Welcome back for more bad beat stories. Oh, Dustin May. Let’s flash back to me at a bar on Friday, refreshing my phone every 15 seconds to see if May had finally recorded an out in the sixth inning against the Padres, an out which would have put him over his prop. The RHP got to two-strike counts on two different batters, before he was pulled after issuing a walk and a HBP. Such is life.
Our record on article plays sits at 63-57 for the season. With a small slate this evening, here’s two bets I’m looking at on the diamond.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I’ll say this right off the top: Gray isn’t exactly a workhorse. Nor is he a shining beacon of health. In fact, in his 21 starts in 2022, Gray’s failed to pitch into the sixth inning 14 times. However, with all that said, tonight presents a unique challenge for the Twins’ pitching staff. Already down to what basically amounts to a four-man rotation due to a rash of injuries, Minnesota needed to cover 20.0 innings during Wednesday’s doubleheader against the Yankees. That meant every arm in the bullpen made an appearance yesterday aside from Aaron Sanchez. If that doesn’t create a situtation where Gray’s pressed to pitch deep on Thursday night, I don’t know what does.
This isn’t a matter of a starter blindly eating innings, either. Gray’s really good! The veteran has managed a 2.14 ERA and a 2.92 FIP in his last four outings, finding success with a 26.8% strikeout rate within that same span of time. This incarnation of New York is also quite bad. Anthony Rizzo and Andrew Benintendi are currently injured, while Giancarlo Stanton and DJ LeMahieu seem like they might join their teammates on the IL at any moment. Josh Donaldson is away from the Yankees on the paternity list. Left with Aaron Judge and a parade of Triple-A bats, New York’s posted a 72 wRC+ across the past 30 days — the worst mark in the American League. Gray should be able to take advantage.
Rarely is anything easy when it comes to trusting the 2022 White Sox — the team is a putrid 61-76 on the run line this season — yet it feels like all the stars have aligned for this matchup with the Athletics. Chicago’s won six of its past eight games, AL Cy Young candidate Dylan Cease is taking the mound and, on top of that, Oakland’s starting the left-handed JP Sears. In terms of a “White Sox Keys to Victory” checklist, those are the biggest boxes.
Cease has been incredible throughout 2022, with a 2.13 ERA and a 2.62 xERA across 156.0 innings of work. The RHP is also on the heels of the best outing of his young career, as Cease carried a no-hitter into the ninth inning of his start Saturday versus the Twins. Run support was not an issue during that contest, and it shouldn’t be an issue this evening, either. Sears has held his own as a starter this season, yet he remains a contact-oriented rookie whose ERA estimators are much, much higher than his surface statistics. Considering Chicago leads the American League in average (.274) and wOBA (.337) against LHPs, I think Sears runs into some trouble early in this one.
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