This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 2-1, 1.18 RWBucks
Season: 2-1, 1.18 RWBucks
The Saturday slate features an unusual amount of games early in the day, which was only added to when the Mets and Rockies as well as Royals and Blue Jays scheduled doubleheaders after being postponed Friday. Even so, this article will try to focus primarily on games in the evening or late afternoon.
Oakland is at home, so it is the favorite in the matchup. However, nearly everything else on paper dictates that things should fall in the Tigers' favor. Since the start of the 2020 season, only the White Sox and Nationals have a higher wOBA against lefties than the Tigers. Their lineup turned over a bunch in the offseason, but welcomed the likes of Wilson Ramos (.355 career wOBA vs. LHP) and Robbie Grossman (.334 career wOBA vs. LHP). Others who remained with the club in Jeimer Candelario (.350 career wOBA vs. LHP) and Willi Castro (.353 career wOBA vs. LHP) are also strong career hitters against southpaws.That murderers row may not strike fear in Clayton Kershaw or other elite lefties, but it's a pretty solid core nonetheless. More important, Irvin is no Kershaw. After an admittedly strong spring training, Irvin ranks 15th percentile or lower in average exit velocity, xwOBA and xSLG entering his third start Saturday. Chip in the improvements we've seen early on from Casey Mize, and the dog looks like a strong play in this one.
4:10 p.m. - Sonny Gray over 1.5 runs allowed (-139 on BetMGM)
This one popped using RotoWire's projection vs. prop bet tool. It makes a lot of sense considering it's Gray's first start of the season. He battled his control for much of the 2020 season, despite relatively strong results, walking at least three in five of his last eight starts. Putting that many runners on base leads to trouble, considering he's also allowed considerably more home runs at home than on the road (1.0 vs. 0.6 since 2019) — which isn't a surprise given the way Great American Ballpark plays.
There's a compelling argument to say that no one has gotten off to a worst start on the mound this season than Quintana. He has a 16.20 ERA in a combined 5.0 IP in two starts. Yikes. But looking under the hood just the tiniest bit suggests better results are on the way — they can't be much worse — as he has a 5.14 xERA and .323 xSLG. Meanwhile, Shoemaker has gotten off to a much better start on the surface, but ranks in the eighth percentile in xSLG, 13th percentile in xERA and 13th percentile in xWOBA. Positive matchups against the Tigers and Mariners have masked his skill deficiencies to this point. Unfortunately, Vegas was onto this — as it's known to be — so there aren't a ton of great lines available on the game, making it less desirable to play than the paper matchup.
Note: Over 9.0 runs is available on FanDuel at -115.