Turning the corner from what was a brutal August is something I've looked forward to over the past week. Enterting the month positive on the season at +0.98u, I finished the month at a putrid -6.09u in 2022. Winning both plays on Wednesday for +2.5u was a good way to end the month, and I'm excited to turn the page and finish the regular season strong starting with a few plays for Thursday. Lets get into it!
Seattle Mariners @ Detroit Tigers (1:10 ET)
Favorite: Mariners -156
Pitchers: Logan Gilbert (3.49 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (3.60 ERA, 1.36 WHIP)
If you've been following my plays since the inception of Happy Hour Sports, you'll know I've been waiting on Logan Gilbert's demise. Not because I don't like him, but because the advanced metrics have indicated it for months now. He's in the bottom 4 percentile of all pitchers in hard hit % and average exit velocity and his other metrics are all in the bottom half if not bottom third of all pitchers. A pitcher who creates pop-ups and fly balls more than his colleagues, those balls are beginning to land on the turf a bit more. Allowing at least 2 runs in each of his last 7 outings and logging a 6.75 ERA is no way to end the season and he'll be looking to get back to basics.
Typically the Tigers are a good team to 'get right' against as a pitcher, and their stats in August reflect that as they finished 29th in OPS. However, they've been one of the hottest teams in baseball offensively over the past week scoring 32 runs over their 6 games. While they've lost the first two to the Mariners, they give themselves arguably their best shot to win a game with Eduardo Rodriguez on the mound. The former Red Sox pitcher has used his typical 4-seam/cutter/changeup approach to generate soft contact consistently. Allowing only 9 runs over his last 30.1 innings, ERod looks to do the same against a Seattle team that has only scored more than 5 runs once in their last 10 games. It's bold to back the Tigers, but I'm going to do so and put my faith in E-Rod over the first five innings.
Pick: Tigers F5 +.5 -121 (1u)
Chris O'Meara - AP Photo
Baltimore Orioles @ Cleveland Guardians (6:10 ET)
Favorite: Guardians -180
Pitchers: Kyle Bradish (5.63 ERA, 1.54 WHIP) vs. Shane Bieber (3.02 ERA, 1.09 WHIP)
Shane Bieber deserves to slap all of his fielders in the face for the offensive production they give him. He has one of the best ERAs in the entire league (19th) but has a bang average record of 8-7. The run support he gets is criminal and to make matters worse he's pitching his best ball of the year. Allowing just 7 runs over his last 40.1 innings (1.56 ERA), put in consistent performances for weeks now with little to show for it. There are few better pitchers to notch a win on than Kyle Bradish, even if he's off the back of his best career MLB performance. Bradish has allowed 2+ runs in 14 of his 16 starts and 3+ in 9 of those. If there's anyone to give Bieber 2-3 runs of support against it's Bradish. Expect the Guardians to do so after being shutout by Jordan Lyles on Wednesday.
Pick: Guardians F5 -.5 -127 (1u)