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John Bollman's Bet of the Day - 8/31

Albert Pujols (STL) @ Cincinnati Reds

I played Albert Pujols over 1.5 total bases last night against Justin Dunn, although I admit that wasn’t the best matchup with Dunn being a right-handed pitcher. He was hit by a pitch in his first at bat, then only had two at bats the rest of the game. However, he will be batting higher in the batting order today against the lefty, so he will almost be guaranteed at least four at bats. The Cardinals will also most likely be able to put up more offense than their one run last night, so there should be plenty more at bats to be had, and he could even get up to five at bats.

We are going to try one more time with Pujols against the lefty today. He has hits in 11 of his last 13 games he has started in, and he has the platoon advantage today against Mike Minor. Albert Pujols is 6 for 21 against Mike Minor in his career with two doubles and no home runs. Honestly, that is a bit surprising but at the same time we could see Pujols add to his MLB record of hitting a home run off 450 different pitchers. That is also the reason I am staying off a HR prop for Pujols, I think he could definitely hit a home run tonight, but the total bases prop is much safer against the lefty consider the matchup history. Pujols has been dominating lefties this season, he has 11 of his 15 home runs against lefties in fewer at bats, and he is slashing .387/.425/.807 against lefties. That is an .807 slugging percentage, not OPS. He has a 1.231 OPS against lefties this season which is just absurd for a 42-year-old.

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Albert Pujols - The Machine

I want to use this last paragraph to list some of his accomplishments because I really don’t think people appreciate him enough. Some of his accomplishments are truly incredible and I don’t think we really understand how amazing some of the things he did was. So, I highly suggest going to his baseball reference page when you get a minute, but I will highlight a couple favorites. Between 2005 and 2009, he won 3 of the 5 NL MVP awards. In that same time, his OPS was over 1.100 three times. He slashed at least .300/.400/.500 in each of his 10 first seasons except 2002 when his OBP was only .394. He finished top 4 in MVP voting in 9 of his first 10 season. He had more walks than strikeouts in 10 of his first 11 seasons, and he has hit at least 40 home runs seven times. First ballot Hall of Famer.

Albert Pujols St. Louis Cardinals
Future First Ballot Hall of Famer Albert "The Machine" Pujols
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John Bollman's BOTD

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Albert Pujols over 1.5 Total Bases @ +105
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