Wilson’s MLB Umpire Betting Guide (5/25): BABIP Regression Coming for Carrasco

Wilson’s MLB Umpire Betting Guide (5/25): BABIP Regression Coming for Carrasco article feature image

Kim Klement, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco

  • Collin Wilson targets two Saturday MLB games based on umpire trends: Athletics-Mariners (4:07 p.m. ET) and Indians-Rays (4:10 p.m. ET).

An umpire with a large strike zone will get players swinging fast. When that combination comes with a hot-hitting club and an opposing pitcher with an ERA over 7, things can get ugly.

This was the case in the Twins bats against Matt Harvey:

SportsInsights has the umpire trends pegged. Adrian Johnson is notorious for Overs, as his umpire record for Unders sat at 158-188 (45.7%, -36.98 units) heading into this game. Keep umpires like Johnson in mind, and always look for Happy Harvey Day.

Before diving into the analysis below, be sure to check out colleague Danny Donahue’s complementary piece about the importance of monitoring the boys in blue. This column will integrate advanced stats on projected pitchers and hitting lineups to help get wagers to the window. As always, check the Action App for my latest MLB bets.

Find all MLB umpire assignments and betting records here.

Umpire Betting Trends

Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics

Umpire: Lance Barrett

  • Home Record: 109-97 (52.9% -9.37 units)
  • Under Record: 88-102 (46.3% -21.08 units)
  • Odds: Athletics -125
  • Total: 9
  • Time: 4:07 p.m. EST
  • Projected Wind: Out to Centerfield, 7 mph

Lance Barrett is no stranger to Overs. In his short umpiring career, he has already developed a trend of allowing 8.8 runs per game, which will not be good news for Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi. The lefty game up 3 solo home runs in a victory over Oakland just a couple of weeks ago.

Granted, Khris Davis is injured, but Oakland left 11 men on base against Kikuchi. The Athletics are fourth in wRC+ against southpaws, 2nd in ISO and 2nd to last in strikeout percentage. Look for the Mariners to do their part offensively against Mike Fiers, who struggled with location in a prior meeting against Seattle.

Blue Bet: Over 9

Tampa Bay Rays at Cleveland Indians

Umpire: Andy Fletcher

  • Home Record: 241-184 (56.7% 22.40 units)
  • Under Record: 214-183 (53.9% 18.78 units)
  • Odds: Indians -117
  • Total: 8
  • Time: 4:10 p.m. EST
  • Projected Wind: Right to left, 14 mph

I have said it once and will say it again: Ride Carlos Carrasco’s abnormally high BABIP. At one point, Carrasco ranked as the worst BABIP in the league, but he is now fifth behind names like Max Scherzer and Aaron Nola.

The issue with the Indians pitcher is knowing when he will flash the profile of an ace. If splits are any indication, Saturday should be a play-on day for Carrasco. In his 10 starts this season, there is a stark contrast in home and day games versus road and night games.

When Carrasco is on, he can dominate any lineup.

Umpire Andy Fletcher, one of the top officials for Unders, should ring up plenty of bats for the Tribe. Righty Charlie Morton gets the call for the Rays, and he should have success against a lineup of Indians bats that struggle mightily against righties. Cleveland is ranked 27th in wRC+ and 24th in wOBA, and its home run-to-fly ball percentage is ranked in the bottom five of the league.

Blue Bet: Under 8