Wow - all of a sudden we have another thing to handicap in Major League Baseball. Of course, we are flying blind to an extent, because we have no way of knowing for certain which pitchers have been adversely affected by having to lay off the "prohibited substances" they use to get a better grip on the baseball and thus increase their "spin rate." In other words, the sticky stuff.
Could it be that one of them is San Diego's Joe Musgrove, who was unhittable for about three or four starts and then got hit somewhat hard in his last two? We know that Gerrit Cole has been affected, and, well, if you saw his press conference you know he doesn't even know how to respond to the allegations of "cheating."
In the midst of all this, we have pieced together a parlay in three-parts for MLB bettors that we think is cashing for Thursday's action.
"Stick" with us.
Chicago Cubs vs. New York Mets Preview
Cubs vs. Mets Betting Report
When: 7:10 PM ET
MLB Odds: Mets (Stroman) -130 / Cubs (Hendricks) +110
Total: Over 7.5 Runs -110 / Under 7.5 Runs -110
Marcus Stroman, the New York kid, has firmly established himself among a triumvirate of Mets' pitchers who have really lit it up on the way to first place in the East. Taijuan Walker has been the low-cost free agent surprise, while Jacob deGrom keeps amazing people and, after leaving his last start with right flexor tendinitis, "passed" his MRI, which showed nothing serious.
Stroman's last two outings have produced victories over the San Diego Padres. The only run he allowed on Saturday was a home run to Fernando Tatis. He's never been a big strikeout pitcher, but as you probably know, he forces a lot of ground ball outs - way more than the major league average, although we do agree his ground ball / fly ball ratio has decreased in the last couple of seasons.
Kyle Hendricks, who had a sizzling 8-to-1 ratio of strikeouts to walks last season, has allowed a big league-high 19 homers in 74-2/3 innings (three round-trippers free and clear in that category); that's the same number he yielded two seasons ago in 177 frames.
The Play: METS / STROMAN (-130)
Milwaukee Brewers at Colorado Rockies Preview
Brewers vs. Rockies Betting Report
When: 8:40PM ET
MLB Odds: Brewers (Woodruff) -160 / Rockies (Marquez) +140
Total: Under 10 Runs -120 / Over 10 Runs +100
Well, Brandon Woodruff has given up a .400/.450/.571 slashline at Coors Field. But that's in just two starts (with one blowup) and the last one was in 2018.
Yes, the Rockies have been a headache to teams at home (22-14). But if you're going to be laying this price on the road, you could have a lot worse in the way of choices than a guy who is first in the majors in WAR (Wins Above Replacement) for a pitcher, third in ERA, first in WHIP ratio, second in hits per nine innings allowed, fifth in FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching), with a 0.67 ERA as the visitor, with hitters SLUGGING .115 against him.
The Play: BREWERS / WOODRUFF (-160)
Tampa Bay Rays at Seattle Mariners Preview
Rays vs. Mariners Betting Report
When: 10:10 PM ET
MLB Odds: Rays (Hill) -175 / Mariners (Dunn) +155
Total: Over 8 Runs -120 / Under 8 Runs +100
Ever since Rich Hill came back to the major leagues as a starter with the Boston Red Sox in 2015, has there been any season when he really failed to deliver something of value? Not really.
This year, at age 41, the guy's making $2.5 million (very low) and has given up 6.1 hits per nine innings. He also had the American League's best ERA during the month of May (0.87). What we found interesting, however, was that Hill was very outspoken about the sudden rule change against performance-enhancing stick'em, or whatever you want to call it. He sounds like he may be a user.
Justin Dunn's BABIP (Batting Average on Balls in Play) is way up from last year, although it's still respectable (.242). He just came off the injured list with shoulder inflammation, and may not be all the way back, having been hammered for nine hits and five runs in just three innings against Cleveland. This guy just gives up two many walks (5.4 per nine).
The Play: OVER 8 (-120)