Editor’s Note: The Angels vs. Tigers game was postponed due to inclement weather. The game will be played as part of a doubleheader on Thursday, July 27th.
Let’s look at our best player props for the day, focusing on the pitchers for three games in particular: Pirates vs. Padres, Orioles vs. Phillies, and Angels vs. Tigers.
- Seth Lugo Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-130) at Bet365
- Kyle Bradish Under 2.5 Earned Runs (+100) at Bet365
- Patrick Sandoval Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-145) at Bet365
Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – 04:10 PM EDT at Petco Park
Seth Lugo (San Diego Padres)
Seth Lugo starts for San Diego today.
Lugo enters today’s game in strong form: he has allowed two earned runs or fewer in three of his last four starts.
He’s been doing a great job of creating a favorable count for himself by starting batters off with a strike. His strong command, also evident in his low walk rate, helps him minimize hard contact.
If there is any problem with his current form, it’s his tendency to allow a home run.
Lugo is so likable today because he’s facing just the team to fail to take advantage of this current tendency: Pittsburgh ranks fifth-to-last in home runs per game.
Today’s Padres starter is a rare pitcher who throws a curveball most often.
He also features a fastball, sinker, slider, and changeup.
But Lugo’s curveball is his most distinct pitch. Its top-level spin rate — it places in the 100th percentile in spin rate — and uniquely strong horizontal movement make it hard for batters to track and make contact with.
His relatively strong command of this pitch is evident in his inclination to locate it even in the upper parts of the strike zone, where pitchers rarely place their curveballs.
Lugo vs. Pirates Batters
For today’s game, Lugo’s outlook is strong given the matchup.
Pittsburgh ranks 24th with a .392 slugging rate against his pitches from righties.
Among others, expect Andrew McCutchen and Bryan Reynolds to struggle with Lugo’s stuff. Both batters are a combined 2-for-14 against him. McCutchen has struck out four times.
MLB Pick: Seth Lugo Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-130) at Bet365
Wednesday, July 26, 2023 – 06:05 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park
Kyle Bradish (Baltimore Orioles)
Baltimore starts Kyle Bradish today.
Given his current form, Bradish is reliable regardless of his opponent. He has allowed a combined total of two earned runs in his last three starts. Two of those earned runs came in Tampa Bay; the Rays are one of six teams to average over five runs per game, but they only scored two in six innings against Bradish.
Given Bradish’s attractive betting odds today for his earned run prop, it appears that oddsmakers still do not fully appreciate Bradish’s improvement.
Last season, he yielded a 4.90 ERA, while this season, his ERA is 3.05, nearly two points lower. Most clearly, his command has improved considerably. He dropped his walk rate from 3.52 walks per nine innings last year to 2.31 walks per nine innings this year. Likewise, he’s allowing vastly fewer home runs.
Besides making fewer mistakes in terms of location, he is, as heat maps show, ably painting the corners.
All of his pitches show his effective disposition to place his pitches along the borders of the strike zone where betters tend to do less damage.
In descending order of frequency, Bradish throws a slider, fastball, sinker, curveball, and changeup.
It is intelligent of Bradish to throw his slider most often, because batters really struggle with this pitch, yielding a .169 BA and .266 slugging rate. This pitch has uniquely strong vertical and especially horizontal movement. It also possesses a nice amount of spin. He plays it well off his fastball in that he likes to elevate the latter and then bury the former.
Both pitches have a strong velocity differential relative to each other which, in addition to their different locational tendencies, keep the hitter off-balance.
Bradish’s recent strong starts include a Rays opponent that ranks second against his pitches from righties.
Know for today’s picks that, against an easier test in Philadelphia, it appears all the likelier that Bradish will again allow fewer than three earned runs.
MLB Pick: Kyle Bradish Under 2.5 Earned Runs (+100) at Bet365
Wednesday, July 26 – 06:40 PM EDT at Comerica Park
Patrick Sandoval (Los Angeles Angels)
Patrick Sandoval starts for the Angels today.
Sandoval is rounding into strong form. He enters today’s game having allowed a combined total of two earned runs in his last 12.2 innings. His form is especially impressive because his recent victims include a Yankees team that has done a lot of damage to left-handed pitching.
Sandoval is doing a great job of keeping the ball on the ground by inducing ground balls. Opponents are also rarely achieving hard contact against his pitches.
Always, batters are merely able to guess which one of Sandoval’s many pitches they’ll encounter. Primarily, he throws five different ones: a slider, changeup, fastball, curveball, and sinker. These pitches combine to make up 97.4% of his arsenal.
Opponents have trouble doing much, especially against his two favorite pitches. Both pitches frequently land along the borders of the strike zone, where batters tend to do less damage.
His success with these two pitches is unique given his tendency to elevate them. Batters are certainly surprised to encounter a slider or changeup that’s elevated instead of buried.
Sandoval vs. Tigers Batters
In Sandoval’s one career start in Detroit, he pitched a complete-game shutout in which he yielded four hits and amassed nine strikeouts.
His outlook today is similarly strong because he matches up superbly with Detroit in two senses: one, the Tigers slug .389 against his favorite pitches from lefties.
Two, they are especially weak against ground ball-inducing pitchers. They slug .341 against them.
MLB Pick: Patrick Sandoval Under 2.5 Earned Runs (-145) at Bet365