• Rick

Rick’s MLB Plays 5/23

Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds

Favorite: Cubs -130

Total: 9

Pitchers: Drew Smyly (3.97 ERA, 1.38 WHIP) vs. Vladimir Gutierrez (8.65 ERA, 1.92 WHIP)

All that could go wrong has gone wrong in the sophomore season for Gutierrez. He has yet to pitch more than 4 innings and has allowed at least 2 runs in every outing. He’s reliant on his fastball that he throws 50% of the time, but he’s getting torn to bits on it, posting a .727 Slugging percentage on it. The Reds recently went on a decent run and are 6-4 in their last 10. However they’ve now lost 4 of 7, scoring a pitiful 12 runs in those games.

The Cubs have by no means been good. Their bats have been below average throughout the year and pitching has work to do at all levels. Smyly has been alright so far, posting a 3.97 ERA, and is better on the road with a 2.66. He’s below average in xwOBA and xBA, but is in the 96th percentile for average exit velocity. Their bats have also begun to find a groove through facing the Diamondbacks twice with the Pirates sandwiched in between. Scoring 5 or more runs in 5 of their last 7, the Cubs will look to continue that trend today against Gutierrez who can’t miss a batter’s barrel at the moment.

Pick: Cubs ML -130 (1u) & Cubs F5 ML -135 (1u)

David Banks - USA Today

Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees

Favorite: Yankees -330

Total: 7.5

Pitchers: Jordan Lyles (4.11 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) vs. Gerrit Cole (2.89 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)

The Yankees are a top-3 team in baseball in my eyes. The Dodgers have a clear grasp on the top spot, then I think the Yankees and Mets have ahold of the other two. With Outstanding starting pitching and solid relievers and a lineup that can round the bases at any spot, they’re just brutal to play against and the poor Orioles have already faced their wrath 10 times this year, picking up only 3 wins in the process.

Before playing the Rays, the Orioles lost 3 of 4 against the Yankees, but put up a phenomenal fight. In two of the losses they managed to only lose by 1 run. The Orioles are coming off of a series win against the Rays and are looking to build off of some strong offensive showings recently. The Yankees are coming off of a Sunday back-to-back against the White Sox, and while Cole is on the mound, there is no reason for the Yankees to be this large of a favorite.

Pick: Orioles F5 +1.5 -130 (1u) & Orioles ML +255 (0.4u)

Rob Carr - Getty Images

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals

Favorite: Dodgers -230

Total: 9

Pitchers: Tyler Anderson (4.04 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) vs. Joan Adon (6.38 ERA, 1.61 WHIP)

In a tale of two teams, the MLB’s best team (not record-wise, before I get yelled at) travel across the country to the Nationals who are 2nd to last in wins. In every facet of the game, these two teams could not be polar opposite. Beginning with the pitchers, Anderson has been solid on the road posting a 3.29 ERA. He also is among the top pitchers this year in exit velocity, hard hit %, and chase rate, so it’s safe to say I doubt Soto will be going yard while he’s in. Adon is quite the opposite. Hit as consistently as anyone in the league, his fastball (67% usage) has not cut it for him like it did last year.

The Dodgers have continued their fantastic start to the season, posting numbers good for 4th in OPS and 5th in Slugging over the past 14 days, while the Nationals continue to sputter to 23rd and 27th respectively. Traveling across country is never easy, but when you’re a professional it should not cause any concern. The Dodgers should take care of business today early and knock Adon out before he gets to the fifth.

Pick: Dodgers F5 -1 -110 (1u)

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