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@FastMoneyLabs' Best Bet - 8/22

Jeffrey Springs (TB) Strikeouts vs. LA Angels

Did you know Jeffrey Springs was the #888 pick in the 2015 draft? That’s a 30th round pick. I find that wild for a number of reasons – headlined by the fact I had no clue there were even 30 rounds. Nonetheless, kudos to whoever made that pick.

Everything seems to be clicking for the 29-year-old Lefty right now in his 5th season. He’s pitching to a career-best 2.52 ERA, 0.280 wOBA and 5.3% walk rate. He’s also evolved into an elite strikeout pitcher sporting a 26.5% K rate entering play today – good for a Top-25% ranking in MLB. His success in that category can be attributed to a simple yet lethal Fastball/Changeup/Sinker/Slider combo that’s producing a career-best 35.9% Chase Rate (top-3% of MLB) and 28.5% Whiff Rate (top-28%) this season.

Long story short – I love Springs K ability, but he’s coming off a somewhat fluky game vs. the New York Yankees. He pitched well that day (1 ER on just 2 hits and 1 walk in 5 strong innings) but only recorded 4 Strikeouts. I described it as fluky, because his 24% Called Strike + Whiff (CSW) rate that day was his 2nd lowest mark on the season in a game where he threw 50+ pitches.

Those stats point to a prime buy-low spot on his Strikeout Prop tonight vs. an Angels team with the 6th highest K rate this season vs. Lefties. Looking at August numbers, they have the 4th highest Chase Rate (35.2%) and Whiff Rate (12.5%) in MLB. Given Springs is a Top-3% pitcher at inducing chases outside the zone, the Angels feel like the perfect matchup for him to get back on track.

Last but not least – it’s important to note that Springs is somewhat unique in that he’s a Lefty with a higher strikeout rate vs. Right-Handed Batters (RHB) than Lefties. His 29.1% K rate vs. RHB compares to just 19.4% vs. LHB. Tonight, the Angels projected lineup features 8 RHBs.

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$FML's Best Bet

With all those facts in mind, my gut tells me that 7-8+ Ks is a real possibility for him tonight. However, for my best bet, I prefer the safety of a simple wager on Springs to finish over 5.5 Ks – widely available at -110 odds at time of writing.

The Pick: Jeffrey Springs over 5.5 Strikeouts (-110) vs. Angels

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