PeterAppel

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What to expect

Plays per day 2 - 4
Written analysis Extensive
Bankroll management 1 unit = 1.00% of bankroll
Specialties Spread, Totals, Player Props

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(more than 7 days old)

MLB Friday Card & Writeups

PeterAppel Published 1 week, 1 day ago

A pick doesn’t get much easier than yesterday’s winner. We took the under between the Pirates and Brewers, and it ended 1-0. Paul Skenes threw a seven inning no-hitter. He might be SP1 right now.

Let’s keep it moving! This is likely my last pick before the All-Star break, as I’ll be in Texas for All-Star weekend. The last day before the break often leads to crazy games that are challenging to project. I’ll try my best, but I’m locked in for today with a short favorite that should be more significant.

2024 Record: 80-86 (-9.55 U)

Toronto Blue Jays vs. Arizona Diamondbacks @ 9:40 PM EST

Pitching Matchup: Yariel Rodriguez (3.68 ERA) vs. Ryne Nelson (5.08 ERA)

My brain immediately went to this game because I felt I might be fading Yariel Rodriguez after two excellent performances. We took him against Seattle, and my original feeling was to flip-flop. As I looked deeper, I realized this is a tough spot for the Blue Jays.

This is their third straight road series as the All-Star break ends. It’s also a west-coast trip as the first half ends, they have to be as winded as any team in baseball right now. Not to mention the Diamondbacks stay at home and are playing great baseball. The matchup leans Arizona, but the spot is too good to pass up.

Toronto has sustained a few critical injuries lately. Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho are day-to-day, and while they haven’t been electric offensive pieces, the offense does have to be downgraded if they aren’t in the lineup. Missing Varsho’s defense in this vast outfield and putting Kiermaier on waivers lowers Toronto’s defense. It’s unclear whether they will play, but it doesn’t look likely. If they do, neither will be 100%.

The Diamondbacks are starting to look like the team that made the World Series. They went toe-to-toe with a heating Braves team. They are the sixth-best offense by wRC+ over the last 30 days at 120, 20% above the league average. In the previous two weeks, we looked at an identical 120 wRC+, fourth in that span. Arizona is marginally better against righties at home this season, posting a 104 wRC+ compared to 100 on the road.

Arizona has a sizeable offensive advantage in this game just based on numbers against righties, and not factoring in the tough spot. The Blue Jays have a 94 wRC+ against righties on the road this season, 10% less than Arizona. Over the last month, they have a 103 wRC+, 17% less than Arizona. Over the last two weeks, it’s fallen to 97.

Ryne Nelson is not a pitcher I love, but he can be effective today in this matchup. Nelson works with a five-pitch mix; four-seam, cutter, changeup, slider, and curveball. The Blue Jays have a .310 xwOBA against that mix from the right side, ranking 20th in the league. Nelson really relies on his four seam, throwing it 50% of the time, and the Blue Jays are 15th in xwOBA against right-handed four-seamers.

Nelson gets a slightly below average offense overall in a bad spot that is bottom ten against his pitch mix. That said, his ERA at home is over six, but his last two home starts have both been excellent, so hopefully, his home troubles are behind him. I don’t expect him to dominate, but I think six innings of two-run balls are well within reach.

Yariel Rodriguez’s matchup against the Mariners was great, but against Arizona it’s going to be a lot tougher. His walk rate is in the 11th percentile, and if you’re letting this fast Arizona team on base, it will be an issue. He also allows hard contact (8th percentile), but he can rack up the strikeouts to stay out of trouble. The Diamondbacks don’t strike out; they have the fourth-lowest strikeout rate against righties over the last two weeks, and seventh lowest overall this season.

They don’t match up exceptionally well against Rodriguez’s mix, but they have a .320 xwOBA compared to Toronto at .310, so there still is an edge based on how these teams have fared.

A bit of line reading as well. It’s easy to point to Nelson’s home issues and his five ERA and go with the Jays as an underdog after two straight wins with their stater’s ERA being in the mid threes. Rodriguez has thrown two consecutive six inning awesome starts, yet is priced to go less than five innings with a 2.5 earned run line at -115 or higher. Nelson is priced at 17.5 pitching outs with a 2.5 earned run line at -140. That tells me the books and I are aligned on pricing Nelson as the better pitcher in this spot, and I’m more bullish on him staying under that earned run line.

I would lower this to a one-unit play because of the Diamondbacks bullpen. It’s not a good rest spot, but they do have a few arms ready. The Blue Jays bullpen is far more rested, but even so, this is one of the worst units in baseball. The Diamondbacks have Justin Martinez (All-Star snub), Joe Mantiply (4.35 ERA) and Bryce Jarvis (3.48 ERA) can go multiple innings. It’s enough to have confidence in the better offense at home throughout the game.

I priced the Diamondbacks at -140 without taking the spot into account. Based on Toronto’s tough spot, I think you can add 15 cents to the projection. With multiple injuries and so much travel, the Diamondbacks should cruise to a win here. Take the Diamondbacks to -135 at 1.25 units, and lower the risk to one unit to -150.

The Pick: Diamondbacks ML (-125) Risk 1.25 Units

MLB Friday Play #1

PeterAppel Published 1 week, 1 day ago

Diamondbacks ML (-125) vs Blue Jays

Risk 1.25 U on DraftKings

Risk 1.25 U to -135

Risk 1 U to -150 if it gets there. Play is coming earlier than usual because I’m flying to Texas for the ASG. Likely last play of the first half

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About me

I enjoy analyzing the game from a betting perspective as much as the thrill of betting on it.

I bet on what I know, and I don’t overextend myself. Those specialties are MLB and NFL.

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My performance

2021 MLB: +15.67 Units
2021 NFL: +13.4 Units
2022 MLB: +44.05 Units
2022 NFL: +26.96 Units
2023 MLB: -8.46 U
2023 NFL: +35.25 U
2021-2023 Total: +126.87 U

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