This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 2-0, +1.68 RWBucks (one rainout)
Season: 25-34, -11.85 RWBucks
Two come-from-behind wins, which I think matches the total for all of April, extend the winning streak to five. The Rockies and Giants didn't play, creating a seven-inning doubleheader tonight in Denver.
I have not been able to figure out a strategy for seven-inning games, and largely avoid them. We don't have enough of them, over three-plus months since their creation, for a reasonable set of conclusions to be reached. There's also the matter of so many of them involving a small number of teams – the Cardinals played 22 seven-inning games last year! It's a bit of a give-up on my part, but when I see a rainout (which now almost always turns two nine-inning games into two seven-inning games), I pretty much take those teams off my mental board.
So there will be no double-dipping on German Marquez against the Giants, and no chasing the Dodgers to bounce back from being blown out at Wrigley this afternoon. Once MLB, inevitably, announces that seven-inning games are a permanent part of the landscape, I guess I'll circle back to figure out where the edges are. Baseball Lite, coming to a ballpark near you.
Prior to last Thursday, Cease hadn't come close to a quality start, hadn't completed five innings, had walked 15% of the batters he'd faced. Sox opponents had gone 3-1 and scored 25 runs in his four starts. On Thursday, Cease threw a seven-inning shutout against the Tigers with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Now, I wasn't in on the preseason Cease hype, so maybe this is confirmation bias, but I'm going with "the Tigers might very well be the worst hitting team ever" over "Dylan Cease has turned the corner." Thrown in the wind blowing out on a damp night in Cincinnati, and I like this one as much as any bet this season. 2 RWBucks.
For the first time all year, we'll do this as well:
6:40 p.m. Reds (Hoffman) -114 over White Sox (Cease). 1 RWBuck.
I wasn't kidding. The Tigers have a .255 team OBP. They're on pace to score 441 runs, which would be the lowest team total in a full season since World War II, and the second-lowest since the deadball era. They've scored three runs or fewer in 19 of 29 games. This number is certainly low enough to be picked off by a single random swing, but the Tigers make contact on so few swings I'll take my chances. 1 RWBuck.
This matchup squeaked its way to nine runs last night. I still like taking the unders in these nighttime California games, especially early in the season. Cole Irvin has been a revelation with a 25/4 K/BB in five starts. Hedging here for the possibility that George Springer sits tonight's game out; I won't make this pick contingent on it, but it's worth checking on when lineups drop. 1 RWBuck.