Lo Duca’s MLB Plays: Miami’s Caleb Smith Has My Attention

The hype surrounding baseball process is so noisy that sometimes a player slips through the cracks and starts to do something impressive under the radar. I think that Caleb Smith, whom the Marlins acquired from the Yankees in a trade (not the Giancarlo Stanton deal) back in November, is turning into an interesting arm.

Smith headlines my card tonight, but I’ve got two games to get through.

Atlanta Braves (-111) @ Miami Marlins (+101) | O/U: 7.5
Mike Foltynewicz (2-2, 3.65 ERA) vs. Caleb Smith (2-3, 3.67 ERA)

Sometimes you have to handicap the line to start. The Braves are 7-3 in their last 10 games and have been the surprise of the National League. Their offense has been red hot, and currently ranks third in the majors with a .333 wOBA (weighted on-base average). The Marlins, well we know they stink, but they’ve been a little bit better than people thought and are 7-11 at home this year. Coming into this series, the Braves have won two on the spin while the Fish were just swept by the Cubs. Yet, Vegas opened Atlanta at -125 and three out of every four bets are on the Braves, yet their price has dropped to -110. Hmm.

Mike Foltynewicz has been pretty solid aside for one bad start against the Giants. But, I think the sharp money is confident in Miami’s Smith. He’s a lefty with good stuff, but got off to a rocky start. He walked 15 batters in his first four starts but has made adjustments, and has walked just two batters against 26 (!) strikeouts in his last three starts.

Pick: Miami (+101)

Minnesota (+125) @ Los Angeles Angels (-145) | O/U: 7.5
10:07 p.m. ET
Jose Berrios (3-3, 3.98 ERA) vs. Garrett Richards (4-1, 3.93 ERA)

The Minnesota Twins are red hot and it looks like the professional bettors are banking on them to stay rolling. I think their early season schedule — which had them playing through freezing temperatures and losing games to postponements — hampered them early. They look like they’re getting it together, though.

The Angels opened up at -155 last night. They are down to -145 and it keeps getting lower. That’s not a big jump, but it was enough for me to dive in. On paper, it looks like the Angels are the play. Besides one poor start against the Yankees, Garrett Richards has been awesome. He was last seen posting zeros against the Mariners through 6.2 innings.

So why is the line moving toward the Twins if Richards has been so good while his counterpart, Jose Berrios, has been struggling since his emotional start in Puerto Rico? Maybe that start took a toll on him. I used to go to Arizona to play and I’d be exhausted after seeing family and friends. Can you imagine how tired he must have been after his trip to his homeland? He was better in his last start, and I think he can get back on track. The Twins are on fire, and I like this matchup for Berrios. There’s good value on Minnesota in my eyes.

Pick: Minnesota +125

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