One week remains in the 2020 MLB regular season. The 60-game sprint is reaching the last few meters and the final playoff push is on. The Giants opted not to be part of that playoff push yesterday in their 6-0 loss as an underdog, but we hit two totals to make a positive day out of everything.
We’ll see if we can do that again here on Sunday. With all eyes on the NFL, the MLB board has a couple of opportunities to make some money. With less time to handicap because of everything else going on, I’ve been more conservative late in the MLB season. As you’ve noticed, I’ve also really cut down the article to focus just on the games that I like for that day.
Odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook, which is the default setting for the bet tracking capabilities of the ATS App. We highly encourage you to download that. Not only can you get a lot of top-notch matchup data and stats for the games, but you can also read all of our ATS.io content in there because we have integrated articles into the app.
Picks are also tracked in my Google Tracking Sheet. It’s been a bumpy ride of late, but let’s attempt to finish strong.
969/970 Arizona Diamondbacks (+180) at Houston Astros (-225); Total: 9.5
I don’t play a lot of run lines in baseball, but this is screaming to be one of them. You can get the Astros -1.5 at -107 from DraftKings to fade Madison Bumgarner. The Astros are sending out Jose Urquidy, who had really good numbers last season and is coming off of a quality start with seven innings of one-run ball against the Rangers.
The Astros have had a roller coaster of a season with tons of injuries, some winning streaks, some losing streaks, and just all sorts of different outcomes. The end result is a .500 team that is going to make the expanded playoffs. The Diamondbacks are not. They are 6-12 since the Trade Deadline, a deadline that prompted Mike Hazen to write a letter to season ticket holders after the Diamondbacks traded away Starling Marte, Robbie Ray, and Archie Bradley.
In fairness, Arizona did lose eight of nine to begin September before going 5-4 over their last nine games, so they’ve been trying, but I don’t like this spot for them. Bumgarner is on the mound, so they’ll likely be in a hole early. He has an 8.53 ERA with an 8.93 FIP and has allowed 13 HR in 31.2 innings of work this season. Bumgarner said after his last start, “2020 sucks. I’m pretty much on board with that now.” I don’t think he has a lot left to give here and I think he just wants to get to the offseason and reevaluate everything.
The Astros, meanwhile, have games to win. Urquidy has a 3.59 ERA with a 3.73 FIP in 57.2 career MLB innings. He’s allowed five runs on nine hits in 16.2 innings of work this season and he’s pitching on his regular turn for the third straight start. I think consistency is important in a weird season like this.
The Diamondbacks have tomorrow off and then start a six-game homestand. They’re done worrying about road protocols and are close to the finish line in terms of time away from families and whatnot. I think this is a laydown spot here, especially if they get buried early by more Bumgarner futility.
I’ll lay the run line number here.
Pick: Houston Astros -1.5 (-107)
979/980 Texas Rangers (+125) at LA Angels (-150); Total: 10
Most games in MLB today feature a breeze blowing in. This one does not. The Rangers and Angels will play on a warm day in Anaheim with a soft breeze blowing out. We’ve seen Angel Stadium play really small this season. The over at Angel Stadium is 19-7-2 so far this season. The last two games with the Rangers have gone under the total, which is probably the reason why we aren’t staring at a 10.5 here. The season-long slump for the Rangers offense has played a role as well.
The Rangers do rank 29th in wOBA against righties, so that would be my devil’s advocate point to playing this over, but Julio Teheran has been awful. He’s got an 8.90 ERA with a 7.79 FIP in his 29.1 innings of work. He’s been so bad that he even allowed five runs on six hits over 4.2 innings last time out against the Rangers and that start was at Globe Life Field, where offense goes to die.
Teheran has allowed 29 runs on 35 hits in 29.1 innings of work. He’s also allowed 10 home runs, eight of which have come at home in just 12.1 innings. We’re talking about really small sample sizes here, but opposing batters have hit .327/.417/.808 against Teheran in 60 plate appearances at the Big A.
Kyle Cody has gotten fortunate in his 12.2 innings. He’s only allowed two earned runs, but he has a 4.69 FIP to go with his 1.42 ERA. Cody has walked 10 batters, but has a 90.9% LOB%. He’s also allowed quite a bit of hard contact. He’s just happened to stay off the barrel.
The Angels rank sixth in wOBA against right-handed pitching and they’ve been swinging the bats extremely well at home. They also draw a lot of walks. They have the third-highest BB% against righties this season, trailing only the Reds and Yankees. Cody’s erratic nature could give the Angels a lot of opportunities with men on base. I think the conditions are right for an over and Angel Stadium has been the over gift that keeps on giving, so let’s hope it has another one left.