The left-hander has looked shaky in his past six starts, registering underwhelming marks in ERA (4.04), xFIP (4.45) and strikeout rate (16.4%) in this span of 35.2 innings. Don’t get me wrong, those numbers are fine — they’re actually very much in line with Anderson’s career rates — but I don’t think the veteran is anyone to fear.
Really, if there is something to fear in this matchup on Thursday, it’s the Cardinals’ lineup against a southpaw. Led by Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, St. Louis has crushed left-handed pitching throughout 2022, and the team’s 117 wRC+ within the split is the highest mark in the National League. Dylan Carlson (164 wRC+) and Albert Pujols (139 wRC+) have also been vital components of the Cardinals’ success versus lefties, while there’s a slight chance the powerful Tyler O’Neill could be activated off the IL in time to be active for this tilt. It’s a dangerous collection of bats and it’s one of the reasons St. Louis is 27-19 when playing at home. Dakota Hudson’s 2.62 ERA at Busch Stadium doesn’t hurt, either.
Cortes has struggled in recent starts, pitching to a 5.34 ERA across his last six appearances. However, with Luis Severino leaving Wednesday’s victory after just two innings of work, I think there’s going to be some added pressure to get Cortes deep into this game. The Yankees had to use six relievers to cover eight innings, including the likes of Clay Holmes, Michael King and Wandy Peralta. All three of those men also came out of the bullpen in Tuesday’s contest, putting their availability in serious question this evening.
So, with pitching depth up in the air, Aaron Boone might be inclined to lean on Cortes a little longer than usual. It’s not like his arm is going to fall off. Though he hasn’t crossed the 95-pitch plateau in over a month, Cortes threw 95-plus pitches in five consecutive outings earlier in the season. There’s a decent chance this prop hits without any managerial desperation, too. The Reds have scuffled at the plate over the past two weeks, posting a massive 29.8% strikeout rate and a modest 84 wRC+. If Cortes is rolling, there’s no way he doesn’t come out for the sixth.
Alright. For those of you living under a rock, let’s recap the Royals past 24 hours. With Kansas City heading across the border for their upcoming four-games series with the Blue Jays, the team had to place 10 players on the restricted list — easily the most of any club that has travelled to Toronto in 2022. Among those ineligible: Whit Merrifield, Andrew Benintendi, MJ Melendez, Michael A. Taylor and Hunter Dozier. That’s four of the five active members of the 26-man roster with a wRC+ over 100 this season and Merrifield, the Royals’ leadoff man and most accomplished bat. Woof.
I legitimately have no idea what Kansas City’s lineup is going to look like on Thursday, but for a team that already ranked 24th in wOBA (.302), I can’t imagine it’s going to be very good. Also, just for fun, the Royals are set to face Kevin Gausman. The right-hander hasn’t worked in 12 days due to an ankle injury, yet Gausman hasn’t allowed a run in 10 straight innings and his 1.68 FIP is the lowest of any pitcher with at least 80 innings thrown in 2022. Kansas City is going to struggle to get a hit, let alone three runs.
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