Check out our top player prop picks for two of the games on today’s slate: Red Sox vs. Athletics and Tigers vs. Royals.
For your Best Bets, I will recommend investing in strong pitching performances from Boston’s Brayan Bello, Detroit’s Eduardo Rodriguez, and Kansas City’s Ryan Yarbrough.
- Brayan Bello Under 1.5 Earned Runs (+140) at Bet365
- Eduardo Rodriguez Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-135) at Bet365
- Ryan Yarbrough Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-115) at Bet365
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 – 03:37 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum
Brayan Bello (Boston Red Sox)
Boston starts Brayan Bello today. Bello is consistently good: in 15 starts this season, he has allowed two earned runs or fewer 11 times, and more relevantly to today’s bet, he is especially reliable against baseball’s weaker lineups.
After his rough start to the season, he faced three different teams that rank bottom-nine in runs per game: the Marlins, White Sox, and Guardians. He allowed one earned run in each of those starts.
This statistic is relevant because the over/under for his earned runs allowed total is 1.5.
His trend against weaker lineups suggests that today’s total is not too high. Plus, the betting odds are very attractive.
Bello throws primarily a sinker, fastball, changeup, and slider. These four pitches combine to make up over 98% of his arsenal, and he performs reliably well because his pitches feature good location, powerful velocity, and strong movement.
His fastball, for example, is often elevated around the highest border of the strike zone. Moreover, this pitch places in the 76th percentile in velocity and clearly has more horizontal movement than fastballs that other pitches throw.
In addition to his ability to place pitches frequently along the borders of the strike zone, Bello’s low walk rate attests to his precision.
Bello vs. Oakland Batters
Bello’s consistent success especially against low-quality lineups is relevant to this game because the A’s rank dead-last in runs per game.
Even more alarming for A’s is the fact that they rank dead-last with a .338 slugging rate against Bello’s pitches from righties.
So, it’s not just that they generally hit the ball poorly. They also match up especially terribly against Bello.
MLB Pick: Brayan Bello Under 1.5 Earned Runs (+140) at Bet365
Wednesday, July 19, 2023 – 08:10 PM EDT at Kauffman Stadium
Eduardo Rodriguez (Detroit Tigers)
Eduardo Rodriguez starts for Detroit tonight. Since his rough start to the season way back in April, Rodriguez has been consistently solid: he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in nine of his last eleven starts.
While he has thrived twice against Baltimore, one may still claim that this trend doesn’t matter, because he’s faced a lot of weaker lineups. But this counter is poor because he gets to face a weak lineup tonight in Kansas City.
It is evident from Rodriguez’s arsenal that he has the tools to thrive reliably, especially against weaker lineups.
As heat maps show, he does a good job of locating his pitches. He throws a fastball, cutter, changeup, sinker, and slider. Heat maps show the frequency with which he places these pitches along the borders of the strike zone where batters tend to do less damage.
Relatedly, he also walks fewer batters. This is related because both his low walk rate and his frequently effective pitch placement attest to his high level of precision.
Rodriguez vs. Royal Batters
Rodriguez faced the Royals once this year. This start took place on May 23 in Kansas City, and he allowed two earned runs in five innings.
While it’s already promising for today’s start that he showed that he could allow against the Royals as few runs as he did that day, it’s especially promising to see that he performed better than it seems.
His 0.90 FIP (like ERA but factors out fielding) in that start shows how well he truly performed individually.
History and Matchup
Rodriguez’s success in Kansas City is consistent. He owns a 2.65 ERA in the Royals’ venue.
One should expect him to perform well against the Royals because they match up poorly against him: they slug .394 against his pitches from lefties.
MLB Pick: Eduardo Rodriguez Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-135) at Bet365
Ryan Yarbrough (Kansas City Royals)
The Royals start Ryan Yarbrough today. As a starter, Yarbrough is consistently effective. In four starts, he allowed one earned run three times.
While he allowed more earned runs in the one exception, that came against a team, Baltimore, that has a much tougher lineup than the one he’ll face today – Detroit ranks 20 spots below Baltimore in runs per game.
Yarbrough allows few walks or home runs, so he doesn’t hand out gifts. It’s also difficult just to make hard contact against his pitches. He induces a lot of soft contact and effectively minimizes hard contact.
Yarbrough throws a sinker, curveball, cutter, and changeup. As heat maps show, he does a great job placing these pitches along the borders of the strike zone where batters tend to do less damage.
His great pitch placement is especially impressive given his low walk rate. He obviously has a lot of confidence in his ability to throw strikes while avoiding the middle parts of the strike zone.
Largely due to their consistently effective placement, his three most frequent pitches all yield a slugging rate below .325. Evidently, he easily has a nice mixture of pitches that he can rely on.
Yarbrough vs. Tigers Offense
Like Kansas City’s, Detroit’s offense is in a let-down spot after its run explosion yesterday.
The Tigers scored 10+ runs in one other game this season. After this game, they were shut out in ten innings in the following game. One should expect them to fall back down to Earth.
Their norm is to average fewer than four runs per game, which only two other teams do.
Besides being a bad lineup in general, they match up poorly against Yarbrough. They slug .384 against his pitches from lefties.
MLB Pick: Ryan Yarbrough Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-115) at Bet365