Lo Duca: Weekend Weather Providing MLB Over/Under Value
If you haven’t noticed, the elements have played a big role in the early part of the MLB season. It’s been cold, wet and windy through the first week and that’s not going to change over the weekend. Here’s how I’m handicapping three games this weekend with weather in mind.
San Diego Padres (+251) @ Houston Astros (-285) | O/U: 8.5
8:10 p.m. ET
Probable Pitchers: Luis Perdomo (0-1, 11.25 ERA) vs. Lance McCullers (1-0, 3.38 ERA)
It’s supposed to rain A LOT around the league on Friday, so naturally the first game I want to talk about will be indoors.
It’s the opening game of a three-game set between the Astros and the Padres. When you’re on a bad team, like the Padres, it’s sometimes good to get away from home — especially for the hitters. Petco Park has always been a pitcher-friendly park. I know the Padres aren’t a juggernaut but they should score some runs in this one.
The Astros, meanwhile, are proving last year was no fluke. The train keeps rolling with 36 runs over their past five games. They may cover the over themselves. Starting pitcher Lance McCullers did look good in his first outing but his opponent tonight, Luis Perdomo, certainly did not. He doesn’t strike out many — he has a career 6.59 K/9 — and the Astros destroy pitchers like that. I just can’t see him keeping the Astros down. Lay the 1.5 runs with the ‘Stros and the over 8.5, as I’m projecting the switch of ballparks will help the Fathers get going a little bit offensively.
Kansas City Royals @ Cleveland Indians
Saturday, 4:10 p.m. ET
Jason Hammel (0-1, 9.00 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (0-0, 3.60 ERA)
You could see multiple double-headers on Saturday, so check and make sure you have the right pitching match-ups!
We have already talked about the shadows at Dodgers Stadium affecting hitters. It might be just as bad in Cleveland. They play a 4:10 game on Saturday and the weather is supposed to be 32 degrees — that’s the high! Ummmmmm, day off coach?
The Indians offense hasn’t gotten into a groove yet and the Royals are awful. Kansas City starter Jason Hammel lives off deception, which should be helped by the shadows and Trevor Bauer, who’s got a nasty breaking ball, was much better at home than on the road last year. His ERA was a half-run better at Progressive Field. Under.
Toronto Blue Jays @ Texas Rangers
Saturday, 8:05 p.m. ET
Marcus Stroman (0-0, 7.20 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
Toronto has been under the roof at Rogers Centre, playing the Yankees and White Sox, to start to the season. Meanwhile, Texas started at home before going to Oakland where the weather was great. It’s supposed to be in the high 40s in Arlington on Saturday. Yes, you heard that right. This will be the coldest game these two teams have played this season. Globe Life Park in Arlington is known as a hitter’s haven, but the ball only really starts to travel when the weather heats up.
Besides one game in which they scored 14 runs, the Jays’ bats have been fairly quiet in the early going, while the Rangers rank 20th in offense so far this season. The proof is in the pudding.
Going into their series opener on Friday night, the under is 4-2 in Blue Jays’ games to start the year and 4-2-1 in Rangers’ contests. And those games were in ideal elements! I’m not too concerned about what happens on Friday night, give me the under on Saturday. The line isn’t out yet, but I suggest you get it in as soon as it becomes available.
All odds current as of Friday morning.
Photo: Kelley Cox, USA Today Sports