White Sox vs. Rays
Over 9 (-115). LHP Keuchel has a 6.36 FIP and a 20.6% strikeout rate against the Rays lineup in his career, and he has already recorded as many losses in the second half of the season (3) as the first half. The Rays offense has been on a tear, ranking first in wRC+ in the past two weeks while scoring a league best 98 runs – 20 runs more than the next closest team. RHP Patino has only had one start over a 50 game score in his last seven starts, and the White Sox lineup will be ready to capitalize on any mistakes he makes today, as they rank fifth in slugging percentage the past two weeks at .468 and sixth in wRC+.
Royals vs. Cubs
Royals ML (+108). The Cubs are just another type of bad right now, having just snapped a 12-game losing streak, and their strikeout percentage is the highest in the majors the last two weeks at 32.7%. On the flip side, the Royals have the lowest strikeout percentage in the league at just 17.8% in that same time frame. RHP Thompson has been a reliever for the Cubs all year, so in a limited role I like the chances of a tough Royals lineup to score more than enough runs against at least a few Cubs pitchers to win this game at a good moneyline price. I think the line is as close as it can get because of RHP Bubic’s last start against the Cardinals in which he gave up seven earned runs and couldn’t make it out of the second inning. Before that however, he had thrown 4 out of 5 quality starts against good divisional teams like the White Sox and Tigers.
A’s vs Giants
Giants F5 ML (-125). The A’s are one of the better teams in baseball, but let’s not forget that they had just dropped two straight series, one to the god awful Rangers. Meanwhile the Giants ARE the best team in baseball, and they haven’t had a three game losing streak since July 1st. RHP Gausman has pitched to a 3-0 record in August, while LHP Manea is 0-2 while giving up seven runs and five runs in those two losses. He also had a start in which he couldn’t make it out of the second inning against the Indians and had already given up three earned runs.
Pirates vs. Cardinals
Cardinals -1.5 (-105). The Pirates shut out the Cards in yesterday’s game, but today is another day and I like the Cardinals here. LHP Happ is taking the mound, and since joining the Cardinals he is 2-0 without allowing more than two runs in any start. Additionally, the Pirates lineup in a small sample size only has a .325 xSLG with a wOBA of just .248 against Happ, which is among the lowest for starters going today. In the past two weeks, the Pirates have struck out the fifth most of any MLB team with a strikeout percentage of 25.7% while the Cardinals are only at 22.3%, which is the 18th highest.
Phillies vs. Padres
Padres ML (-155). This is probably the hardest matchup for me to pick on the day. The main reason for this is RHP Nola’s dominance against the Padres lineup, allowing just a .257 wOBA with a 28.9% strikeout rate mixed with RHP Musgrove’s dominance against the Phillies, as he has a .265 wOBA with a 30.3% strikeout rate against them. The difference maker to me is the Phillies struggling offense, posting a team wOBA of .263 the past two weeks, and only scoring 33 runs, both are the second worst in the majors during that time. Musgrove is coming off a rough last start, but prior to that he had four straight quality starts and the Padres won three of those four. Meanwhile Nola hasn’t thrown more than five innings this month, and has given up four runs or more twice already.