MLB 8/1

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0-2 last night as neither of my dogs (Angels and Royals) did much barking. I was right that both McCullers and Keuchel would struggle but that alone wasn’t enough to get either side to the window. Still slightly up on the early season and we move to August. Here’s what I’ve got today…

Pirates (+163): I know the Pirates stink but this is too good of a number to pass on a Tyler Chatwood fade. In his career the Cubs right hander has a 6.53 K/9 and 4.68 BB/9, both of which are awful. The K’s have spiked a bit recently but I think his steamer projection of 8.16 per 9 might be a little optimistic. He’s a guy that somehow has managed to stay in the rotation and someone I’m happy to fade when I see the chance. Opposing him will be Mitch Keller for the Pirates. He wet his feet with 48 very interesting innings statistically. Most won’t think it, but to me it was a strong year. Now you might be thinking “Dave, he had a 7.13 ERA. What are you talking about?” Well with that 7.13 ERA was a 12.19 K/9 and a decent enough 3.0 BB/9. What killed him was a .475 BABIP and and just a 59% strand rate. Both of which are incredibly unlucky and unlikely to continue. His xFIP was actually a very strong 3.47 and his FIP was 3.19 was even better. Bullpen wise there isn’t much of an edge at all. Coming into season I rated the Cubs pen only slightly better than the Buccos and with Kimbrel a complete mess at the moment that edge is basically gone. No denying the Cubs have a lineup edge but not by enough to justify this price.

Dodgers (-141): Julio Urias takes the mound for the Dodgers as they try to bounce back from Friday nights loss. Urias was a big time prospect and while he hasn’t quite lived up to the hype yet he’s still 23 years old and has a career 9.05 K/9 in 189 innings. He throws in the mid 90’s, has an improving change up that’s he’s getting more comfortable with, and a slider and curve to go with it. He was a little clunky in his opener last week against the Giants but I expect with some of the rust gone a better showing here. The D-Backs will counter with Luke Weaver who I actually do like but this is a really tough matchup for him. An army of left handed bats await him and the Dodgers are clearly one of the best lineups in the game. On top of that is pretty clear edge in the bullpen for LA. Ferguson, Santana and Kolarek have come out of the gate strong and that gives them plenty of options when you consider the reliable Floro, Baez and of course Jansen are still around. Honestly I don’t rate Urias over Weaver by all that much but the lineups and bullpens are enough to push this one to my number of -155. Good enough discount to back the road favs.

One more play today but out of time for write ups…

Yankees (-168)

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