MLB Plays for 7/31

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Another 1-1 day on Tuesday. The Giants/Phillies first 5 under came in with ease, but the other game was a frustrating loss with the Cubs who couldn’t win despite plenty of offensive chances against Wainwright and a very good outing from Darvish. We move on, but I’d by lying if I said losses like that didn’t get under my skin. Here’s what I’ve got for Wednesday…

Cubs (-112) Risking 1.44 to win 1.29 (Hendricks/Mikolas): As mentioned above it didn’t work out with the Cubs last night but I’m going right back to the well today. Before I get into the pitching matchup we’ll take a look at the bats where the Cubs have a clear edge. The Cubs are 8th in baseball with a 110 wRC+ against right handers, while the the Cardinals are 27th with an 89 wRC+ against righties. In a battle of two right handers on the mound this obviously bodes well for the Cubbies. On the mound we have Kyle Hendricks squaring off with Miles Mikolas. Mikolas K and BB rates are similar to last year when he went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA, the problem is this year he hasn’t enjoyed the BABIP or HR/FB rate luck that he did a year ago. He’s regressed back towards league average in both of those areas and as a result his ERA has ballooned by a run and a half. He’s still a decent enough pitcher but it’s safe to say that 2018 season was a bit over his head. On the other side we have Hendricks who is another right hander that isn’t exactly going to light up the radar gun. He’s a soft tosser who relies on hitting his spots, changing speeds, and keeping hitters off balance… in other words actually pitching. Hendricks K rate isn’t amazing at 7.94 per 9 but it’s still plenty respectable. Couple that with an excellent 1.99 BB/9 and you’re well on your way. This will be his 3rd outing this year against the redbirds and in the first two he went 16 innings allowing only 1 ER and 11 baserunners. I rate him above Mikolas, and clearly rate the Cubs offense over the Cards. -112 is cheap enough to make a play on road squad here.

White Sox (+170) Risking 1.24 to win 2.11 (deGrom/Giolito): Jake deGrom is excellent, let’s just get that out of the way right from the start. This play isn’t about picking on him, or fading him, or me trying to tell you he’s anything other than elite. This play (or Mets fade) is about the rest of the team around him, the pitcher they are facing, and the price I can get against them. First of all the Mets are 23-35 on the road, that’s a 39.6% winning percentage. To pass on +170 against that with Giolito on the mound is something I can’t do, even if that means facing deGrom. Offensively these teams are nearly a wash against right handed pitching. The Mets hold a slight edge with a 101 wRC+ compared with a 96 for the Sox. To me this line is a bit of a slap in the face to Giolito who has been very good this season. The All Star right hander has a 3.52 ERA, and 10.78 K/9 to go along with his 11-5 record. The Mets offense is nothing more than mediocre and I don’t see much here to make the think this is anything other than another solid outing from the White Sox ace. This line opened at Mets -165 and I think that was much closer to being accurate than what it’s turned into now. I can understand the steam on deGrom but like I said this is a team that loses 60% of it’s road games and is now facing an all star pitcher. If Jake goes 8 IP allowing 1 ER and I lose, then so be it, but there’s too much value here to pass on.


Cubs (-112): Risking 1.44 to win 1.29 (Hendricks/Mikolas)
White Sox (+170): Risking 1.24 to win 2.11 (degrom/Giolito)

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