Baseball’s back tonight and all 30 teams are scheduled to be in action — though a lot of rain in a lot of places may have different ideas. Still, it’s hard not to be excited, especially after most of use have spent the past few nights betting Summer League basketball and watching paint dry.
We’re 39-32 on article plays for the season. Let’s dive into this evening’s slate.
Believing in a pitcher to do anything even slightly positive against this Braves lineup is nerve-wracking, but this prop feels a little low for someone of Kopech’s pedigree. The RHP did not finish the first half of the season on a high note, walking 16 opponents in his final three outings, yet a quick stint on the 15-day IL with a shoulder issue might explain away some of those free passes. In any case, Kopech is healthy once again and back on the White Sox’s 26-man roster.
When it comes to tonight, I’m more focused on Kopech’s ability to rack up swings and misses than I am his control issues. The 27-year-old enters this tilt as one of 18 pitchers in baseball with at 80 innings under their belt and a K/9 of at least 10.00. Kopech’s also been able to clear the over on this prop in 11 of his 16 starts in 2023. It won’t be easy against Atlanta, but it’s not as if the whole lineup is infallible. The Braves sit with a relatively league-average 22.1% strikeout rate so far in July. They might take Kopech deep three times, yet they certainly could strike out a bunch of times in the process.
In general, my opinion of the 2023 New York Yankees is very low. In fact, just yesterday, I wrote up why you should probably bet them at plus-money to not make the playoffs. Still, that doesn’t mean I think they’ll lose every single time they take the field — particularly when their opponent is the Rockies and Austin Gomber. Through some divine miracle, Gomber is sitting with a 7-7 record in his 18 starts this season, despite a 6.40 ERA and a 6.33 xERA in his 90.0 innings of work. Not surprisingly, the lefty has been especially awful when pitching at Coors Field, posting a 7.84 ERA and allowing opposing hitters to compile a gargantuan .590 slugging percentage.
That last point is key. While it’s been the offensive production that has mostly let the Yankees down in 2023, the team has easily been at it’s best against left-handed pitching. New York sports a 92 wRC+ versus right-handers, yet that figure jumps to a 113 mark when a southpaw is on the mound. It’s not even like that’s a statistic that’s buoyed by Aaron Judge’s bat, either. Shockingly, Judge possessed a paltry 59 wRC+ within the split before heading to the IL. Look for the Yankees to put up some crooked numbers in the altitude and for Carlos Rodon to pitch well in his second outing of the year.
A battle between two teams with lineups that have been sneaky underwhelming the past few weeks. Well, I’m not sure how sneaky the Jays’ offensive struggles have been. When a team with that much preseason hype gets no-hit by the lowly Tigers, you start turning some heads. In any case, both Toronto and Arizona have managed just a 97 wRC+ across the past 30 days, with the Jays’ .151 ISO within that same span sitting 22nd in all of baseball. Again, neither is stunningly terrible, yet both teams haven’t been great at driving runners home in June and July.
This is also a sneaky good pitching matchup. Or at least a better one than some of the surface numbers suggest. Jose Berrios is directly on the heels of his best outing of the season — surrendering only a single hit over seven scoreless frames versus the White Sox — and he’s registered a sterling 2.68 ERA dating all the way back to May 6. On the other side, Ryne Nelson is in the midst of a rough rookie campaign; however, almost all of his troubles have come while pitching at Chase Field. In Nelson’s 51.1 innings on the road in 2023, he’s posted a 2.81 ERA and a held opposing bats to a .275 wOBA. In other words, he’ll be happy to have needed his passport to play tonight.
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