MLB Betting: Rockies at Cardinals
- Rockies: Kyle Freeland (+121)
- Cardinals: Luke Weaver (-131)
- Total: 8
- First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET
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This series has been fun, especially for me, or those of you who have followed along. Each of the last two days, there’s been value on the over. Each of the last two days I wrote about it, and each of the last two days, the over hit. When things are in perfect concert like that, betting is actually a little fun instead of the intense grind it is most of the time.
I was expecting to write about something different today — pick a new angle or game that showed some value in my modeling or approach. But then I saw Freeland vs. Weaver with a total of 8, and my friends, now I have to go back to the well one more time.
One of the best parts about picking overs against Jack Flaherty (such as last night’s) is that even if he’s the best version of him, he generally doesn’t go deep in games. That means the bullpen has to eat huge chunks of innings. Well folks, for those who like fading Flaherty, I give you Weaver. He’s gone more than six innings just once since May 22. The only truly excellent start in his last 10 was at the Giants, whose offense is anemic at times.
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You’re going to see a lot of the Cardinals bullpen in Wednesday’s game, and if you’ve been watching the first two games of the series, you know how excellent that is for the over. This bullpen doesn’t shut anyone down, and it’s been in the bottom third in the majors this year (its 4.57 bullpen ERA is eighth-worst in baseball).
On the other side, Freeland’s recent starts make him seem borderline-dominant, but in reality, he’s much more likely to regress than turn into an ace for Colorado. His xFIP-ERA difference, his BABIP, and his strand rate would all suggest that he’s been the beneficiary of some good fortune recently. Granted, he does induce weak contact frequently, which is going to partially explain those statistics. But it’s very unlikely we are looking at a dominant pitcher.
You’d look at his last start and say, “oh six shutout innings? not bad!” And then you’d realize he gave up five hits and three walks, and faced the bases loaded in the first inning (and got a fortunate lineout to end it). And with two on and two out in the second, he got another line drive to end the frame. That start could have gone off the rails just as easily as it stayed together.
Yet again, the Colorado bullpen looms large if Freeland can’t go deep, as Rockies relievers have consistently allowed runs in basically every spot all season (29th in bullpen ERA, 23rd in FIP).
There are no weather or umpire factors that should affect scoring significantly in this game. The ballpark conditions will be normal (temperatures in the high 70s to low 80s) and home plate umpire Nic Lentz generally has presided over very average-scoring games, with few outliers. The coast is clear to take that over again. Let’s hope the bullpens rear their ugly heads for a third straight day.
The Bet: Over 8
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.