I’ve lost enough wagers in my lifetime to know when a bet sounds too good to be true,it usually is.
This can be especially true on Mondays, when there are typically less games on the slate and therefore more eyes on the lines. With that said, rather than make a pick, I’m taking a slight pivot to explain why I’m not backing 3 popular bets tonight.
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Tony Gonsolin is +127 to Record a Win? Too good to be true?
How is this plus money? He’s 16-1 this season (tied for most Pitching Wins in MLB) and facing the flailing Marlins.
I’m not suggesting it’s a bad bet; just pointing out it’s a fishy line. I see two likely drivers:
Classic Lookahead Spot: The Dodgers have a much tougher series looming ahead vs. the Mets. They’re scheduled to fly to New York right after this game, and several key Dodgers starters are expected to rest tonight as a result. That might include the current series MVP Mookie Betts.
Pablo Lopez pitching for Miami: The Marlins are just 55-72 (43%) this season but improve to 13-12 (52%) when Pablo Lopez starts.
Also, for what it’s worth – BallparkPal.com simulations have Miami winning this game 48.6% of the time (+106 implied odds), highlighting what chalks up to insane value on the Marlins tonight. That said, I think I’d rather lick a rusty nail then play Miami ML vs. LAD again, so tonight’s matchup is a No Play for me (though Marlins +1.5 run line was very tempting at plus money odds).
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Arguably the best smash spot on paper tonight is the Philadelphia Phillies vs. Diamondbacks. Why am I hesitant?
They’re the #3 ranked offense vs. Left-Handed Pitching (LHP) in the last 30 days (as measured by wRC+ statistic), just got Bryce Harper back, and are scheduled to face Madison Bumgarner, a struggling LHP who allowed 4+ earned runs in 5 straight starts. Yet interestingly, their Team Total is hanging at o/u 4.5 at most shops. How could that be?
The fishy Team Total line inspired me to look at Philadelphia’s performance in recent road trips to Arizona, and the results are ugly. They’ve dropped 10 of their last 12 visits to Chase Field and scored 2 or less runs in 9 of those 12 games. They’re currently on a 5-game losing streak there.
The modern Madison Bumgarner stinks, but only one Philly player has a 0.300+ lifetime expected batting average vs. him (Nick Castellanos at 0.411). All other starters are below 0.270.
To give credit where it’s due, the 2022 version of the Phillies have yet to visit, and they’re a strong road team. Even still, the modern Madison limited them to just 1 earned run in 5 innings pitched on June 11th. That game was played in Philadelphia. Now they have Bryce Harper back, but the location shifts back to Arizona where the Phillies haven’t won in 3+ years (since August 5th, 2019).
Perhaps a rematch vs. Bumgarner is just what the doctor ordered to break the curse? But until it happens, I see legitimate reason to think twice before hammering Philly tonight.
You’re killing me, $FML. Can we at least back the Cardinals?
Of course you can. But again, I see reason two reasons to be skeptical.
First relates to logistics. The Cardinals just played on Sunday Night Baseball, which created a tight travel window for their trip to Cincinnati. They boarded a flight immediately after the game in Atlanta, and didn’t touch down in Cincy until 2AM ET. By the time they arrived at the hotel and hit the pillow, it must’ve been past 3AM. Take that for whatever it’s worth to you.
The second reason relates to trends. The struggling Cincinnati Reds are going with a bullpen game tonight vs. a hot lineup. On the surface, it smells like a smash spot for STL, right? Cincinnati has the 2nd highest bullpen ERA in the game. Not so fast. Looking at more recent periods – August, for example – Cincinnati has the 5th best bullpen ERA in baseball. Trends are meant to be broken, but the point being: they’ve been trending up, and if the Reds want to catch STL sleeping – tonight is the night.
Of course, now that I took the time to break down why I hate these bets, they’ll probably all cash (likely in very sweat-free fashion). That’s just how this stuff works. Would be very on-brand for me. Jokes aside, I hope y’all found the different perspective interesting, at least, and I look forward to returning to normal picks tomorrow. Cheers.