There are plenty of games to choose from tonight, including a couple of interesting story lines from the New York teams. After going on a winning streak prior to the deadline, the Mets were surprisingly buyers. They landed Marcus Stroman, one of the biggest deadline acquisitions, and he debuts tonight. The Yankees take on the floundering Red Sox in a doubleheader. Boston has lost dropped five straight games and are fading in the standings.
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PITTSBURGH PIRATES VS. NEW YORK METS
UNDER 9 TOTAL RUNS (-108)Last year, the Pirates were the team trying for a home run at the deadline by acquiring Chris Archer. So far, the deal has not gone as planned and the Mets are surely hoping that adding Stroman goes better. On the plus side for New York, it didn’t give up nearly as much prospect equity as the Pirates surrendered. It can also be argued that the Mets got a better pitcher than the Pirates received. Durability has been an issue for Stroman in the past, but he’s ben great when healthy. Pitching in the very difficult AL East, Stroman is among the league leaders with a 2.96 ERA. Now in the National League, he has a chance to further improve his run prevention and he is pitching in a pitcher friendly park tonight.
The Pirates’ trade for Archer is failing in more ways than one. Not only is he struggling with a 5.58 ERA in his first full season in Pittsburgh, but the Pirates had to give up a couple of young studs (Austin Meadows and Tyler Glasnow) to land him. At least at home, Archer has been slightly better than on the road. His 4.25 ERA at PNC Park is passable enough that I think he should be able to limit the damage from the Mets enough to keep this game under the fairly high run total.
Related Bet: PIRATES VS. METS
METS MONEYLINE (-125)I don’t have much concern with this being Stroman’s first start in a Mets uniform. He is in a new place, although he’s going to be in much better pitching environment going forward. We should all be confident that the Mets have the better starting pitcher on the mound tonight. As for the offenses, the Pirates bats are struggling since the All-Star break. In the second half of the season, they have an 82 wRC+ compared to a 93 wRC+ for the Mets. New York has the pitching and hitting advantage.
NEW YORK YANKEES VS. BOSTON RED SOX (GAME 2)
YANKEES MONEYLINE (-143)This is more or less a bullpen game for both sides. Brian Johnson could be stretched by Boston, although it’s unlikely that he would pitch well working deep into the game. Johnson has a 6.43 ERA and the Red Sox probably don’t want a loaded Yankees’ offense to get multiple looks at him. With a game being played earlier in the day, both of these teams could have to burn some arms in the first game. Going to the pens is a much better situation for the Yankees than the Red Sox. Boston has a 4.52 bullpen ERA, while the Yankees’ 3.86 bullpen ERA is in the top three in the American League. New York is starting to run away with the AL East. The Yankees have a 7.5 game lead while the Red Sox have lost five games in a row and have fallen four games out of the second Wild Card spot.
COLORADO ROCKIES VS. SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS
ROCKIES MONEYLINE (-130)Not only is Jon Gray finally having a strong season for the Rockies, he’s pitching well at Coors Field. Gray has a 3.55 ERA at home, which serves as a massive advantage for Colorado. We can usually anticipate opposing pitchers struggling at Coors Field, so any decent outing from Gray puts the Rockies in a good spot to come away with a win. Even though Madison Bumgarner has been one of the best pitchers in baseball for years, he has a 4.33 career ERA at Coors in 16 career starts. Factor in that he’s a pitcher on the decline and I think the Rockies have the pitching advantage tonight.
On the offensive side, I think the matchup is a wash. Adjusting for ballparks, the Giants have an 87 wRC+ against right-handed pitching and the Rockies have an identical 87 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. However, the Giants offense has struggled to get much going lately. They have been held to five or less runs in 13 of their last 14 games. With the Rockies playing at home, I give their bats the slight advantage.
HOUSTON ASTROS VS. SEATTLE MARINERS
MARINERS MONEYLINE (+185)The Astros are the better team and the rightful favorites in this game, but the line is a bit too wide. Making his debut with the Astros, Aaron Sanchez could turn his career around. However, it’s hard to think Houston could make significant changes in the few days he’s been with the team. With the Blue Jays, Sanchez had a 6.07 ERA in 23 starts. He wasn’t great last season either with a 4.89 ERA. Sanchez was a former top prospect and his career has been derailed by arm injuries. Even though he isn’t a world beater, Marco Gonzales is starting for the Mariners and is the much better starter in this game. With a 4.21 ERA, he’s been more effective than Sanchez. I’ll take a chance on one of the biggest underdogs of the day when they have an adavtage in the pitching matchup.
PARLAY OF THE DAY
NYM/LAD MONEYLINES (+148)I like Stroman a lot in this spot making his debut. Of every team playing tonight, the Mets are my favorite value. The safest team to parlay them with is the Dodgers. At home, Walker Buehler has been a monster for the Dodgers. He has a 2.78 ERA pitching in Los Angeles and he is facing a Padres’ offense that downgraded at the trade deadline. Their offense hasn’t been great against right-handed pitching with a 91 wRC+ and it figures to be worse to close the season now that Franmil Reyes is gone.
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