It doesn’t happen often, but last night’s was about as sweat-free a card as I can remember this season. I mean, we could’ve taken the White Sox by a touchdown against the Athletics, because the run line was decided quickly. The first two batters of the game hit solo home runs! It truly couldn’t have gone better.
A nice 2-0 night puts our record on article plays at 65-57 for the season. Here are three more plays on the diamond.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Let’s go right back to the well, shall we? I won’t sugarcoat how terrible Giolito has pitched since the All-Star break, yet it is worth pointing out that the right-hander has looked far more comfortable pitching on the road in 2022. Across 69.0 innings in the split, Giolito has managed a respectable 3.91 ERA, while he’s only surrendered 1.30 home runs per nine. Again, we’re dealing with a low bar at this point, but I think pitching at the extremely pitcher-friendly Coliseum can only help Giolito. If he can at least work into the sixth inning this evening, this prop should be very obtainable.
The reason for my optimism is pretty clear: The Athletics stink. The club has certainly hit for more power in the second-half of the season — the return of Ramon Laureano doesn’t hurt, either — yet at the end of the day, this is a team with a .275 wOBA versus RHPs. Over the last two weeks specifically, Oakland owns MLB’s highest swinging strike rate (13.4%) and the American League’s highest strikeout rate (27.7%). I believe even Giolito can take advantage.
The only worry with a prop like this is intent. What exactly are the Reds wanting from the final month of this season? Are they putting their best foot forward to win every night? Or are they maybe in the business of being overprotective of a young arm? To me, I don’t think we have to be too mindful of the latter when it comes to Lodolo. At least not yet. While Lodolo’s started 18 games across three levels in 2022, he’s not even surpassed 90.0 innings of work so far this season. He’s also managed over 100 pitches in each of his past two outings — the first time in his career he’s done so in consecutive appearances. All signs point to their being no current limitations with the lefty.
Those two starts were really good, too. In fact, Lodolo’s sporting a 2.89 ERA and a 3.22 FIP in his last eight outings. In five of those contests, usually the ones where walks weren’t a massive issue, the rookie was able to record at least 17 outs. With the Brewers having struggled against left-handed pitching all season long — they own the third-highest strikeout rate within the split and just a 87 wRC+ — I like Lodolo’s chances of going deep once again. Six innings shouldn’t be an issue.
I’m not sure people realize just how good Stripling’s been this season for the Blue Jays. An early-season injury to Hyun-Jin Ryu forced the veteran into the team’s rotation, where Stripling has posted a 2.91 ERA and a 2.93 FIP across 19 starts. Some of that success has been Toronto generally shielding Stripling from facing opposing hitters a third time through, yet it’s mostly been due to the development of a change-up. The veteran threw the pitch only 15.3% of the time in 2021. In 2022? He’s using it in 26.7% of counts and it’s garnered an insane 34.1% whiff rate.
The Jays are also no longer overly protective of Stripling. He’s worked at least six innings in each of his past four starts and five of his last seven overall — with one of the outings he failed to do so coinciding with a glute issue that landed the RHP on the 15-day injured list. Toronto is starting a stretch of 11 games in 10 days on Friday. The team is likely going to be going with a bullpen game on Sunday, as it is. I think the Jays will be looking to get all the length they can from Stripling this evening, going up against a Texas lineup that’s been far better when facing southpaws this season.
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