This article is part of our MLB Betting series.
Previous day: 7-4-1, +3.66 RWBucks (one void)
Season: 60-78-1, -24.60 RWBucks
(I'm not counting the 1-0 I posted on Saturday on KNBR in San Francisco, giving out the under in the first game of the Giants/Nationals doubleheader. You're welcome, Marty.)
Spraying the board twice, once in April and once last week, has produced more wins than losses and about six units in total. The rest of the year is more than 20 games below .500 and down 30 units. I don't think there's a lesson there, to be honest, but at least on Fridays, we'll probably make big slates an ongoing thing.
Today it's Monday, and all anyone wants to talk about is spin rate. I've argued that the decline in offense this year is more about the new baseball than the sticky stuff, but for whatever reason, offense is up in June – though mostly because of outcomes on contact rather than a precipitous fall in the strikeout rate. We would expect that just based on weather, but the rise in offense this month, as measured by OPS+, is higher than the average bump we get from April/May to June. It is just something to monitor right now, remembering that the week-to-week and even month-to-month variance in run scoring can be pretty significant.
I do the mid-week updates on the fly, and then over the weekend update my spreadsheet. I was pretty shocked to see that I'm 9-22 picking underdogs. When I think of my strengths, it's identifying totals and live dogs, and missing the latter is a big part of those missing units this year. In any case, we're back on the favorites today, taking a not-great starting matchup – Jon Lester might be done – to be on the right side of the teams. The Pirates are 10-22 on the road and overall have been outscored by 90 runs, the largest margin in baseball. 1 RWBuck.
Regression was always coming for a Red Sox rotation that was well over its skis in the season's first two months. Sox starters have a 6.26 ERA in June, allowing 14 homers in 64 2/3 innings. On the other side, Alek Manoah has walked 13% of the batters he's faced in his last two starts, not seeing the sixth in either game. This number probably goes to 10 by game time. 2 RWBucks.
For five innings, 18 batters, and 85 pitches, Brad Keller is a #2 starter. Few pitchers lose it as quickly as he does, however, and I'm tired of yelling at Mike Matheny through the magic box in my living room to get him out of the game. Let's take that out of play today and instead get behind two very different starting pitchers for 90 minutes or so. 1.5 RWBucks.