1st 5 Innings Brewers/Nationals Un 4.5 (-105): This is a stat that would probably surprise many people, but the Nationals actually only have a 91 wRC+ as a team against right handed pitching. That ranks them 18th best in the league in that stat. Tuesday they face Brewers right hander Zach Davies who is actually pretty respectable, especially lately. On the year Davies has a 4.22 ERA and a 4.08 xFIP. His K rate is solid, his BB rate is solid and in his last 6 starts he’s been even better. Over those 6 starts he put up a 2.89 ERA and a 3.49 xFIP, to go with a 9.4 K/9 and a 1.93 BB/9 rate. The way Davies is throwing now he should be able to hold down a Nats team that is below average against right handers. For the Nats Gio Gonzalez should have some nice success tonight too. Gonzalez on the year has 4.81 ERA but a lot of that is due to bad luck as his xFIP of 3.77 is a full run lower than that ERA. He’s working on a 9.52 K/9 which is the highest he’s had since 2009. What also is working in Gonzalez favor is the Brewers having an 84 wRC+ as a team against lefties, that’s 5th worst in baseball. I think we’ve got everything here for each starter to fair well and keep this game under control through 5.
D-Backs -139: Christian Friedrich has been somehow outperforming his peripherals most of the year, but lately some regression has started to set in. I look for that regression to keep coming tonight. On the year Friedrich has a 3.96 ERA, but an xFIP of 4.77 that’s due in most part to an awful 4.86 BB/9 rate. Tonight against Arizona shouldn’t be an easy assignment for him. The D-Backs with a 117 wRC+ against left handers rank 4th best in the league. When you combine their hard hitting ways against lefties with the free passes Friedrich will likely be handing out and you’ve got a recipe for lots of runs for the snakes tonight. Arizona Zack Godley is certainly nothing special, frankly he’s well below average, but tonight against the Padres he should be fine. The Padres as a team have a 79 wRC+ against right handers which is 3rd worst in baseball. With the damage I expect ARI to do against Friedrich as long as Godley is respectable the snakes should be winners tonight.
Astros -134 & First 5 Innings Mariners/Astros Un 4 (-105): By now you guys know I think Dallas Keuchel is much, much better than what his W/L record and ERA will lead you to believe. His xFIP of 3.61 is about 1.5 runs lower than his 5.13 ERA, his ground ball rate is excellent, his K rate is solid, and I feel like a big 2nd half is in store for the 2015 Cy Young winner. Per usual he does his best work at Minute Maid park too. I think he throws very well tonight. Taijuan Walker should be good as well, I just don’t think he’ll be quite as good as Keuchel, plus the Astros have a nice bullpen edge in this game. Back to Walker though, on the year he has a 3.29 ERA that I’ll admit is a bit on the lucky side. His BABIP is only .261 and that explains the ERA-xFIP difference. What I do like about Walker however is that he has a very good K rate, to go with a very good BB rate. Like I said, he should be good tonight but I expect Keuchel to be better and for the Astros to win a low scoring game. I’ll go first 5 under just incase the Mariners bullpen falls apart and this game gets out of hand in the late innings. The play on the Astros however is for the full game, as I mentioned earlier they have a real nice edge in the bullpen.
1st 5 Innings Yankees/White Sox Un 4.5 (-125): A nice shot at 1st 5 under here with a Yankees team that struggles with lefties and a White Sox team that struggles with righties. On the year the Yankees have an 81 wRC+ against left handers which bodes well for White Sox starter Carlos Rodon. What I like most about Rodon is his 9.1 K/9 rate which speaks to how good his stuff is overall. His xFIP of 3.99 is respectable enough, and as a I mentioned going against a Yankees team that really struggles with lefties this feels like an excellent spot for Rodon to put up a nice outing. Similar story the other way around. Tanaka has been solid this year for the Yankees with a 3.58 xFIP. Per usual with Tanaka the way to success has been low BB’s and lots of ground balls. With a White Sox team that struggles with righties Tanaka should be just fine tonight. Something like 1-1 or 2-1 after 5 seems about right to me.
A few others to wrap up the card that frankly don’t need as much time for analysis….
ML Par: Cubs/Indians (+112)
ML Par: Giants/Red Sox (+121)