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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

7/17-7/20 Look Ahead Best Bets

Series and Props to Keep an Eye On

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Best Bet for Moneyline: Miami Marlins @ St. Louis Cardinals

7/17-Luzardo vs TBD

7/18-TBD vs Montgomery

7/19-Alcantara vs TBD

The Miami Marlins are coming off a series loss against one of the best teams in all of MLB in the Baltimore Orioles. The perfect bounce back opportunity has knocked on their door as they travel to St. Louis to face the last place Cardinals. 2 weeks ago these teams linked up to play each other in a 4 game set in which Miami took 3 out of 4, outscoring the Red Birds 25-18.

I see value in this series because of the pitchers Miami has bookending the set. Jesus Luzardo is experiencing a break out year. He has put together a stellar 8-5/3.29 ERA/109.1 IP/129 SO/1.13 WHIP/3.23 FIP pitching line so far in 2023 and there is no reason to foresee any sort of regression. While he does get hit hard, ranking in the 48th percentile of Hard Hit rate per Baseball Savant, he is elite when it comes to generating whiffs and getting guys to chase bad pitches. The left hammers the bottom right quadrant of the plate with a high velocity fastball mix of 4SEAM/SINKER/CUTTER and an elite Slider that induces a 51.7% Whiff Rate.

While the Fish are likely going with a Bullpen day on Tuesday 7/18, Wednesday 7/19 they have 2022 NL Cy Young Sandy Alcantara on the bump. While Alcantara has regressed into his worst form since 2019, There are encouraging underlying numbers to have faith that he can still perform at a high level. He is still flamethrowing his fastball and eating innings up with 120.1 IP already this season. Confusingly he ranks 92nd percentile in chase rate, but only 48th percentile in whiff rate. I think that whiff rate has to improve over the back half of the season with how often he generates chases. He is also missing barrels at a good rate as well, ranking in the 69th percentile. He has pitched considerably better since 6/27. In his past 4 starts he has only allowed 8 runs in 24.2 IP. A pitcher of his caliber should be able to continue performing well, even if it's not quite what he was the past couple of seasons.

The best reason to pick Miami moneyline this week is that the Cardinals have caught the losing bug. Winning and losing are just as contagious as each other and the Cardinals continue to find creative ways to lose. The last time they faced the Fish, The cardinals took a lead into the bottom of the 9th and proceeded to error away the game and let Miami walk it off. They pitch poorly with a team ERA and FIP of 4.63 and 4.18 respectively. They defend poorly with a Defensive Runs Above Average and UZR of -7.4 and -8.7 respectively. Performing at a bottom 3rd level in two of three major aspects of the game does not bode well when facing down a team that just always seems to figure out a way to win. Take the Marlins Straight up this series.

Best Bet for Overs: Tampa Bay Rays @ Texas Rangers

7/17 McClanahan vs Dunning

7/18 Bradley vs Eovaldi

7/19 TBD vs Jn. Gray

I love the value the overs should have in this series. It's a very straightforward pick. The Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays are the 1st and 3rd ranked offenses in all of MLB per fWAR, scored the 1st and 2nd most runs in all of MLB, rank 2nd and 3rd in OPS in all of MLB, and so and so forth. They score runs with better than everybody else in the American League. I think the overs are going to have some value because of the pitching matchups scheduled, and that Vegas has not really caught on to how the Rangers are mediocre when it comes to facing teams with a .500 or better win percentage. They are only 19-21 against good teams, while Tampa is a stellar 32-22 against teams above a .500 winning percentage.

I do not see Texas's bullpen holding up if Dunning, Eovaldi, and Gray get hit early and are chased before the 6th inning. I also think Tampa's bullpen won't hold up particularly well if they don't get length from their starters. I see high scoring affairs that Tampa ends up winning.

Best Bet for Run Line: Houston Astros @ Colorado Rockies

7/18 Brown vs TBD

7/19 Bielak vs Gomber

Nice little two game set to cover some run lines. They could be -2.5 and I would still pick Houston. Houston starting pitcher Hunter Brown takes the mound on Tuesday night and he is a burgeoning stud. Per baseball savant, he has an 86th percentile fastball velocity and a 79th percentile K%. hHs xSLG percentile is 71st, which is important considering that pitchers who aren't adept at denying extra base hits get shelled at Coors Field.

I like Brown a ton heading into the 2nd half of the season because he has been one of the unluckiest pitchers in all of MLB. to have an ERA/xERA/FIP/xFIP line of 4.12/3.78/3.35/3.01 is just bad luck. An allowed batting average on balls in play, or BABIP for short, of .349 can be chalked up to bloop singles and balls ending up in no mans land. There is no bad defense to be blamed either, Houston has accrued 15 defensive runs above average, good for 3rd in all of MLB. The ERA will normalize as Brown's luck positively regresses to the mean

As much as I like the Astros for their consistency and high level play, this cover has value because of how bad the Rockies are. They play at Coors Field and have accrued -0.8 fWAR offensively this season. They have the 2nd worst team ERA, 5.71, team FIP, 5.26, and team xFIP 4.95 in all of MLB. If you're thinking to yourself "Well the Rockies aren't good at hitting or pitching, are they at least able to defend well?" you're right, sort of. They are perfectly average, ranking 15th, in defensive runs above average. Unfortunately for the Rockies, playing perfectly average defense is not enough to rack up wins or covers. Hammer the Astros for these two games.

Best Bet for Unders: Minnesota Twins @ Seattle Mariners

7/17 So. Gray vs L. Gilbert

7/18 Ober vs Woo

7/19 Maeda vs L. Castillo

The Minnesota Twins and Seattle Mariners are addicted to not scoring runs and churning out outstanding pitching performances.

Surely both teams are capable of taking advantage of such amazing pitching!

The Twins and Mariners are running into each other at a perfect time to deliver on some unders. Not one of these starting pitcher matchups features even just an average level starter, they're all great. Their bullpens are great as well. The 7/18 game as well feels like a lock because Sonny Gray and his 2.89 ERA/2.85 FIP/99.2 IP pitcher line is facing off against Logan Gilbert and his 3.66 ERA/3.47 FIP/108.1 IP. These dudes are nails, and the offenses they are facing are not. Hit the under.

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