Happy MLB Trade Deadline Day!
While the biggest news of the day will happen off the field, there’s still a ripe, 16-game slate for us to bet on. And our analysts are all over it.
Including Game 1 of the doubleheader between the Rockies and Padres, our analysts also have bets on Blue Jays vs. Rays, Athletics vs. Angels, and a pair of dueling picks on Dodgers vs. Giants.
Here are our best bets from Tuesday’s Major League Baseball slate.
MLB Odds & Picks
Rockies vs. Padres Game 1
Jules Posner: Fresh off the blockbuster move to acquire Juan Soto from the Washington Nationals, the San Diego Padres get Tuesday’s MLB action started with Game 1 of a doubleheader against the Colorado Rockies this afternoon.
Yu Darvish gets the start and he has been exceptional at home this season. His 1.94 home ERA paired with a 2.94 FIP match up well against a Rockies offense that has struggled on the road this year. Additionally, the Rockies may have a few players on trade-watch leading up to game time as well.
Ryan Feltner is slated to make the start for the Rockies and he’s struggled so far in 2022. Making matters worse is that he’s taking on a Padres offense that has been mashing RHP at home since the All-Star break.
The Padres are already good and soon to be much better, but they are also a team full of veterans who should be able to ignore all of the trade rumors and get it done on the field Tuesday.
The Padres’ run line is at -1.5 in the -115 range on most books. The public cash seems to be moving rapidly in their direction as well. It seems likely that the public cash will catch up to the tickets before game time, so follow the money and back Darvish in this one.
Blue Jays vs. Rays
Brad Cunningham: Kevin Gausman has been really good this season, but not incredibly dominant. He has a 3.62 xERA, opponents have a .252 xBA against him and he’s allowing a 39.1% sweet spot percentage, which is his highest mark since 2019.
Kevin Gausman heavily relies on his splitter, which isn’t really going to work against the Rays, who have a +13 run value against splitters this season.
Drew Rasmussen is a big-time negative regression candidate. His actual ERA is sitting at 3.17, but his xERA is up at 4.11. He is allowing a .247 xBA and a very high 43.2% hard hit rate.
He mainly relies on a fastball, cutter, and slider, with his cutter and slider really not being that effective, allowing over a .320 xwOBA. Toronto has a combined +50.7 run value against those three pitches and is the second best team in baseball against right-handed pitching in terms of wOBA.
I have 8.56 runs projected for this game, so I love the value on over 7 runs at -120 and would also play over 7.5 runs up to -115.
Athletics vs. Angels
Charlie DiSturco: This is a game I circled a week ago, immediately after Cole Irvin’s seven innings of two-run ball against the Houston Astros.
Irvin has been one of the most fortunate pitchers in all of baseball this season. Not only do his xERA (4.46) and xFIP (4.30) sit over a run higher than his actual ERA (3.05), his advanced metrics are alarming across the board.
He ranks in the bottom 15 percent of all pitchers in barrel rate, xSLG and strikeout rate. He relies on pitching to contact and despite a .260 xBA against the left-hander, he’s stranded 76.6 percent of runners on base in 18 starts.
Irvin has consistently escaped jams and it’s only a matter of time before it blows up in his face.
Noah Syndergaard takes the mound opposite the southpaw, and he’s been a pitcher I’ve consistently faded over the course of the season. The right-hander’s expected indicators sit a half-run higher than his actual ERA and he’s lost the once-dominant strikeout rate he sported in New York.
Opponents have a .250 xBA and a .401 xSLG against Syndergaard — both career lows — who also has a barrel rate of 8.1 percent. He’s also given up 56 stolen bases in 59 attempts this season, allowing runners to move into scoring position with ease.
I think this is the perfect opportunity to fade both starting pitchers. The Athletics’ offense has been on fire the last two weeks — seventh in wRC+, second in isolated power — and Irvin has been long overdue for negative regression.
I cannot believe this total opened at a juiced 7 and while it’s up to 7.5 at most markets, I would take the over up until 8 (-110). The market is giving too much respect to both starting pitchers and too little faith in the offenses to make noise.
Take the over in what should be a high-scoring game in Anaheim.
Dodgers vs. Giants
Anthony Dabbundo: Tyler Anderson has had an impressive season for the Dodgers with a 2.61 ERA at this point. However, the left-hander has underlying numbers that suggest regression is coming for him. His 3.21 FIP, 3.93 xFIP and 3.10 xERA, combined with similar K-BB% ratios to last season show that he’s run pretty well on variance.
Anderson’s BABIP is 30 points lower than his career average and his HR/FB rate is half of its usual number. If you’ve bet Anderson this year, you’ve done well, but that doesn’t mean you’ll continue to do so. He faces the Giants and Alex Wood, who is a positive regression candidate. The Giants lefty has a 4.11 ERA, but has 3.67 xERA, 3.50 FIP and 3.24 xFIP.
The reality is that Anderson and Wood are pretty comparable starting pitchers, and the Giants’ split advantages help to even out the differences in the two lineups. The Giants are fourth in wRC+ against lefties this season, which is better than the Dodgers, who rank fifth.
Despite defense and bullpen edges for the Dodgers, that’s not enough to make the Dodgers this big of a road favorite. I think the game should be lined closer to a tossup and thus will take San Francisco at +110 or better.
Dodgers vs. Giants
Kenny Ducey: The story remains the same for the San Francisco Giants. They have good numbers against left-handed pitching but it’s merely a mirage. That’s because many of the team’s regular bats like Brandon Crawford, Thairo Estrada and Joc Pederson are missing. On top of that, this team has been unrecognizable from the one which started the season.
That brings us to Tuesday. Tyler Anderson has been absolutely sublime with a strikeout rate just a hair under 30%, and he enters this start without an earned run against him in his past three outings. One of those came against the Giants.
San Francisco is striking out at a poor 24.1% rate over the last week of play and I don’t think it stands much of a chance here. While I have been a big Alex Wood guy for years, I do think he’s a little overrated by oddsmakers here. He’s had a lot of starts against middling competition and has been charged with the loss in both turns against the Dodgers, which saw him allow five earned in 9 ⅓ innings.
Wood’s strikeout numbers simply miss the mark this year, and with a 39% hard-hit rate and a team which doesn’t like to strike out on the other side of this, things could get tricky once more.