We’re back with another article and it comes after we went on a 6-0 run this weekend and profited 5 units! Let’s try to build on our successful weekend with these bets tonight. If you haven’t already, be sure to check us out on Twitter: @sportsbettingm8 (Follow us) and subscribe to our free bets on Telegram: t.me/sportsbettingmasters
St. Louis Cardinals – Pittsburgh Pirates
Pirates ML @ (2.20/+120)
Mikolas and his struggles against lefties
Mike Mikolas is one of two players: somebody who gets outs quickly and goes deep into games or someone who gets blown up as he generates very few strikeouts. This difference comes down to huge splits comparing right-handed batters to left-handed batters. As you can see in the chart above, his stats are far worse against lefties in every category. This is a problem against a Pirates team that will have a minimum of four left-handed batters in the lineup and as a team is the fourth best in terms of strikeouts. If the Pirates are making good contact they can put up runs in a hurry. The amount of left-handed batters in the lineup is concerning if betting on Mikolas, this is a spot where there is value backing the Pirates offense.
An injury-filled Cardinals team vs. Musgrove
Already being concerned about Mikolas, the Cardinals offense will be missing two key players: Marcel Ozuna and Yadier Molina. These are obviously two main contributors, both players are top 3 on the team in terms of batting average and Ozuna leads the team in runs batted in. Without these two the rest of the team will go up against Joe Musgrove who has been better on the road this season (3.67 ERA on the road vs. a 4.62 ERA at home). However, you can’t go strictly on ERA numbers alone. Another intriguing piece of information is Musgrove’s elite numbers against right-handed batters. He’ll only face three in the entire Cardinals lineup, Carpenter, Fowler, and Wong (Wong is 0 for 7 against him). If he can navigate through the lineup, I think he can give us value tonight.
Kansas City Royals – Chicago White Sox
White Sox ML @ (1.80/-125)
Junis struggling at home
We’ll begin with the Royals pitcher Jake Junis who has been in the midst of a rollercoaster season. Currently, he holds a 4-9 record with a high ERA of 5.33, a .275 opposing batting average and has allowed 20 home runs in 19 starts of the season. However, things have been even worse lately as he has given up 12 runs over his last three starts. It is also worth noting he has a 5.89 ERA in 10 starts at home this season opposed to a 4.73 ERA on the road. He had a good performance going into the All-Star break vs. the Washington Nationals, but to be short and to the point, this is not a player I am trusting. Unlike this pitcher, we’ll discuss next.
Giolito in position for a solid start to the second half
Before we get into the analysis, take a look at these charts, the first is Giolito’s splits (lefties vs. righties) and the second is the Royals lifetime batting average of Royals players vs. Giolito:
So let’s break this down. Lucas Giolito has shown reverse splits this year meaning he is better against left-handed batters than right-handed batters. While the Royals are not a left-handed heavy team, they do have four of them in the lineup (Gordon and Mondesi are two of them and are some of the better hitters on the team). As for the entire team as a whole, the numbers against Giolito are terrible and it is a pretty large sample size as well. What is even more concerning for the Royals is that their numbers are this bad and Giolito was actually a bad pitcher himself last year before his unbelievable turnaround season this year. Giolito has been money against AL Central opponents all year (5-0 in last five) and we will trust him to do it again this evening.
Philadelphia Phillies – Los Angeles Dodgers
Dodgers -1.5 @ (1.86/-115)
The Kershaw effect
Tonight, Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Dodgers. While he may not be the best pitcher in the league anymore, he has still been amongst the best as usual. 7-2 with a 3.09 ERA. However, what is most intriguing tonight, is the Phillies lack of success against him. Looking at some of these past meetings, only J.T. Realmuto has any long term success against him. The rest of the team has ten at-bats or less, or in the case of players like Bryce Harper, have less very few hits off of him in a larger number of at-bats. In his first meeting with the Phillies, Kershaw went seven innings, gave up zero earned runs and six hits. I think he’s in another good spot tonight, the same cannot be said against for Zach Eflin, the pitcher for the Phillies.
Zach Eflin and his struggles against lefties
This chart is probably looking familiar by now, but it goes to show that Eflin is another pitcher who cannot get lefties out. On the season, he is an extremely inconsistent pitcher as well. While he has a 3.78 ERA, his xFIP is 4.70, which simply means he has been lucky in many of his games and the numbers are not what they may seem. The Phillies are also 3-7 in his last ten starts and he is someone we cannot trust long term. However, what makes the Dodgers a bad matchup for him is the left-handed power in the Dodgers lineup. Players like Cody Bellinger, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Max Muncy and Alex Verdugo. The Dodgers have a lot of options with a potential lineup (potentially up to 5 left-handed batters in the lineup) and by looking at Eflin’s underlying statistics, the Dodgers may be in a spot where they can take advantage.