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As always, tonight AppleTV+ will host two baseball games for all the action on Friday night. We start off with the Twins hosting the Guardians, followed by an Interleague series with the Braves at the Mariners. Let’s go over four bets you can make for these games to sweat along with tonight.
Keeping this first bet nice and simple and taking the Guardians to win against the Twins tonight. Cal Quantrill will be taking the mound for the Guardians and making his second start of the season against the Twins. In his prior start, Quantrill went eight innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and three strikeouts. Quantrill is not the type of pitcher who’s going to blow opposing hitters away with his stuff, as he’s averaging just over five strikeouts per nine innings. That said, he does an excellent job of minimizing the damage done through contact. He’s inducing a 41.6% ground ball rate and limiting the hard contact to just 29%. This Twins offense continues to struggle without Byron Buxton, as they’re slashing just .233/.307/.368 since he last played on Aug. 22.
The Guardians’ bullpen has also been incredibly good. Over the last two weeks, this bullpen has logged 45 1/3 innings and has just a 1.99 ERA with a 9.1 K/9. They’re also stranding nearly 79% of the men on base, which ranks as the seventh-best mark in the Majors over that span. If the Twins can’t get any offense going against Quantrill, they certainly will have their hands full once the bullpen door swings open. This feels like a strong spot to get the Guardians at a very good number.
Both starters in this game have done well as of late. The one we haven’t hit on yet is Dylan Bundy of the Twins. His 4.34 ERA on the season doesn’t look that great, but he has an xERA (expected ERA) of only 3.81. Essentially, this shows that he’s been a bit unlucky when taking the mound. He’s been quite good in the second half of the season, boasting a 3.55 ERA and a .288 wOBA over 38 innings. He also hasn’t allowed more than two runs in six straight starts, which include matchups against the Astros and Blue Jays. In his lone start against the Guardians back in June, Bundy gave up three runs (two earned) through five innings of work.
With both pitchers doing well, I think we can take the under four runs through the first five innings. I would be surprised if we saw a lot of offense to kick this game off with these starters on the hill. Neither club has been strong at hitting the over on the game total all season long either. The Guardians are 58-61-16 while the Twins are 64-63-9. For reference, the Phillies are the best team in the league at 78-57-2 while the worst team is the Angels at 53-79-9.
This is an obtainable number for Ray going up against a strikeout-prone Braves team. Ray has been pitching on a completely different level since the calendar turned to August, as he has allowed no more than two runs in six straight starts. Along with the lack of offense from the opposing teams have been the strikeouts. Ray has at least seven strikeouts in all but one of those games and has reached double-digits twice. Now he’ll face a Braves team that has a 22.2 K% against lefties, which ranks 14th in the Majors.
The overall offense for the Braves against lefties is good, which is why I believe we’re getting this number on Ray. I wouldn’t be shocked if the Braves were able to end this streak of two runs or fewer for Ray. Against lefties, the Braves have a .352 wOBA and a 124 wRC+. That said, Ray has been able to go over this number even with giving up three or four runs in a start. If he’s able to pitch as well as he has been, that would make this even easier. Regardless, I think Ray going at least seven strikeouts, which he’s done in 14 of his 27 starts, is very obtainable tonight.
I love taking the Mariners here to score at least two runs through the first five innings. It’s quite a difference for Charlie Morton when he’s on the road as opposed to pitching at home. When he’s away from Truist Park, Morton has a 5.24 ERA with a .348 wOBA and 11 of the 21 home runs he’s allowed. His game log backs up those numbers as well. If you look at his last four road starts, which have come against the Cardinals, Red Sox, Phillies and Reds, Morton has allowed a total of 14 runs on 18 hits, including five home runs through his last two road starts. The first time through the order has also been where the majority of the home runs he’s allowed have come from, giving up 10 of his 21 in total. Getting the Mariners to score at least two runs at almost even money feels like a strong bet to make, especially with the road struggles that Morton has endured.
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