MLB Betting Guide: Wednesday 10/19/22
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Under 7.0 Runs (-122)
Aaron Nola Over 5.5 Strikeouts (+100)
Pitching came out on top in Game 1 of the NLCS as the Philadelphia Phillies bested the San Diego Padres by a 2-0 score. I think pitching rules the day again in Game 2 with Aaron Nola and Blake Snell taking the mound.
Few MLB pitchers are as volatile as Snell, and he's put that on full display in two playoff starts. In the Wild Card Round, he walked six in 3 1/3 innings against the New York Mets. He bounced back in his next start, holding the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers to one run over 5 1/3 innings in the NLDS.
Snell was lights out in the second half, pitching to a 2.73 xFIP, 33.8% strikeout rate and 6.4% walk rate while allowing a measly .259 wOBA. He has the ability to shut down any lineup if he's on, and we project San Diego to plate only 3.15 runs in this one.
Nola is on a roll. Over his past three outings -- which came against a gauntlet of the Houston Astros, St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves -- Nola has given up zero earned runs in 19 1/3 innings while punching out 21. It's a continuation of what Nola has done all year. He ended 2022 with a 2.80 SIERA, 29.1% strikeout rate and 3.6% walk rate. He's an elite pitcher who is in a groove right now.
Another thing that pushes me to the under is that both bullpens were used lightly in Game 1 due to the strong performances of Yu Darvish and Zack Wheeler. Both starters went seven innings, so each 'pen should be ready to rock in this one.
In all, we project this to be a 3.15-3.10 win for San Diego. That's 6.25 total runs, and we give the under a 50.0% chance to win out.
In the prop market, the +100 price on Nola to record at least six strikeouts feels a little too good to be true. He's struck out at least six in seven straight starts, and we project him to rack up 7.3 punchouts in this one.
The biggest concern with taking the over on strikeouts for any hurler in the playoffs is how short leashes can be, but that usually results in lines being set at an attainable number -- like this one is. Both of last night's starters flew past the over on their strikeout props. Considering how good Nola is, he should be given the chance to work through early trouble if it arises.
Over 7.0 Runs (+104)
Kyle Tucker to Record an RBI (+140)
Giancarlo Stanton to Hit a Home Run (+560)
One of the big storylines going into Game 1 of the ALCS is the rest and travel advantage that the Houston Astros have over the New York Yankees. The Yanks closed out their ALDS on Tuesday and had to travel to Houston after the win. The Astros, meanwhile, haven't played since Saturday, although they did play the equivalent of two games (18 innings) that day.
There are obviously a lot of reasons to like Houston tonight, but they are priced at -198 to win, which our model feels is about spot on. So I'm pivoting to the over. The 7.0-run total is a low one for a game with two elite offenses and one meh starting pitcher.
Taillon is said meh pitcher. He struck out just 20.7% of hitters this season, and he also allowed a 39.3% fly-ball rate. Away from home, he surrendered 1.66 dingers per nine. Taillon is in a super tough spot in this matchup, and with his strikeout prop set at 3.5, oddsmakers aren't expecting him to have much success (or be in there for very long). If Taillon gets a quick hook, Aaron Boone will be turning to a bullpen that just covered four innings on Tuesday.
Plus, don't sleep on the Yankees' offense against Verlander. As good as Verlander was in 2022, he gave up a 43.6% fly-ball rate and benefitted from a flukey low 6.2% homer-per-fly-ball rate. His homer-per-fly-ball rate across his last four full seasons (2016 to 2019) prior to this one was 12.2%. The last time we saw JV, he gave up six earned runs and 10 hits in Game 1 of the ALDS.
We project Houston to win by a score of 4.28-3.70. That's 7.98 runs, and we give the over a 53.3% chance to cash.
Prop-wise, I like Kyle Tucker to record an RBI (+140). Tucker typically hits fifth, right behind Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman. That's a great place to be for RBI chances, and he had a .366 wOBA and 45.8% fly-ball rate against right-handers this season. He posted a 48.9% fly-ball rate in lefty-lefty matchups, too, so he'll be able to hold his own if he sees a lefty.
I'm also loving Stanton to go deep at +560. As I laid out earlier, Verlander permits some loud contact, and he was actually tougher on lefties in 2022, putting Stanton in a good spot. Stanton is in the midst of a heater. He ended the regular season with dongs in three consecutive games, and he's already popped two taters in the playoffs. Left field is only 315 feet in Houston, too.