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It's Monday, and there's no better cure for the early-week blues than a loaded baseball card. There are some great matchups on this short slate, and I've got a couple picked out that I really like. With that said, let's get into it.
Washington Nationals (+140) vs. Colorado Rockies (-165) Total: 11.5
Dare we target the Under at Coors Field? It may not be that crazy of a thought.
The pitching matchup here offers a lot of promise. German Marquez enters with a 3.49 ERA in 17 home starts this year, allowing hitters to bat just .209 with 94 strikeouts in 98 innings. While the Nationals do come into this one feeling it in the power department, the righty's 0.83 homers per nine in the hitter-friendly Coors Field offer a bunch of encouragement.
Colorado's bats, meanwhile, rank all the way down in 28th when it comes to Isolated Power in the last week. The Rockies will have the tall task of facing Josiah Gray, who has been volatile just as any rookie would be upon being called up, but who has already exhibited immense talent. Gray's 24.9% strikeout rate should help him here against some whiff-happy Rockies bats of late (26.4% strikeout rate in the last seven days) and he should level back out after a few tough outings. I like this to 11 runs.
Edge: Under 11.5
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Oakland Athletics (+100) vs. Seattle Mariners (-121) Total: 8.5
The Mariners have ranked 13th in isolated power over the past week and should continue torching Irvin, who has had issues with the longball in the second half (10 HR in 12 starts). He has pitched to a 7.56 ERA in four starts against the M’s, allowing 37 combined hits and free passes in 16 ⅔ innings, which is even worse. The way the trends are set up, it doesn't appear Irvin will fare any better against Seattle.
On the other hand, Chris Flexen has absolutely owned this offense in his last three outings against it, giving up three earned runs in 19 total innings, and holds solid enough peripherals this year to believe in his stuff. Oakland is striking out almost 24% of the time, which is a huge regression from where it was just a few weeks ago, and with Flexen's strikeout numbers soaring he should be able to take this pivotal game in the playoff race.
Edge: Mariners -121
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