• Rick

Rick’s MLB Plays 5/13/2022

Updated: May 15

Milwaukee Brewers@ Miami Marlins

Favorite: Brewers -152

Total: 6.5

Pitchers: Corbin Burnes (1.86 ERA, 0.80 WHIP) vs. Pablo Lopez (1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP)

Miami comes into this series off of a much needed 11-3 win in Arizona that broke a stretch of 3 straight losses, however their form goes much deeper than that. Now losers of 10 of the last 12, they seek refuge returning home after back to back series on the west coast. Though their losses are plenty, 7 of those 10 losses came by 1 run and their bats have been solid (12th in OPS and 10th in wRC over the past 14 days). With Pablo Lopez improving each year and off to a phenomenal start, this seems as good an opportunity for Miami to bounce back.

Insert the Milwaukee Brewers who lead the MLB in nearly every statistical category in the past 2 weeks by a wide margin, they boast the 2021 NL Cy Young award winner on the mound in Corbin Burnes. His opening day appearance has proven to be an outlier as he’s boasting a 1.34 ERA with 0.713 WHIP over the course of his other games. The bullpen behind him has been struggling as well as other starters, and expect that to continue today. Milwaukee may win, but I think the Marlins cover the spread in what should be a tight, low-scoring contest.

Pick: Marlins +1.5 -140 (1u)

Houston Astros @ Washington Nationals

Favorite: Astros -155

Total: 8

Pitchers: Framber Valdez (3.34 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) vs. Josiah Gray (3.45 ERA, 1.31 WHIP)

Holders of the longest active win streak in the big leagues, the Astros are coming in as winners of their last 10, allowing a mere 11 runs in the process. Their offense has been able to produce enough to win games, but it’s come down to their pitching and with Framber on the mound, it should continue. Boasting a -7.4% launch angle from batted balls, he’s as adept at getting soft contact as any. In the 96th percentile in xSLG and barrel % so far this year he’s creating easy outs for his infield with consistency. What I love about this is the Nationals are 2nd in the MLB in GB %, and top the league in GB/FB at 2.75 (2nd is Toronto with 2.12).

Josiah Gray’s stats have been deceiving thus far. While his ERA and WHIP are nearly identical to Valdez, the deeper metrics show he has been getting hit hard and will regress. Allowing 42.5% of contact to qualify as hard hit and a .334 wOBA, we should begin to see regression. His bats have been phenomenal lately, ranking 2nd in OPS over the last two weeks, but they are middle of the road when facing lefties.

Expect the Astros to continue their winning streak today against an overall poor Washington team. I’d run it as a F5 play but we’ll go full game given the Astros bullpen has been solid and the Nationals are bottom third of the league this far.

Pick: Astros ML -155 (1u)

Chicago Cubs @ Arizona Diamondbacks

Favorite: Diamondbacks -120

Total: 9

Pitchers: Drew Smyly (3.04 ERA, 1.23 WHIP) vs. Zach Davies (3.34 ERA, 1.21 WHIP)

Chicago limps into this series after facing the gauntlet recently in the White Sox, Dodgers and Padres. Winners of 3 of their last 10, they are 3rd to last in OPS L14 and dead last in strikeout percentage and batting average. That said, Smyly began the season exceptionally, but has since regressed to his form of last year, boasting a 5.14 ERA and 1.5 WHIP his last three outings.

The Diamondbacks come in winners of their last three series, boasting an incredible OPS against lefties over the past couple of weeks. Scoring 4+ runs in nine of their last 10, I expect them to be able to get to Smyly tonight. Davies has recovered from a brutal 2021 (5.78 ERA), showing a 3.34 ERA with an incredible 51.1% ground ball rate. Much like Valdez above, he’s been adept at garnering soft contact.

Odds on this game feel closer than they should be, look for Arizona to win if they score 4+ runs. For what it’s worth, Arizona is 13-4 to the under at home this year and 10-4 to the under coming off of a loss.

Plays: Diamondbacks ML -120 (1u) & u9 -110 (1u)

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