Cleveland’s bullpen tossed 363 pitches over Labor Day Weekend. That’s a lot. They were spread across 4 days (Friday thru Monday) but still — if I’m Guardians’ manager Terry Francona, I’m looking for my starting pitcher to eat some innings tonight.
Luckily for Terry, it’s Guardians’ ace Shane Bieber’s turn in the rotation, and he’s been stellar lately. The former Cy Young winner has posted a 0.99 WHIP, 23.7 K-BB% and 2.70 ERA across 53.1 innings pitched since All-Star Break. His 2.52 expected Fielding Independent Pitching (xFIP) in that stretch ranks #4 out of 107 pitchers with 36+ IP.
Tonight, he hits the road for what projects as a favorable matchup vs. a Royals team in full rebuild mode. Their offensive production has slipped since the trade deadline, which corresponds with trading away two of their best bats in Andrew Benintendi (to the Yankees) and Whit Merrifield (to the Blue Jays). Their offense ranks Bottom 10 of MLB vs. Right-Handed Pitching (RHP) since then (as measured by wRC+ statistic), and their 0.295 On-Base Percentage (OBP) vs. RHP is 7th lowest in that stretch.
Looking at their projected lineup tonight, 6 of 9 players:
- See fewer than average pitches per plate appearance (PPA)
- Have above average strikeout rates vs. RHP, and
- Below average weighted On-Base Average (wOBA) vs. RHP
If you’re more of a visual person like me, see their stats in heat map format below:
Summing that all up screams smash spot for the 27-year-old Shane Bieber and considering the Guardians’ bullpen situation, I’m surprised his Outs prop line is only o/u 19.5 for tonight’s contest. He’s been crushing that line, completing 7+ full innings (21+ outs) in 4 of his last 5 starts and 4 straight away from home.
To take that one step further — If I like his chances to cover 19.5 Outs, then why not double down with a bet he’ll record 6+ strikeouts, a number he’s covered in 11 of his last 13 (84.6%) starts away from home? I’m surprised Barstool Sportsbook is even letting us pair these bets together in a Same-Game-Parlay (SGP) given their correlations. Bieber’s a K per Inning pitcher that’s projected to pitch 6+ innings in a soft matchup. And you’re telling me we can bet him to achieve both at plus money odds tonight? Say less and take my money.
I got +155 odds for the SGP at Barstool Sportsbook and risked 1 unit to win 1.55
If you’re not on Barstool, I suggest betting each line straight if the prices are reasonable. If the 6+ K’s bet is priced out, then 7+ Ks is worth a look, too. He cashed that number in 3 of his last 4 away games and 5 of his last 7 overall.