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  • Writer's pictureMason Dalley

Best Bet 7/14/2023

My Best Bet of the day Red Sox Run Line -1.5 against the Chicago Cubs.

DK +125

FD +130

BSB +120

The Red Sox are in Chicago to face the Cubs to open the 2nd half of the season. On the bump they have burgeoning ace Brayan Bello. Bello has pitched in 14 games to a 6-5 record. 3.04 ERA in 80.0 IP. His strikeouts are low, at only 70 on the season, but he does a good job denying traffic on the base paths with his low walk rate. Issuing only 22 free passes in 80.0 IP, good for a 2.48 BB/9, or a 6.5% walk rate. Bello cutting down his walk rate while maintaining his 20.8% strike out rate has allowed him to pitch longer into games, providing the length the Red Sox so desperately need. The Strikeouts will likely come along as continues to develop, as he sports an elite changeup that currently induces 43.9% whiff rate.

Those numbers are solid, but not typically what you see from someone with 3.04 ERA. What has made Bello exception this season is that he keeps the ball in the yard and on the ground. So far during the 2023 season Bello has induced a 56% ground ball rate from opposing batters. He has also dropped his Line Drive rate from 24.5% in 2022 to 17.8% in 2023. He is getting hit softer and inducing batters topping his pitches with his nasty Sinker.

The Sinker is his most used pitch at 35.2% clip. Averaging at 95MPH and keeping it low in the zone has lead to it being his main soft contact pitch. He gets ground balls 68% of the time while throwing it, along with a paltry 10.5% fly ball rate when throwing his main pitch. This has lead to an elite 0.90 HR/9. Bello has not pitched enough innings to qualify on the starting pitcher leaderboard, but his number would be good for T-19th in all of MLB.

For all of the reasons listed above, I'm taking the Red Sox against the Cubs because Bello is great at what the Cubs are bad at. The Cubs as a team hit ground balls at a 44.7% clip, the 5th highest in baseball. The Cubs also don't hit home runs often. They total 96 round trippers on the season, ranking 21st in all of MLB. All the Red Sox need to do is not perform slapstick comedy in the field, and generate some offense, and I see an easy cover.

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