Well, friends. That time has come. This will be the last of my daily articles at ATS.io. It has been a fun and pleasurable ride and the honor has been all mine to bring you what I believe is some of the most in-depth content in the betting industry. I’ve greatly enjoyed my time here and will leave with fond memories of all involved.
Heartfelt thanks go out to Ryan for bringing me in and to guys like Admir Aljic and Allen Moody that I’ve worked with on this fine site. I’d also like to thank each and every one of the readers. To those that have broadened their minds and their handicapping styles by learning these advanced concepts and to those that know sabermetrics and simply enjoyed the content.
I won’t be gone for good, as I will be moving on to a new chapter in my career. I’ll announce that when the time is right. In the meantime, I’ll hope to finish things off here on a high note.
Yesterday got absolutely bonkers before the Trade Deadline. We saw a ton of trades come through on Thursday night, but Friday’s lunchtime on the East Coast was simply insane. I cannot remember a Trade Deadline like this one where so many buying teams went for it and improved their rosters. Significant prospects were on the move all over the place.
Truth be told, the Cubs were the biggest winner of the Trade Deadline, as Jed Hoyer really maximized all the pieces that he had to move. Obviously teams like the Dodgers and Yankees made out extremely well, but it was a good market for sellers, as there were a few trades I would consider overpays, with the biggest one being the Windy City swap with Craig Kimbrel going to the White Sox for Nick Madrigal and Codi Heuer.
It is good to see an environment in which the buyers all tried to get better. That flag flies forever and nobody can take that away.
All 30 teams completed trades at this year’s deadline, which is a cool footnote to all the excitement. Those deals certainly had emotional and mental impacts on some teams. It may take a day or two for everything to settle in, so I’d still look to be very selective today and tomorrow as you make your wagers.
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MLB Picks & Thoughts for July 31, 2021
Cubs/Nationals – There’s a scene in Major League, which I might as well reference as a Clevelander on my last day here, with a construction worker looking at the Indians roster and exclaiming, “Who are these f*ckin’ guys?” We saw the real-life manifestation of that moment with yesterday’s Cubs/Nationals game. Both teams traded the bulk of their starting lineups and a lot of big roster pieces here at the Deadline.
The Nats won 4-3, so they navigated the day slightly better than the Cubs, or so it would appear. Kyle Hendricks goes for the Cubs today and TBD goes for the Nationals. No line, no play, but what a whirlwind for these two squads yesterday.
Phillies/Pirates – My thought process was correct in laying off the Phillies on Friday, as they really squandered one with a loss to the lowly Pirates. Today’s chances look a lot better for the Phils, as Aaron Nola is on the bump against JT Brubaker. With this line up in the -150s and not much early movement, I’m not on the game. I would expect Philadelphia to win, but I always expect teams to beat the Pirates and it won’t happen every day.
I will point out that Brubaker, who did get off to a great start with a 2.58 ERA in his first seven starts, has a 6.05 ERA and a 5.40 FIP in his last 11 starts. He has also allowed a home run in six straight starts and 11 homers in that span. Yeesh.
Brewers/Braves – We don’t have many good pitching matchups today, but this appears to be one of them. A little bit of money has leaked in at some sportsbooks on Kyle Muller and the Braves. They’ll be taking on Brandon Woodruff and the Brewers. Woodruff is having a Cy Young caliber season and the 23-year-old Muller is just starting his career.
I don’t have a play on this one, as we are seeing some sharp love driving the total down from 8.5 to 8. With the projection of a low-scoring environment, I certainly prefer Milwaukee’s bullpen to Atlanta’s, but the price is a tad rich for me.
Dodgers/Diamondbacks – The Dodgers have not named a starter yet for today, but a lot of people seem to believe it will be Mitch White with a full-on bullpen day for the team that will be a road favorite. Merrill Kelly, who has been on a nice heater of late, goes for the Diamondbacks.
I thought Kelly would be traded yesterday, but he was not. He has a 2.62 ERA with a 3.25 FIP in his last seven starts over 44.2 innings of work. He’s pitched very well. With no line, I can’t say too much more than that.
Rockies/Padres – The books were a little slow to post this one with the Rockies and Padres, as we’ll get the best pitching matchup of the night in German Marquez and Yu Darvish. The Padres have had a rough 36 hours. They lost yesterday to the Rockies and also watched as the Dodgers made some big splashes and the Giants picked up Kris Bryant. San Diego made its big move with Adam Frazier prior to the Deadline.
To make matters worse, Fernando Tatis Jr. reaggravated his shoulder injury and it seems like he’ll be unavailable tonight and maybe for a little while. I’m not betting this one, as we’ll see the Padres a big favorite with Darvish and a low total of probably 7 or 7.5. There is a lot happening with San Diego right now.
I’m a little surprised the Rockies didn’t move Trevor Story. They didn’t really do much of anything. It’s a bad thing long-term, but it might be a good thing for them in the interim. I’m not sure.
A’s/Angels – Another game with some sharp involvement is this one with the A’s and Angels. Money has hit the board on the visiting Athletics with Cole Irvin up against Jaime Barria. Barria, who had a 4.41 ERA and a 5.72 FIP in 10 Triple-A starts, owns a 4.55 ERA and a 5.07 FIP in his 257.1 MLB innings over his career. He has allowed nine runs on 11 hits this year in 13 innings with seven walks against just five strikeouts.
I’m still amazed that Cole Irvin keeps performing well, as he has a 3.62 ERA and a 3.60 FIP. I can’t argue with the move here. Surprisingly, Irvin’s road splits are better than his home splits. His xERA is a good bit higher than his actual ERA, but the A’s are a solid defensive team.
The Angels are watered-down offensively right now thanks to injuries. They didn’t really do anything of consequence at the Trade Deadline to suggest being a buyer. In fact, they traded Andrew Heaney and may be a seller. Tomorrow will be an exciting day for the Angels with the debut of Reid Detmers. Today probably won’t be, but with this line up into the -130s, no play from me.
Red Sox/Rays – The Red Sox couldn’t get there for us as a dog yesterday, as they dug a big hole and couldn’t climb out of it. We’re seeing Rays money today for this Nate Eovaldi/Ryan Yarbrough matchup, which does surprise me a bit. The total touching 8 doesn’t really catch me off-guard, but I did expect the guy with the 3.49 ERA and the 2.48 FIP in Eovaldi to take money over Yarbrough, who has a 4.38 ERA and a 4.16 FIP.
The line move hasn’t been pretty subtle, actually, but I am a little surprised we haven’t seen more love for Boston. This is the better split for the Rays, who are better against righties than lefties. It’s a no play for me, but I’ll be keeping tabs on the line to see where it ends up.
Mariners/Rangers – Tyler Anderson will make his Mariners debut against the Rangers. One thing to note in this game is that we’ve seen some spin rate decreases from pitchers pitching in Texas with the humidor. Anderson is a guy that has already had some big decreases since MLB cracked down on substances. He’s a big favorite here and I’d be wary of laying that number.
I actually did think about the over 8 here with Taylor Hearn going for the Rangers. Hearn’s peripherals suggest some regression. I wouldn’t be surprised to see runs here, but betting on either of these lineups is iffy at best.
Indians/White Sox – Another day with money against Dallas Keuchel, as the Indians send out Triston McKenzie. The White Sox are still a big favorite with a total of 9, but we’ve seen the weekly Keuchel fade from the market-shapers. I don’t have a play here. I’m a little surprised to see the Keuchel fade, but not see complementary money on the over. A fade of Keuchel, at least to me, would imply he struggles against the Indians and we all know that McKenzie is all over the place.
Just something I noticed. Could be something, could be nothing.
Astros/Giants – Zack Greinke and Alex Wood make up a tough game to handicap here. The Astros won 9-6 as the game flew over the total, bringing joy to readers around the world. Today’s game has a total of 8 on the way to 8.5.
This is a high-variance game. We’ll see a lot of balls in play here, as Greinke’s K% is the lowest we’ve seen since 2006. Wood has well over a strikeout per inning, but takes on a Houston lineup that doesn’t really strike out. With a Hard Hit% of 43% for Wood and 33.2% for Greinke, I could make a case for the Astros here, but I’m honestly not sure how this one plays out.
Yankees/Marlins – No line here with no starter listed for the Fish. Lather, rinse, repeat on that one. The Marlins are all out of sorts with injuries and the like. This could be a full-fledged bullpen day with 6-7 pitchers or more.
As a general statement, the Yankees will probably be overvalued in the betting markets after making all of those Trade Deadline moves. Perception is really high on them right now. That’s not to say I’d be betting the Marlins, but simply to say that you’re paying a premium on Yankees prices right now and have to consider that.
Twins/Cardinals – No line here either. Everybody seems to list Bailey Ober and John Woodford. Look for a move on Ober if that happens. We’ve seen a lot of Ober money in the markets, even though he has a 5.19 ERA and a 5.35 FIP. He’s taken a lot of steam in his starts. I don’t really know the reason why, but it has been a thing.
The three plays for today. Once again, it has been my honor. Good luck to everybody. Thanks to each and every reader. Enjoy your weekend.