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Rick’s MLB Plays 5/15

Baltimore Orioles @ Detroit Tigers

Favorite: Detroit -135

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Tyler Wells (3.75 ERA, 1.12 WHIP) vs. Tarik Skubal (2.94 ERA, 1.13 WHIP)

It’s no secret just how dreadful the Tigers offense has been to begin the season. Coming in with a lot of hype this year, they’ve been horrific on the bats, landing bottom three in almost every category. Thankfully for them they have Skubal on the mound today who has been exceptional. A 2.72 xERA and a guy who doesn’t walk batters and has a good strikeout rate, there won’t be any extra opportunities for base runners for the Orioles tonight.

From underperforming to over performing, the Orioles (14-20) have been quietly solid all-around. While their numbers vs lefties aren’t great, they’re 11th in OPS in the month of May and their pitching has been a pleasant surprise. Wells has been consistent for them, allowing only 4 runs in his last 3 outings. He shows some regression coming soon but nothing drastic.

Expect both starters to have solid outings, and considering both bullpens have been top half of the league thus far, they’ll follow suit.

Pick: u7.5 runs -105 (1u)

Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays

Favorite: Toronto -120

Total: 7

Pitchers: Alex Manoah (1.75 ERA, 0.89 WHIP) vs. Jeffrey Springs (2.12 ERA, 0.76 WHIP)

A battle between two pitchers who have been exceptional this year, Springs is without a doubt the much more surprising of the two. He landed at a 3.42 ERA last year in limited time, while the two years prior he had well over a 6 ERA. That said, he’s found his groove early this year, landing in the 80th percentile or greater in every advanced category. Manoah in his sophomore season in the big leagues has just continued to improve on what was phenomenal last year.

Both offenses are expected to be fantastic this year but are currently in extended droughts. Landing in the bottom third in OPS, BA, and wRC in May, they are desperate to get back on track. I’ve got more confidence in Manoah and Toronto’s bats to be able to pull back towards the mean today and am not yet convinced that Springs’ start can last.

Pick: Blue Jays F5 ML -120 (1u)

Chicago Cubs @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Favorite: Arizona -120

Total: 9

Pitchers: Justin Steele (5.32 ERA, 1.77 WHIP) vs. Humberto Castellanos (4.32 ERA, 1.20 WHIP)

Two pitchers that have not been keen to strike their opposition out enter the mound on Sunday afternoon. Steele not only doesn’t get swings and misses, but also walks a lot of batters. Reflected in his 1.77 WHIP, he’s poor about allowing base runners and it’s come to haunt him. The Diamondbacks are 3rd in OPS and 2nd in BA against LHP this year and that could spell trouble for Steele today.

Winners of 7 of their last 10, the Diamondbacks throw Castellanos on the mound. The difference thus far between him and Steele is that he hasn’t been walking opponents and due to that is only posting an xwOBA of .307. It helps that the Cubs are 28th in OPS over the last 3 weeks, posting a .195 BA and only 65 wRC+.

Pick: Diamondbacks F5 ML -115 (1.5u)

Additional plays and analysis can be found on my twitter, @RickHHSports. Feel free to follow on there and interact. Best of luck to all!

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