Lo Duca: Shadows, Strange Start Times and The Under
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
Back to some weird start times again. The start to this baseball season has been one of the strangest I can remember. Chalk that up to weather being a giant factor and a lot of start times in different slots.
Seattle Mariners @ Cleveland Indians
4:10 p.m. ET
The first article I ever wrote for The Action Network was about start times where shadows can be a giant factor at Dodger Stadium. Today, Mike Leake and the Mariners take on Carlos Carrasco and the Indians. The first pitch is scheduled for 4:10 p.m. ET, and the shadows in Cleveland are about the same or maybe worse than those at Chavez Ravine.
Couple that with the way Carrasco has been pitching, and he’s going to big-time tough. Carrasco has completely flipped the switch after an awful spring. He went pitch for pitch against Jose Berrios in Puerto Rico with the commonwealth behind the Twins righty. Most recently, Carrasco pitched 7.1 innings of one-run ball, striking out seven in a win over the Orioles on April 23.
Leake, on the other hand, hasn’t been great. He got punished last outing against the White Sox but hung in there against the Astros the start before. His numbers are not good. He’s walked 10 while striking out only 16. One thing to his advantage is that the Indians do roll out six or seven lefty hitters in their lineup, and his splits against them aren’t bad. The other is that his only two wins this season have come in day games.
Leake lives on deception by adding and subtracting with his cutter and sinker. The shadows are going to help him immensely. And you know Carrasco will do his thing. For two offenses that rank 10th and 27th in hitting, I think the under is a safe play.
Tampa Bay Rays @ Boston Red Sox
4:05 p.m. ET
Sometimes, you come out flat in the first home game following a long road trip. That’s what happened last night as the Rays beat the Red Sox, 4-3, in Boston’s first home game following nine straight away from Fenway.
I was very surprised that Vegas had the total pretty low last night at 8.5 considering the Sox were heading home and the Rays were 9-1 in their last 10 when the game goes over!
What happens? It stays under.
On Saturday (in another strange start time), Tampa’s Yonny Chirinos will face Boston’s David Price. Vegas again has the over/under at 8.5. This confuses me. So I started digging. I understand both guys have been good thus far this year, but both of them have had their shaky moments. Price obviously struggled against the Yankees, but he was average last time out. Chirinos’ sole really bad start was at home against Texas.
Then you look inside the numbers. Chirinos hasn’t given up a run on the road this year. He can be dominant at times, and it seems Boston’s offense is coming back down to earth. Price, on the other hand, dominated against his former team in his first start this year and looked like his former self.
With the shadows at Fenway helping out both these pitchers, I believe the total should be higher, Yet Vegas is staying at the same number from last night. Under again in this one. 8.5.