Alex Cobb and Marco Gonzales are the listed starters for this late game out at T-Mobile Park. We’ve got the Angels in a fairly short favorite role here with a total primarily painted 8.5 across the board, but you can find some 9s if you look hard enough.
I will preface my handicap by saying that lines I can’t understand do scare me. If I expect something to be higher and it isn’t, I do a lot of work to try and figure out why. Sometimes, I can’t figure out the reason why and go ahead and make the bet. That is the case here with this game.
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The Angels are sending out Cobb, who has been the victim of quite a bit of bad luck this season. Sure, his Hard Hit% is a bit high at 40.5%, but you live with hard contact on the ground. Cobb’s GB% this season is 58.4%. He has a .331 BABIP against and a 57.7% LOB%.
The unfortunate thing for Cobb is that the Angels are one of the worst defensive teams in baseball. He, like so many other Angels pitchers, has taken the brunt of it. When you look at this rotation for the Angels, it ranks 26th in ERA at 5.21, but 17th in FIP at 4.26. The reasons why are a .314 BABIP and a 66.8% LOB%. The BABIP is the fourth-highest and the LOB% is the absolute lowest.
It turns out that letting Andrelton Simmons go was a bad idea. Seems like that was pretty self-explanatory, given that he’s the best defensive shortstop to ever play the position.
In any event, there is something about Cobb that I really like today and that is his 27.3% K%. The Mariners strike out a ton. Cobb’s SwStr% is up to 12% and his CSW%, a stat created by the guys at Pitcher List that measures called and swinging strike percentage, is 31.1%. That is one of the highest in baseball.
That means that Cobb will pitch from ahead a lot and have ample strikeout potential. A Cobb over K prop is probably a good bet tonight. I can’t track it in the app, but it is a personal play I think all of us should be on.
Another element that I believe helps Cobb here is that he induces tons of ground balls. In 253 batters faced, he has only allowed three home runs. The offensive philosophy for the Mariners is predicated on hitting fly balls for doubles and home runs. Cobb doesn’t allow much of that. Add in the fact that Seattle is awful at home on offense and these are all positive things.
I also really like this matchup for the Angels offense against Marco Gonzales. Gonzales has a 5.82 ERA with a 5.98 FIP. His xERA is one of the highest in baseball at 8.50. xERA incorporates batted ball data, such as hard-hit contact and Barrels. A Barrel is a batted ball with an expected batting average of at least .500 and an expected slugging percentage of at least 1.500.
Gonzales has allowed 27 barrels on 155 batted ball events. His career high is 31 barrels on 657 batted ball events. That is a 17.4% Barrel%. His Hard Hit% is 45.8%. That is an extremely high level of hard contact. Extremely high.
The Angels make a ton of authoritative contact. They are a top-five offense in baseball overall and also a top-five offense in baseball against lefties.
This handicap doesn’t even begin to take into account all of the negative regression signs for the Mariners, ranging from their winning record with a negative run differential to how much they are overachieving per Pythagorean Win-Loss, BaseRuns, and 3rd Order Win%.
I think this is a really strong, comprehensive case for taking the Angels tonight.