We took a frustrating loss with last night’s MLB pick between the Royals and Angels.
As expected, Andrew Heaney dominated a weak Royals’ offense as he threw a complete game shutout while allowing just one hit, holding up his end of the bargain for our pick.
Unfortunately, the Angels’ offense gave Heaney the minimum amount of run support as they scored just one run, sinking our Angels -1.5 pick in a 1-0 victory. I didn’t expect the Angels to get to Royals’ starter Brad Keller for much, and they scored one run over his 4.1 inning of work. However, the Angels managed just three hits in 3.2 innings against a brutal Royals’ bullpen, which was the frustrating part.
If you told me Heaney would throw a complete-game one-hitter, I would have thought the Angels -1.5 was a lock. Nonetheless, it wasn’t meant to be and we will march on.
We will look at a big underdog tonight as the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox get together for the second game of a three-game set from Fenway Park in Boston
The Red Sox knocked off the Tigers by a 6-0 score in last night’s series opener as they got to spot starter Artie Lewicki for four runs (two earned) while the Tigers’ bats were held at bay by right-hander Steven Wright as he tossed seven frames of shutout ball.
Detroit Tigers vs. Boston Red Sox
Blaine Hardy (2.77 ERA, 3.61 FIP, 1.15 WHIP) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (3.88 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 1.21 WHIP)
It’s a battle of left-handers tonight in Beantown, and Tigers’ lefty Blaine Hardy has been excellent since being moved from the bullpen into the rotation thanks to some injuries to Tigers’ starters. It’s not that Hardy was poor in the bullpen with a nice 2.45 ERA in just 3.2 innings, however he has thrived as a starter with a 2.82 ERA across 22.1 innings, spanning four starts. Hardy has been particularly good over his last two starts as he’s thrown 13 innings of three-run ball while yielding only six hits and earning the win on both occasions.
Hardy has yielded a wOBA under 2.90 to both lefties and righties this season and has allowed only home run across those 22.1 frames as a starter.
While the Red Sox have been a dynamite offense and one of the league’s very best this season, they have actually struggled mightily against left-handed pitching. Boston’s team .675 OPS against southpaws ranks them 28th in the big leagues while their .239 team average checks in at 17th. Let’s also keep in mind that AL MVP candidate Mookie Betts is sitting on the DL with an abdominal injury.
Getting the ball for Alex Cora’s Red Sox tonight will be southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez who is enjoying a solid season himself with that 3.88 ERA and 3.59 FIP. That said, Rodriguez has been blown up a couple of times this season in his 11 starts and has pitched more than 5.2 innings just twice over his last seven starts.
This pick has much more to do with the Tigers’ offense against lefties than it does about Rodriguez himself. The Tigers are quietly one of baseballs’ very best offenses against left-handed pitching. Against lefties they rank third with a team .794 OPS, first with a .280 batting average, fifth with 37 doubles (despite significantly less at-bats than their peers) and third with a team .341 OBP.
The Tigers have also hit Rodriguez well in their history against him. Current Tigers players have combined to hit for a .351 average against him with a 1.212 OPS and a .432 ISO across 37 at-bats.
Rodriguez owns a mediocre career 4.15 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP in three starts against the Tigers.
This pick is certainly worth a look. The Tigers mash lefties, Hardy has been stellar this season and the Tigers have hit Rodriguez very well in the past, albeit not in a huge sample size. Nonetheless, at these odds, I think the Tigers are worth a roll of the dice as they look to even up the series tonight at Fenway.