Rick’s MLB Plays Friday 7/8

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Los Angeles Angels @ Baltimore Orioles (7:05 ET)

Favorite: Orioles -130

Total: 8.5

Pitchers: Reid Detmers (4.66 ERA, 1.10 WHIP) vs. Tyler Wells (3.09 ERA, 1.00 WHIP)

We cashed in last night for 2u on Baltimore, and we’re going right back to the (Tyler) Wells. These offenses are inverted based on preseason expectations, and the Angels provided another example last night putting up only 1 run yet again. Given we went over how bad the Angels are offensively (29th since June 1) last night, I will focus more on our pitching matchup here. Tyler Wells has been absolutely phenomenal lately. He’s picked up 7 wins so far this season and is in the top third of pitchers in xERA, xBA, Chase Rate, and Hard Hit percentage. He’s only allowed 3 runs in his last 22 innings and just 12 hits to boot on that. Wells is even better at home where he has a 2.20 ERA for the season. Reid Detmers is an interesting case to figure out this year. He’s only allowed more than 5 hits in a game once in his 12 starts, but when he does get hit it’s good a decent chance it‘s leaving the ballpark. He’s given up 9 runs in his last 8.2 innings, and 4 home runs in the process. He’s had 5 multi-home run games against him so far and that scares me against an Orioles lineup that must be said, is good! I’ll go with the Orioles to win the game again, as their bullpen has been great this year and should be able to see out a good start from Wells.

Pick: Orioles ML -130 (1.5u)

Mitch Stringer - USA Today

Minnesota Twins @ Texas Rangers (8:05 ET)

Favorite: Twins -125

Total: 8

Pitchers: Sonny Gray (2.47 ERA, 1.04 WHIP) vs. Jon Gray (3.96 ERA, 1.16 WHIP)

The battle of the Grays is upon us! We’re only spoonfed name matchups like this every once in a while, so we have to take advantage of them when we can. Lets start with the road Gray, who has been otherworldly this season outside of his most recent start. Sonny is in the top quarter of pitchers in all expected categories and bumps up his game on the road to the tune of a 1.83 ERA. He’s a 4SFB heavy pitcher (57%) who mixes in the curve and slider seamlessly into the mix, with phenomenal break on each. His counterpart, the home Gray has been a tick above average all year. He’s been great as of late, but is also coming off of a bad outing. He’s slightly better at home but nothing too noteworthy. I think the difference will be seen on the offensive side, where Minnesota’s bats have been firing and are likely getting Carlos Correa back to the lineup. Expect Polanco, Arraez (batting .354), and the rest of their lineup to do enough to win the first 5. I’ll go back Gray to outpitch Gray in what might be a low-scoring first 5 innings.

Pick: Away Gray F5 ML -120 (1u)

Richard Tsong-Taatarii - Star Tribune

Cleveland Guardians @ Kansas City Royals (8:10 ET)

Favorite: Royals -125

Total: 8.5

Pitchers: Aaron Civale (7.04 ERA, 1.52 WHIP) vs. Brady Singer (4.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

It’s bewildering to me how the Guardians are .500 this season at 40-40 given how bad their offense has been and their starting pitching being very inconsistent. The Royals are 21 games below .500 because their pitching is atrocious, but their bats are miles better than Cleveland even without someone like Jose Ramirez. Over the last 14 days, Cleveland is 29th in OPS sitting at a .597, while Kansas City is 8th at a .763. Some may think that everyone goes through slumps and this is Cleveland’s, but they’re 27th since the beginning of June (Royals 15th). Jose Ramirez has slowed down and so have their wins. Losers of their last 4 and 7 of their last 10, the Guardians are desperate to get back on track before their playoff hopes vanish.

That’s no easy task when you’re putting your faith in Aaron Civale. Since returning from injury he’s allowed 9 runs in 15 innings on over a 1.50 WHIP. He’s even worse on the road where he’s got a 9.90 ERA for the season. I hate to just dog on the guy, but there‘s no signs of improvement or anything that he does well to give me hope for a turnaround. Brady Singer, on the other hand is different. A former 1st round prospect for the Royals who is still young, he’s been okay this year. He’s very middle-of-the-road, and has struggled lately but he does keep the ball on the ground (47.9% groundball rate). Given how bad Civale and his offense is I think this line is generous to the Royals who have been swinging the bat phenomenally as of late and are throwing a respectable pitcher on the mound. Give me the Royals in the first five innings, because I do not trust that bullpen (27th in ERA).

Pick: Royals F5 ML -130 (1u)

Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports

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