Aaron Nola did about what I expected him to do last night when he held the Atlanta Braves to just two runs on four hits in six innings of work. It was the play of Julio Teheran that caught me off guard. The longtime Brave’s starter had the best start of his season as he pitched six innings of one-run ball and struck out nine. He managed to pitch himself out of several jams as he allowed five hits and walked three, but he managed to slam the door shut every time the Phillies threatened. That was hard to see coming as Teheran had been struggling badly so far this season and the Phillies were sixth in the majors in runs scored.
This is one of those games that played out very similarly as I thought that it would. Nola was solid, and the Braves struggled to score, and Teheran allowed a bunch of base runners. But in the end, the Phillies couldn’t drive those runs across, and we ended up coming up short. I still liked the spot as there aren’t going to be many times where you get to back a starter as good as Nola as such a low price, so we can chalk this one up to variance and move on to the next one. Today I will look at the matchup between the San Francisco Giants and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The San Francisco Giants continue their long West Coast road trip tonight with a stop in Arizona to play game one of a three-game series with the Diamondbacks. The Giants have struggled out of the gates so far this season and have lost three straight games. San Francisco will start one of their best arms tonight, Johnny Cueto (1-0 0.69 ERA) in an attempt to stop the bleeding. The Diamondbacks are enjoying a great start to the season and will start Patrick Corbin (2-0 2.45 ERA). The D-Backs are -136 home favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 PM PST from Chase Field in Phoenix.
If you read my daily picks, you know that I really like this Diamondbacks team this year. I have been betting on them a ton, and they have consistently been undervalued in the betting market. I have asked myself on multiple occasions, when will the betting market figure out this is a really good team and value them correctly? Well, it would appear they swung all the way from being undervalued to being overvalued here tonight. The main reason why I think they are overvalued in this matchup? The resurgence of Johnny Cueto.
Cueto is enjoying a great start to his season. He is 1-0 with an ERA of just 0.69. He has started two games and been dominant in both. Cueto missed a couple of games with a sprained ankle, and that likely explains the fact that he is valued so low in this game. If Cueto can return to his pre-injury self, he is going to pitch very well tonight.
The Diamondbacks are a really good team. I have been saying it all year long. Tonight’s starter Patrick Corbin has had a very strong start to his season, with an ERA of 2.45. The one knock on Corbin so far this season is his inability to get deep into games. He didn’t make it out of the sixth inning in two of his three starts this year. We saw that in his last start against these San Francisco Giants. Corbin pitched five and a third and gave up three earned runs. It wasn’t a terrible start by any means, but the D-Backs did go on to lose the game, something they haven’t done a lot of this year.
If you look at what Corbin has done historically, it might lead you to believe he is a candidate for some regression. Corbin is a solid pitcher and still relatively young at twenty-eight years old, but he holds a lifetime ERA of over four and had a losing record coming into the season. When I evaluate a game, I try to focus on the long-term much more than the short term. What is more likely? That Patrick Corbin magically turned into Clayton Kershaw in the offseason after spending five years as a slightly above average pitcher? Or that he has had a nice start to the season but hasn’t turned the corner into being an elite pitcher, something that his numbers currently represent? I am going to say it is the latter.
This is a tough spot to bet. I am backing a pitcher coming off the DL in his first start back, that is always a little worrisome. And I am betting what appears to be, at least early on in the season, to be the worse of the two teams overall. But I just can’t pass up on the value of getting a pitcher as good as Cueto is at this big of an underdog price. Cueto is the type of guy that could easily go out and get you seven or eight strong innings, Patrick Corbin is not. So, I spent the first couple weeks of the season saying that Arizona needed to be valued higher and the second the books start valuing them higher I jump on the other side!
Give me the San Francisco Giants as road underdogs tonight at +116!