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@FastMoneyLabs’ Best Bet - 7/11

Jose Urena (COL) Over 1.5 Walks (-110) vs. San Diego

How on earth can we bet this at -110 odds tonight?

This is an 8-year veteran with massive, well-documented command issues. He’s struggled to establish himself in the Bigs because of it.

Last week, he was called up from AAA to make a spot start for Colorado in LA. He limited the high-powered Dodgers to a single run on 5 Hits in 6.2 Innings that night, but if we lift the hood on what actually happened – it was ugly.

Only 53 of the 89 pitches he tossed that night were strikes. Said differently, 40%+ of the time he threw a pitch, it was a ball. The Dodgers stayed disciplined and walked 3 times.

Prior to his callup, Urena made 5 starts in AAA (the minors) where he walked 12 batters in just 21 innings pitched. Betting his 2+ Walks prop would’ve cashed in 4 of those 5 starts. That was in the minor leagues against less disciplined competition.

Fast forward to tonight, and he faces a much tougher major league test. The San Diego Padres arrive in Denver sporting the 7th highest walk rate in MLB vs. RHPs. 12 of the last 15 (80%) RHPs they faced walked 2+ Padres.

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Sportsbooks are currently listing Urena’s Outs prop line at o/u 14.5 for tonight’s matchup. That implies he’ll pitch roughly 5 full innings. To be conservative, let’s dial that back and assume he’ll pitch only 4 innings. If you agree that’s a fair assumption, then let’s follow it up with a simple question:

When Urena pitches 4+ innings, how often does he Walk 2+ batters? Focusing on MLB starts only since June 2019, the answer is 82.4% of the time. Phrased differently, betting Urena’s 2+ Walks prop is 14-3 (82.4%) when he pitches 4+ Innings in MLB starts since June 2019. Including the minor leagues, this bet is 18-4 (81.8%).

So now back to the original question. How on earth can we bet this at -110 odds tonight? My guess is that it relates to the risk he could pitch less than 4 innings. In the event he gets rocked early, he could have a short leash, which could potentially kill the bet. That’s a risk I’m willing to take at -110 odds, though, based on what we know about Urena and the matchup.