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That’s how you answer back. A fire 3-0 night on the board ascends me back onto the throne as Battle of the Bets champion, my rightful place. For Friday the 13th, there is a TON of action on the board, let’s break this unlucky superstition.
*Each play will be labeled (1 through number “X”) to determine how I rank my plays on a daily basis.
Corbin Burnes O/U 7.5 Strikeouts vs. Miami Marlins (1)
This has become a national holiday. Corbin Burnes on the mound is easily one of my favorite bettings days of the week. Burnes looks like that kid who was kind of dorky growing up but had pretty good athleticism for no reason. I’ve been riding the wave every time out, so let’s stay on it.
The Brewers’ ace has fought like he really wants to keep that Cy Young award with his 1.86 ERA and 50 K’s through 25.2 innings. Burnes was on a four-game heater with strikeout overs until he just barely missed his fifth in a row against Atlanta last weekend, notching his prop at 4-2 on the season. On Friday, he draws the Miami Marlins, a team that has punched out the 10th most times this year at 276. The Marlins have allowed the big dogs like Carlos Rodon and Robbie Ray to notch at least eight K’s, and even Kyle Wright of the Braves to grab 11. Corbin Burnes is likely the best, or even second/third best arm they see in 2022. Good for probably seven innings and about 100 pitches, I’m riding with one of the top throwers in the game.
This is one where if you don’t mind throwing a little extra money, it’s worth it to play a couple of alternate numbers as well. I played it this morning at 8.5 (+122) and then again at 7.5 (-150). There’s been a lot of push/pull here, but ultimately I think he racks up 10+ K’s.
PREDICTION: Burnes O7.5 K’s (-150)
Milwaukee Brewers (-154) @ Miami Marlins (+130) | Over/Under 6 (2)
In the same breath of hitting the strikeout overs on Corbin Burnes day, one of the best MLB bets of the season so far follows. The “No Runs First Inning” (NRFI) play. These two go together like peanut butter and jelly or spaghetti and meatballs.
While you just heard me throw out the numbers on the K’s, if you haven’t followed my articles or tweets, then you probably missed me saying how automatic the NRFI is when Burnes is on the mound. Currently 6-0 on this mark, Milwaukee has only plated the first-inning run three times in the last 10 outings with two of them coming against the Reds and Cubs. Dueling opposite of Burnes is Pablo Lopez, one of the hottest pitchers in the majors thus far.
As an owner of a sublime league-leading 1.00 era in six starts across 23.1 innings, Pablo “Like Picasso” has only yielded a first inning score once this season. That came on an off night against the Diamondbacks. With two strong pitchers and shaky offenses, it’s no wonder why this thing is juiced by Sylvester Stallone in Rocky IV.
It took some steam this afternoon but honestly, even at the current price there is value, just dial your bet down if you’re feeling queasy. One of my favorite things to do is parlay this with the Burnes over K’s. That’s currently in the +150 range.
PREDICTION: NRFI (-160)
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Kevin Gausman O/U 7.5 Strikeouts vs. Tampa Bay Rays (3)
Talk about a Renaissance man. Honestly, I thought Kevin Gausman was a one-hit-wonder last year seeing how he sucked his entire career. In 2022 though, he may be convincing me he was just a late bloomer that needed to be in a better situation. Currently, he along with Gerrit Cole may be, is the true thing standing in the way of my beloved Dylan Cease and his AL Cy Young award to this point. Gausman is sporting a stellar 2.13 ERA and 46 punchouts through 38 innings, not to mention with only ONE walk.
KG has eight K’s or more in four of his six outings and just broke what would have been five overs in a row against a tough swing and miss opponent in the Guardians. Facing a Rays squad that holds the ninth most strikeouts (282), Gausman gets a lineup that possesses six players with 25 K’s or more. If you knock that total down to 23, it brings the number of batters up to eight. Seeing how Tampa Bay had fits facing power pitchers like Cease, Garrett Whitlock, and Noah Syndergaard, it could be a big night for KG and his devastating split piece that has accounted for 32 of those punchouts.
Each and every start he has been handed a longer pitch count, so we might see about seven innings and 100 plus pitches for him if he stays out of high stress situations and limits base runners. The total has finally moved up from 6.5 after his last several contests, but in this case we need to keep riding the wave. He might knock down 12 tonight.
PREDICTION: Gausman O7.5 K’s (+120)
Houston Astros (-154) @ Washington Nationals (+130) | Over/Under 8.5 (4)
Houston, we have a solution. After falling flat on their cheating faces early on, H Town has found its groove pumping out 10 straight W’s. With the offense finally catching up scoring 26 runs over their last four games, they have a chance to throw the Angels back into the shadow realm.
Framber Valdez toes the rubber tonight against a Nationals team that has not only lost six of its last eight but has only covered a +1.5 runline in one of those losses. The lineup, surprisingly, is top 10 in batting average and runs scored, though we could attribute that to about four or five games where they plated at least 10 runs. As a team, one of their weaknesses has been playing at home (4-13), and hitting against lefties (.238 average, .639 OPS). Guess what they draw tonight… a lefty at home. Aside from one horrible outing against the Angels, Valdez has been strong this season and has done it against much better teams than Washington. Sporting a 1.64 ERA and .133 OBA on the road, he is in good shape to have a great night.
I’ll make this one short and sweet. Josiah Gray has the makings to be a good starter in this league, but he still has work to do. As the proud owner of a 5.40 ERA and .300 OBA at home, I just can’t see it. Out of the last 10 wins, the ‘Stros have covered in seven. I think they stay hot.
PREDICTION: Astros RL -1.5 (+108)
Seattle Mariners (+200) @ New York Mets (-245) | Over/Under 7 (5)
Don’t look now but the New York Mets are 22-11 and 6.5 games up in the NL East. What a time to be alive. Mad Max Scherzer has the ball for the opener against a soulless Seattle team that is dead set on disappointing me this year when I bought into them. Overall, Max has been fantastic this year holding his 4-1 mark, 2.92 ERA, and 49 strikeouts in 37 innings.
I could bore you with the details on how they are 21-12 ATS and 17-11 ATS as a favorite this year, but the fact is they are finding ways to win games, which has been the complete opposite for decades. With their offense in the top 10 in a handful of major categories, they have a strong chance to take advantage of Marco Gonzales who has been average at best. My favorite stat yet is how Scherzer’s team had won his last 18 starts before Philly beat him last time out. During those 18 wins, the Met’s won by at least two runs in 15 of them. Although I do believe the Mariners make a charge at some point, I don’t believe it’s tonight against the best pitcher in baseball.
PREDICTION: Mets RL -1.5 (+100)
#2 Oregon State Beavers (-240) @ Arizona Wildcats (+195) | Over/Under 9.5 (6)
I wasn’t sure I would dish out a college play. In all fairness, there are so many angles I could get into tonight that it was making my head spin. However, I wanted to touch on a team that I have not really talked about that much… mostly because they are outside the SEC, the conference I prefer. The 39-9 Oregon State Beavers head to Pac-12 rival Arizona as they look to keep pushing to knock off the Tennessee Volunteers as the country’s top seed. We get to see arguably the best pitcher in the nation in the Beavers’ Cooper Hjerpe (yes, that is his name).
The 6’3” Hjerpe has been unbelievable in 2022. There is just no other way to say it. His 120 punchouts across 73.2 innings trail only Florida State’s Parker Messick for the most in College Baseball. His 9-1 mark is the best, while his 2.08 ERA is 21st overall. Regarded as a top breakout candidate for 2022, Hjerpe has propelled his team to one of the stiffest challenges anybody can face in Omaha. Tonight he draws a top-heavy Arizona lineup that has yet to see the likes of an elite arm. In his last six starts, the final score has been held under 11.
TJ Nichols worries me. While I would have loved to have Garrett Irvin go tonight, Zona usually saves the strong lefty for Saturday nights. Nichols has yielded 24 earned runs over his last five outings. The Beavers have a solid, but not a great lineup. They have only managed 13 total runs in their last four series openers. Six of his last seven starts have resulted in at least 11 runs, virtually vanquishing any under hopes. It’s a bit of a gamble, but if he can keep OSU to under five runs, I’m confident Hjerpe doesn’t allow more than two.
The books have gotten razor-sharp the last few weeks with the totals, especially on openers, so this one is not the 10.5 or even 11.5 it would have been in mid-April. I’m still leaning on my philosophy of staying under on Fridays. This has seen movement this afternoon. It was 8.5 earlier today.
PREDICTION: Under 9.5 (-110)
Have a fresh to death Friday taste, kid
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