Humility. I should have handled my brief moment of success last week with some humility and grace. I had finally done it. I had finally captured my perfect 3-0 article. So I bragged about it. I tempted the Gambling Gods and what did that get me? A quick 0-3 article on Friday, putting me right back where I had started. We’re still 27-20 on article plays for the season, but trust me when I say, I don’t feel great about it.
Let’s get back on track this evening with three more bets.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
The Twins ended the Yankees’ seven-game winning streak last night, but I don’t think that’s a sign of things to come. Still, it is worth pointing out that Minnesota activated Carlos Correa off of the COVID-19 injured list prior to Wednesday’s game, bringing their lineup much closer to full-strength. However, it’s also worth pointing out that Gerrit Cole has a 2.03 ERA and a 1.73 FIP dating back to April 24. Correa or not, Cole has been a dominant force in his last eight outings, holding opposing bats to a modest .220 wOBA. He’s incredibly talented and will look to keep the good times rolling against the Twins.
As for the man tasked with shutting down baseball’s No. 1 offense by wRC+ (117), Dylan Bundy has been struggling in his recent appearances. Honestly, the term “struggling” might not even do it justice. In Bundy’s past six starts, the right-hander has pitched to a horrific 8.44 ERA, allowing opposing bats to slash .350/.392/.625. Formerly a flame-throwing top prospect in Baltimore’s system, Bundy’s average fastball velocity is down to a career-low 89.6 mph in 2022, and while he’s managed to at least throw strikes consistently, he’s getting barrelled at a higher-than-average rate. It’s all bad news.
Even with Shohei Ohtani on the mound for the Angels, I suspect everyone and their grandmother will be betting on the Red Sox this evening. I don’t care. I’ll eat the chalk. I mean, there’s something almost hilarious about a team that’s lost 14 consecutive games being the favorite against a Boston squad that is 16-5 in its past 21 contests. Heck, the dulcet tones of Chad Kroeger couldn’t even save Los Angeles. Now they think they can beat Nick Pivetta, who’s maintained a sterling 1.32 ERA across his past six outings?
Also, something has seemed off with Ohtani in his last two appearances. It’s a small sample — and he’s faced stout competition in the Blue Jays and Yankees — but the RHP has surrendered nine earned runs in his past nine innings of work. Against Toronto, it was a back issue that effected Ohtani’s fastball velocity. Against New York, Ohtani could only muster a 4.0% swinging strike rate in a start that lasted just three frames. Maybe he bounces back on Thursday night, but the margin for error is razor thin. The Angels rank 28th in both wOBA (.270) and wRC+ (75) the past 14 days, so run support is likely going to be an issue, especially if Mike Trout is once again sidelined with a groin injury.
Look, I don’t have anything inspirational to say about Konnor Pilkington or James Kaprielian. However, it’s difficult for me to ever envision a scenario where an Athletics game in 2022 should have a total set this high. I’m just not sure where all these runs are supposed to be coming from.
Across the past two weeks, Oakland ranks dead-last in baseball in average (.199), ISO (.087), wOBA (.250) and wRC+ (65). Meanwhile, Cleveland isn’t exactly the 1927 Yankees, either. The team is buoyed by its incredible contact rate, but over the same span, the Guardians sit just 24th in ISO at .118. In fact, the two squads have combined for just 11 home runs in the last 14 days. To put that in perspective, the Blue Jays, by themselves, have managed 24. I’m not expecting duelling no-hitters or anything, but even if you fudge the numbers and call Cleveland a league-average offense, I don’t believe the Athletics will be able to do their part to get to this number.
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