• Don't Expect The Mariners To Turn It Around In 2020

    Last season, the Seattle Mariners went 68-94 (.420). However, it’s important to realize that Seattle got out to an MLB-best 13-2 start to the year before going 55-92 to close out the campaign, which was more of an accurate representation of how badly they struggled for most of the year. While there’s uncertainty in terms of if and when a season will even occur, DraftKings lists the odds of Seattle having a winning percentage of .410 or less at -112. That’s a solid bet for the following two reasons, no one is picking Seattle to be an MLB consensus pick to win it all, and the Mariners have some glaring issues.  


    Awful Pitching Staff

    At this point in time, Seattle’s starting rotation would most likely consist of Marco Gonzales, Yusei Kikuchi, Taijuan Walker, Kendall Graveman and Justus Sheffield. Yikes. Gonzales was the team’s ace in 2019 and went 16-13 with a 3.99 ERA in 34 starts, which was respectable, but allowed 210 hits in 203.0 innings pitched which isn’t exactly ideal for a guy at the top of the rotation. Kikuchi struggled mightily in his rookie season and went 6-11 with a 5.46 ERA in 32 starts. He allowed 195 hits and a ridiculous 36 home runs in just 161.2 innings pitched and was no match for Major League hitters. Walker will make his return to the team he broke into the Majors with, but has made just four starts over the last two seasons due to injuries. He’s essentially a wild card, as is Graveman, who is a 29 year old coming off of Tommy John surgery. Sheffield spent time up and down between the Majors, Double-A and Triple-A last season and managed a 5.50 ERA over eight appearances (seven starts) with the Mariners. Seattle’s bullpen had a 4.76 ERA last year, and while they’re essentially turning a new leaf there, they’ll hand the ball off to Yoshihisa Hirano, Carl Edwards Jr., Dan Altavilla, Matt Magill, Brandon Brennan, Taylor Guilbeau and Nestor Cortes Jr. There’s probably a reason the people who make MLB expert picks aren’t picking this team to win the World Series this year. 


    Lineup Filled With Question Marks

    While Mitch Haniger took strides forward in his 2018 All-Star campaign, he was limited to just 63 games last season due to injuries and is recovering from sports hernia surgery. Some combination of catcher Tom Murphy, first basemen Evan White and Daniel Vogelbach, second baseman Shed Long, third baseman Kyle Seager, shortstop J.P. Crawford, center fielder Mallex Smith and right fielder Kyle Lewis will likely make up the starting lineup while utilityman Austin Nola and the versatile Dee Gordon figure to get in the mix as well and potentially contend for starting roles. While Lewis and White are on the team’s top prospect list, it’s difficult to project immediate Major League success for either of them and the rest of the lineup figures to be one of the lowest-threat squads in all of baseball, despite the elite speed of Smith and Gordon. We wouldn’t recommend putting too many MLB money line bets down on the Mariners this year. 


    While we still don’t know how many games the 2020 MLB season will be (if there is one), it seems like a foregone conclusion that the Mariners will struggle at the plate and on the mound, which should amount to overall disappointment in the loss column.

  • If The 2020 MLB Season Happens, The Red Sox Will Struggle

    Mookie Betts: traded away in his prime. Chris Sale: Tommy John surgery. It’s safe to say that Boston Red Sox fans aren’t having a great time this offseason. Slashing salaries isn’t unheard of in Boston: what happened when they shipped off Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers was preceded by that massive deal that got rid of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford back in the day. Remember that? There’s no denying that Boston should still be a formidable group offensively, but there are a couple reasons why you should absolutely bet on Boston to post under on their MLB over under of a .520 win percentage this season. DraftKings is listing those odds at -112. Let’s get into why it doesn’t matter that J.D. Martinez, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, Rafael Devers and company will score runs. 


    Starting Rotation

    With Sale now ruled out for any 2020 campaign due to Tommy John surgery, it looks like Boston’s starting rotation would be Eduardo Rodriguez, Nathan Eovaldi, Martin Perez, Collin McHugh and Ryan Weber. Rodriguez has double-digit strikeout upside every time out and is coming off a career-best campaign in which he went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA over 34 starts. But, he’s been wildly inconsistent throughout his career on a start-by-start basis, which isn’t optimal as an ace. After helping the Sox win a title back in 2018, Eovaldi was awarded with a massive multi-year deal that he instantly ruined when he posted a 5.99 ERA over 23 appearances (12 starts) in an injury-ridden 2019 campaign. Perez has a 4.72 career ERA and posted a 5.12 ERA over 32 appearances (29 starts) with the Minnesota Twins last year. At this point in his career, he’s an innings eater. McHugh made 35 appearances (eight starts) for the Houston Astros last season and posted a 4.70 ERA over 74.2 innings. Finally, Weber made 18 appearances (three starts) for the Sox last season and posted a 5.09 ERA over 40.2 innings. As a 29-year-old journeyman, he’ll also be an innings-eater. With a starting rotation full of innings-eaters it is going to be tough to think the people who make MLB picks will be backing the Red Sox this year, even if it is just moneyline picks. With this being said, Boston’s bullpen will most likely be heavily taxed.


    Bullpen

    Brandon Workman very quietly emerged as an elite closer last season. He will likely be supported by Matt Barnes, Heath Hembree, Darwinzon Hernandez, Marcus Walden and Ryan Brasier, among others. With Boston’s starting rotation looking so poor, the team will most likely be forced into getting a ton of innings out of this bunch. Even in a shortened season, this will likely become a major issue, especially against powerhouse lineups in the American League like the MLB consensus picks for the AL pennant the New York Yankees and Astros. While the aforementioned names are all serviceable options, none of them possess electric stuff that can truly overpower opposing hitters like some other squads have the fortune of having in the later innings. If this season gets underway, don’t expect much out of the Red Sox.

  • MLB Opening Day: Chicago Cubs vs Miami Marlins

    The 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season officially kicks off this week on March 29. With all 30 MLB teams in action Thursday, let's take a closer look at two games and where the value's at. This year's opening day will be the earliest start to the season in league history. 

     
    Chicago Cubs vs Miami Marlins
     
    Let's be honest -- it always comes down to the pitching matchups. The first game we'll look at is the Miami Marlins hosting the Chicago Cubs, with Jon Lester and Jose Urena up for their respective squads. 
     
    What to Watch For
     
    Marlins' Main Man: Jose Urena had a strong campaign last year, finishing with a 3.82 ERA and a 14-7 record. He's now entering his fourth year in the majors, and what will be important to keep an eye on is his opposing batting average. He was at .238 last year, the best of his career, and among the lowest in the league. 
     
    Urena is projected to finish with 5 innings pitched Thursday, giving up 3.0 earned runs and about 6 hits; he averages five-to-six strikeouts per simulated matchup. 
     
    It's important to keep in mind the Miami rotation last season recorded a 4.82 ERA and had just 34 saves in 61 opportunities. That 4.82 ERA was No. 26 of 30 in the major. 
     
    Chicago's Bats: Last season, the Cubs' batting lineup recorded a .255 average.
     
    Albert Almora and Kris Bryant lead the way in sims for Chicago, with Almora averaging 1.6 hits per sim with 4.5 at bats per sim, and Bryant with 1.4 hits per sim with 4.2 at bats per sim. Bryant does have a higher probability of hitting a homerun, averaging 0.22 HRs per sim compared to Almora's 0.14. The Cubs average 5.3 runs score per sim, compared to 4.9 for the Marlins. 
     
    Key Betting Trends
    • The Cubs are 1-4 straight up (SU) in their last five games going back to last year.
    • The Cubs are 7-3 SU in its last 10 games vs the Marlins.
    • The Cubs are 3-7 SU in their last 10 games when playing on the road against the Marlins.
    Analyst's Pick
     
    Miami.
     
    Vegas opened this matchup with the Cubs as money line favorites (-192) and the total set at 8. The Marlins are getting +180 on the money line, indicating about a 35.7 chance of winning for Miami. They, however, win over 46 percent of simulated matchups, providing a ton of value on them in most books.
     
    The Cubs are 2-6 against the spread (ATS) in their last 8 games on the road vs the Marlins. 
  • MLB Opening Day: San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers

    The 2018 Major League Baseball (MLB) regular season officially kicks off this week on March 29. With all 30 MLB teams in action Thursday, let's take a closer look at two games and where the value's at. This year's opening day will be the earliest start to the season in league history.
     
    San Francisco Giants vs Los Angeles Dodgers
     
    Clayton Kershaw against divisional rivals on opening day? Sign us up. 
     
    What to Watch For
     
    Dodgers' Leadoff Man and Center Fielder: Chris Taylor will become an all-too-familiar name for Dodgers fans as he is projected to lead off for the home side on opening day. He actually opened 2017 in the minors before a breakout season and is locked in at leadoff -- largely becuse of his power and athleticism. 
     
    Taylor averages about 4 at bats per sim, 1.4 hits per sim, and 0.8 runs per sim; he has the second-lowest probability of hitting a homerun amongst the top seven batters in the Dodgers lineup. 
     
    Injuries: Dodgers' Justin Turner is currently on the disabled list and is expected to be out for 1-to-2 months with a broken wrist. 
     
    Projected Leaders: Andrew McCutchen, batting at the No. 3 spot for SF, has the highest probability of hitting a HR for his side. He averages 0.15 HRs per sim, averaging 0.5 RBIs per sim. For the Dodgers, it's Cody Bellinger. He averages 0.30 HRs per sim, and 0.7 RBIs per sim. 
     
    Key Betting Trends
    • The Giants are 4-2 against the spread (ATS) in their last six games going back to last season.
    • The total has gone UNDER in 11 of the Giants' last 15 games going back to last season.
    • San Francisco is 2-6 straight up (SU) in its last 8 games on the road going back to last season.
    • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Giants' last 6 games on the road going back to last season.
    • The Giants are 1-4 ATS and SU in their last five games vs the Dodgers going back to last season.
    • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the Giants' last five games vs the Dodgers.
    • The Giants are 1-5 SU in their last six games on the road vs the Dodgers.
    Analyst's Pick
     
    The UNDER.
     
    We've got Kershaw on the mound, plus the total has gone UNDER in 5 of the Giants' last 5 games on the road vs the Dodgers.
  • The Diamondbacks Are Positioned To Make A Splash In 2020

    Last season, the Arizona Diamondbacks went 85-77 (.525) and missed a playoff berth. However, after making some offseason moves, the D-Backs are positioned well and our one of the MLB public betting favorites heading into what will most likely be an abbreviated 2020 campaign. DraftKings listed Arizona’s odds to post above a .515 winning percentage at -112, and there are a few reasons to jump all over this MLB over under bet. 


    Home Cookin’

    Due to the fact that Arizona houses 10 Spring Training fields in addition to Chase Field, there’s a chance that many (or all) neutral field games will be held right in their backyard, if not right in their home stadium. Although crowds will almost certainly not be admitted into games this season, there’s a certain comfort of playing close to family and friends, even if the team ends up being quarantined and only permitted to and from the stadium from a designated hotel. Nonetheless, this could end up being a gigantic advantage to jump on before the odds move. 


    Major Offseason Signings

    During the offseason, the D-Backs signed Madison Bumgarner, Kole Calhoun and Hector Rondon and also added centerfielder Starling Marte via trade. All of a sudden, they have a solidified starting rotation consisting of Bumgarner, Robbie Ray, Zac Gallen, Marrill Kelly and Luke Weaver. Closer Archie Bradley will now be supported by Rondon, who will likely take on the eighth inning setup role while Calhoun will most likely be the everyday right fielder and Marte will now man center. Bumgarner made 34 starts last season and managed a 9-9 record and 3.90 ERA for the San Francisco Giants. While those numbers didn’t live up to his sparkling 3.13 career ERA, he’s still regarded as an elite pitcher and will immediately take over as the ace. Calhoun is coming off a career-high 33 homers campaign in which he also knocked in 74 runs. While he hit just .232, he will likely be a source of pop towards the bottom of Arizona’s lineup. Rondon made 62 appearances as a member of the Houston Astros last season and managed a 3.71 ERA and 19 holds over 60.2 innings pitched. He will instantly become a major piece of Arizona’s bullpen. Marte will likely bat towards the top of the lineup based on his ability to hit for average (.295 last season), power (a career-high 23 home runs and 82 RBIs) and serve as a threat on the basepaths (23 steals). All four of these additions answered immediate needs and could even lead the people who make MLB expert picks to start to favor the Diamondbacks. 


    A Deep And Versatile Lineup

    Further, their lineup will give manager Torrey Lovullo a lot of opportunities to platoon his starters including at catcher (Carson Kelly, Stephen Vogt) and first base (Christian Walker, Jake Lamb). The switch-hitting abilities of second baseman Ketel Marte and Eduardo Escobar will also come in handy, while David Peralta, Marte and Calhoun will man the outfield. Shortstop Nick Ahmed is one of the most sure-handed shortstops in baseball defensively and others like Josh Rojas, Tim Locastro and Ildemaro Vargas could also find playing time in utility roles off the bench. Overall, this is a deep offense that shouldn’t be written off. 

Joomla SEF URLs by Artio