MLB May 7th

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Rangers -108: Let’s get right to it. Mike Pelfrey is one of the worst pitchers in baseball, the guy is flat out horrid. His K rate is very low, his BB rate is very high, he gives up a ton of hard contact, gives up a ton of HR, etc, etc. He’s horrid. The Rangers will send AJ Griffin to the mound to oppose Pelfrey the gas can. Griffin has a had a nice start to the year, but i’ll admit a lucky .217 BABIP has played a part in it. I’m not going to act like Griffin is going to keep an ERA in the 2’s all year, frankly there’s no chance that he will. Some regression is coming for AJ, but even so he’s still far better than a guy like Pelfrey. The Rangers should tee off against Pelfrey and Griffin should be able to keep the Tigers in check enough to pull out a W.

Athletics -116 (Game 1): Slightly different pitching matchup here with Hill now facing Mike Wright instead of Ubaldo but i’m still right there with the A’s. As I mentioned in yesterday’s write up Hill’s K/9 rate is over 11 K/9 and his swinging strike rate is one of the best around too. He’s showing that his late season flurry last year was no fluke as he’s right back at it again this year. Mike Wright is just another guy, he’s a dime a dozen, middle of the road SP. Nothing more. Hill is the one with the high level stuff and despite the fact that Baltimore is the better all around team, this SP gap is just too wide for me to pass on Oakland.

Athletics +123 (Game 2): Jesse Hahn is a very intriguing pitcher. He had a solid but unspectacular season in 2015 before going down for the season with an injury. He missed the first 4 weeks of the season this year, then came back last weekend. Only he was a bit different. Instead of throwing in the 91-21 MPH range he lived at 2015, Hahn was pumping 95-97 MPH consistently. He’s kind of been a ho-hum guy but a velocity jump like that is certainly worth keeping an eye on, and in this case putting some money behind. If Hahn can sustain this velocity jump you’d expect success to come along with it, and then for the market to adjust. That hasn’t happened yet though, and as a result we can get in on Hahn before everyone else notices that he could be a stud. On the other hand we’ve got Ubaldo Jimenez who I was attempting to fade yesterday. That rainout won’t keep me away from going against him. At this point Ubaldo is nothing more than a middle of the road (if that) SP. He’ll do his normal thing and pile up BB’s and K’s, run up his pitch count, and be gone by the 6th. Hahn is the one who has my attention here and I’m willing to roll the dice on him.

Rays -125: Back to the well with the Rays here as a short road favorite. I like Jake Odorizzi, but this is first and foremost a fade of Jared Weaver and his 81-82 MPH fastball. Weaver is done, he’s got nothing left and is basically serving up BP right now. His K rate is one of the worst in the league and frankly he’s just hoping guys hit balls right at his fielders. He doesn’t have good stuff and he sure as hell isn’t fooling anyone. Odorizzi on the other hand is plugging along doing his thing. A good but not great K rate, low BB’s, good control, and making the other team earn everything they get. Odorizzi isn’t a stud but he should be plenty good enough to out duel Weaver tonight.

Rockies +166: Jonathan Gray has only worked 14.2 Innings this year so I’m certainly not going to over-react but a 14.11 K/9 ratio has definitely got my attention. Gray is throwing very hard and missing a lot of bats, he’s a big time talent. On the other end we have the Giants throwing Johnny Cueto. There’s no denying Cueto is solid. He’s had a nice career and this year looks to be no different as he should once again put up solid numbers. Gray is the wildcard here his raw stuff and upside is enough for me to take a shot at this price. If he’s anything like he’s been in the early going this season the Rockies should be right in this game.

1st 5 Innings Mariners/Astros Un 4.5 (-110): Dallas Keuchel has seen a serious step backwards so far this season from his 2015 Cy Young campaign. Monday was his first home loss since August of 2014. Keuchel normally is off the charts good when pitching at Minute Maid Park. I’ve got a feeling he gets back on track today. On the other end the M’s are throwing a slowly improving Nate Karns. Karns K rate and velocity are both up a bit and overall he just seems a bit sharper than what I’ve seen from him the past few seasons. I think he combined with what I assume will be a very solid Keuchel can keep this thing in the 2-1 range through 5 tonight.

1st 5 Innings Mets/Padres Un 4 (-115): Back at it with another first 5 under at Petco tonight. Old man Bartolo Colon just keeps plugging along and doing his thing. Again this year he’s sporting his standardly minuscule BB rate and a pretty respectable K rate to go with it. Bartolo doesn’t have the velocity anymore, but what he does have is pinpoint control. He just pounds the corners with that fastball and nothing comes easy off him. He doesn’t walk people, and he doesn’t find the middle of the plate. It’s good formula for not getting beat up. Tip of the cap to the nearly 43 year old Bartolo for still thriving, he should be good again tonight. Against him will be James Shields. Shields K rate is way down, but this early in the season that doesn’t concern me too much. Last year he put up 216 K’s and over a 9 K/9 ratio so I have faith that those K’s will start to revert back towards his career norms. Since joining the Padres last year Shields has been pretty solid at home too. I expect a solid outing from both of these guys tonight.

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