MLB 7/23

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Obviously under unique circumstances but damn does it feel good to be able to bet and talk about an MLB game again. The season gets going Thursday with two games on the slate, one of which I’ve got a play on. Will try my best this year to include write ups with each play I make. Here we go…

Nationals (+125): A great matchup to start the season with Cole facing Scherzer in DC. There’s no denying the Yankees lineup is stacked, that said you also can’t deny it isn’t very balanced. They’ll likely run out at least 7 right handed bats tomorrow against Mad Max. The lone lefties will be Gardner and possibly Hicks, other than that righties top to bottom. Why does that matter? Well check out these splits. Last year against left handers Scherzer allowed a .255 batting average and 1.32 WHIP. However he held right handers to a .199 average and allowed a 0.80 WHIP. The dominance doesn’t end there though. In 97.1 IP against right handers he checked in with a 13.03 K/9, 0.92 BB/9 and a 14.1 K/BB ratio. His numbers against lefties are still strong but against right handers his dominance is like something you’d see in a video game. For as good as the Yanks lineup is if you’re right hand heavy Scherzer is about as tough a test as you’ll get. On the other end we have Gerrit Cole who is coming off an absurdly good 2019 season with the Astros. Trying to pick through his numbers and find flaws is a fools errand and I’m not even going to bother. He’s dominant against right handers, dominant against left handers and still in the prime of his career. As far as the Nats go yes the Rendon loss obviously hurts but there’s still plenty of talent there. Soto is now clearly one of the best hitters in the game, Turner is a nightmare to deal with at the top of lineup and Eric Thames has now been added to the mix coming over from Milwaukee. That addition might not seem huge but he’s a guy who works walks, grinds pitchers, and has big power. Bullpen wise I do give the edge to the Yankees but it’s much slimmer now with Chapman still out and everyone having to slide up a notch. I’d assume that now makes Britton the closer and the depth becomes a bit more tested getting the ball to him. I make this line Nats (+114) so at +125 there’s enough there to give it a go.

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