The regular season is winding down, but we’re heating up on article plays. We’re 6-1 dating back to last Thursday, which puts our record for 2022 at very nice 69-58. We’d be a perfect 7-0 if Tommy Edman didn’t absolutely hate getting hits, but I digress.
Every MLB team is in action on Friday, so let’s dive into this massive slate.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Few lineups in baseball have hit left-handed pitching as well as the Braves. In fact, Atlanta comes into Friday’s tilt in possession of a .345 wOBA and a 119 wRC+ within the split — both the third-highest figure in the league. You know who probably already knew that? Ranger Suarez. It’s not easy being a southpaw in the National League East, and tonight marks the fourth time that Suarez will square off with the Braves in 2022. In the previous three, Suarez surrendered 12 runs across 16.0 innings of work, though three of those 12 runs are unearned. Not that that matters for the purposes of this prop.
The last outing Suarez made against Atlanta was late July. In the meantime, things have not looked particularly smooth with the 27-year-old. Suarez has pitched to an inflated 5.40 ERA over his last four appearances, with walks being a major issue. Heck, for the season as a whole, Suarez has walked 10.1% of the RHBs he’s faced, which is no way to live at Truist Park. If you give the Braves free baserunners, more than likely, they’ll make you pay with crooked numbers on the scoreboard.
Webb’s overall strikeout numbers haven’t been nearly as good in 2022 as they were in 2021, yet the right-hander has certainly seemed to find his groove in recent starts. Webb’s actually cleared this prop each of the last four times he’s taken the mound, as he’s pitched to a 1.54 ERA and 2.04 FIP within that span. His 26.3% strikeout rate isn’t too shabby, either. It’s also worth noting that one of the four opponents that Webb faced during this run was the Dodgers on September 5. He managed six strikeouts in six innings.
As shocking as that result might have been in the first half of the season, Los Angeles has been a much different team as it pertains to strikeouts in recent weeks. Since September 1, despite a microscopic chase rate, the Dodgers actually own a 24.0% strikeout rate with a 12.2% swinging strike rate that ranks seventh-highest in baseball. The culprits behind these stats are pretty obvious. Among players on the team with at least 35 plate appearances in that span, Trayce Thompson (51.4%), Joey Gallo (42.9%), Cody Bellinger (37.1%) and Max Muncy (35.6%) all have a personal strikeout rates above 35%. If at least two of these men are in Los Angeles’ lineup tonight, I’d take a chance with this plus-money prop. If it’s three or all four, I might double the wager.
It’s always nerve wracking betting an over that involves the Tigers. The team’s combination of terrible lineup, great bullpen and humongous home field has conspired to generally keep contests low scoring, which is why an insane 58.8% of Detroit’s games have gone to the under in 2022. Still, I’m more underwhelmed by tonight’s pitching matchup than I am by Javier Baez’s contract — and that’s saying something. Even the lowly Tigers have been able to hit Lucas Giolito this season, as he’s surrendered nine earned runs in his last two starts against Detroit. That’s par for the course with the struggling RHP, as Giolito’s ERA is 6.31 across his last five outings overall.
Then there’s Matt Manning. The 24-year-old has been mostly fine since returning from a lengthy IL stint, yet he’s conceded 11 earned runs in his most recent 12.2 innings of work, and his 4.10 xERA for the season as a whole is nothing special. I think he’ll have a hard time containing what is a red-hot White Sox offense on Friday evening. How hot is red-hot? Well, Chicago leads baseball in runs (81) and wRC+ (132) in the month of September. I’d say that’s pretty hot.
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