I hope everyone enjoyed their summer Sunday yesterday whether it be grilling out, hitting the pool, or relaxing before another long week. I slept in then turned on the TV for the gigantic 1pm EST slate of games. Thankfully, I had a solid bounce-back day due to the Reds and we enter this week with positivity. 4 plays today including a rare 2-unit play, so lets get em started.
Atlanta Braves @ Washington Nationals (7:05 PM ET)
Favorite: Braves -145
Pitchers: Ian Anderson (4.53 ERA, 1.39 WHIP) vs. Josiah Gray (4.33 ERA, 1.32 WHIP)
The Braves might be on the quietest 11-game winning streak I’ve ever seen. While their level of competition was much easier (Diamondbacks, Rockies, Athletics, and Pirates), winning 11 in a row can never be scoffed at or downplayed. It’s baseball after all, on any night the pitching could just not be there. That said, their pitching has been excellent recently, allowing more than 3 runs only twice in the last 10 games. Their bats have been solid as well, logging an OPS good for 4th in June and are getting production from all levels of the order. Washington has been decent themselves, 5-5 over their last 10 games with a number of their bats batting over the .300 mark in June. They look to continue their surge in this series against the scorching hot Braves.
Ian Anderson takes the mound for Atlanta struggling as of late. Over his last 23.2 IP he’s allowed 15 runs on 27 hits and 8 walks. He’s allowing people on base and getting paid for it. His barrel rate is still great but he’s pitching to contact and people are making it. He’s trending in the wrong direction and I’m not sure if it’ll flip. On a very different note, Josiah Gray has been making strides in his game lately. He’s allowed only 2 runs in his last 3 games and hasn‘t allowed much contact recently, though he needs to cut down on his walks. He still tends to get hit hard so home runs and extra base hits are a concern, but they’ve been coming few and far between. I think the up-and-coming Josiah Gray does enough in the first five behind hot bats of his own to pull out a result.
Pick: Nationals F5 +0.5 -120 (1u)
David J. Griffin / Icon Sportswire
Miami Marlins @ Philadelphia Phillies (7:05 PM ET)
Favorite: Phillies -135
Pitchers: Sandy Alcantara (1.61 ERA, 0.93 WHIP) vs. Aaron Nola (3.50 ERA, 0.88 WHIP)
You just can’t say enough about Sandy Alcantara. Up to this point, he’s got my vote for NL Cy Young. He’s in the top 10 percent in xwOBA, xERA, xBA, xSLG, Chase Rate, and Fastball Velocity and he’s not slowing down anytime soon. Over his last 4 games he’s pitched a whopping 33 innings and has allowed only 1 run on 19 hits. He’s dealing and nobody isn’t hitting him, not even this scorching hot Phillies team behind Nola. Aaron is top 10 percent in a handful of categories himself including xERA, but he’s also bottom half in exit velocity and barrel percentage. He’s allowed 4+ runs in 3 of his last 6 starts and has been much worse at home allowing a 4.41 ERA, albeit against tougher teams.
The Phillies bats are scorching hot recently, ranking top 5 in every offensive category in July, but Miami isn’t far behind, hovering around 10th in most categories. Over the last 5 games Miami has scored 25 runs, not far off from Philadelphia’s 30. Don’t expect many runs from either side tonight, which is why I’m going with Sandy Alcantara to do enough early on and keep his side in right in it before the relievers come to play.
Pick: Marlins F5 +0.5 -135 (1u)
Jasen Vinlove / USA Today
Baltimore Orioles @ Toronto Blue Jays (7:07 PM ET)
Favorite: Blue Jays -320
Pitchers: Kyle Bradish (6.45 ERA, 1.59 WHIP) vs. Alek Manoah (1.81 ERA, 0.96 WHIP)
In short yes, Kyle Bradish is just that bad. He’s in the bottom 10 percent in almost every statistical and expected category, and has allowed at least 1 homerun and 2 runs in every start this year. 53% of his pitches are his 4-seam fastball which is getting hit at a .338 xBA rate. He’s allowing solid contact or being barreled on 17.6% of his pitches, and against a team like the Blue Jays especially with their Cy Young contender Alek Manoah on the mound, it just wont cut it. This play is absolutely chalky, but I’m going with Toronto to win this game by multiple runs behind their bats that are 2nd in OPS in June so far. No reason to get cute.
Pick: Blue Jays -1.5 -145 (1u)
Rich Schultz - USA Today
Chicago White Sox @ Detroit Tigers (7:10 PM ET)
Favorite: White Sox -133
Pitchers: Lance Lynn (Season Debut) vs. Rony Garcia (4.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)
Everyone’s favorite fastball throwing, pound you in the zone, behemoth of a man, Lance Lynn is back healthy to make his debut this season. After recovering from knee surgery that has put him out this far, he’s come back to resurrect the White Sox season from mediocrity. In case you aren’t aware of just how good Lance Lynn is, last year he logged a .198 xBA for the season and 2.72 xERA. He mixes it up between a 4-seam fastball and cutter almost exclusively and hits every corner of the plate with them. There’s no better place to get your feet under you than Detroit this year too. No better today than they were at the beginning of the season, the Tigers rank dead last in every offensive category in June. Their pitching has saved them some games, but it won’t today. Rony Garcia is a bit of question mark as he’s only pitched 28 innings this season, but he’s in the 1 percentile (very, very bad) in average exit velocity, xSLG, hard hit percentage and barrel percentage. In all, he’s got a 6.41 xERA and gets smacked around the ballpark. I wouldn’t be shocked if today ignited a good run from the White Sox as they look to catch Minnesota and Cleveland in the AL Central.
Pick: White Sox ML -133 (2u)
Jeffrey Becker - USA Today