Double Play: Ground Ball Rates Key to Thursday Betting Value

Mark Lathrop

Thursday, May 10, 2018 1:03 PM UTC

Thursday, May. 10, 2018 1:03 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, has swept five Double and Triple Play picks out of the last seven. He's got a good read on the situation, so let's take a look at his MLB picks for Thursday MLB action.

2018 MLB Record: 58-36-4, +21.72, 22.16% ROI

San Francisco Giants (19-17 SU) @ Philadelphia Phillies (20-15 SU)Free MLB Pick: San Francisco F5 MLBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The San Francisco Giants started their road trip well in Atlanta by sweeping 3 games against the surprising Braves, just to travel to Philadelphia and get their asses handed to them in their first 3 games against the Phillies. To avoid the sweep, they will have to beat Vince Velasquez on Thursday afternoon, and there are some signs that this could be a favorable matchup for the Giants. The wind will be blowing out very hard, which will give a disadvantage to fly-ball pitchers. Not only is Velasquez a fly-ball pitcher, but the components of the San Francisco lineup hit fly balls off fastballs – what Velasquez throws 63% of the time – at an even better rate than that. His secondary pitch types will be hit well and in the air by Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria as well. I smell dingers.

Ty Blach of the Giants will not be as bothered by the wind blowing out with a 57.7% ground-ball rate on the year. Blach is coming off a fantastic start at the Braves with one earned run over 7.2 innings pitched. What’s important in this situation is that Blach has given up just 2 home runs this year over 45 innings. His ability to keep the ball in the yard in this weather situation is paramount, which is why I have no problem backing the Giants here and Blach in the first 5 innings at plus odds on the moneyline as one of my Thursday MLB Picks.

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Streaks end.

Let's start some new ones tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/a5wYtqME0M

— Colorado Rockies (@Rockies) May 9, 2018
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Milwaukee Brewers (13-22 O/U) @ Colorado Rockies (14-20 O/U)Free MLB Pick: Under 11.5 RunsBest Line Offered: Skybook

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The weather has been great in Denver lately, but that didn’t hold me back from taking the 'Under' Wednesday in an easy winner with the Angels and Rockies. Tonight is no different, with many aspects of the starting pitching matchup pointing 'Under' as well. The main data points here are the hard-hit rates of the expected lineups against the starting pitchers. Jhoulys Chacin of the Brewers has had his issues with walks this season, but he has actually improved his HR/FB% to 8.5%. That is better than average, and if he can employ his slider/sinker combo effectively against this Rockies lineup he will have a good chance of avoiding a blowup outing in Coors Field.

German Marquez of the Rockies comes into this matchup with an above-average 3.83 FIP even though he is also having an issue with walks. However, if he can use his fastball to set up his curveball in this game, he is going to have fantastic success. The components of this Milwaukee lineup hit the fastball well but can’t hit a curveball worth a damn. Additionally, if the sinker that Marquez employs about 15% of the time is on point, Marquez could pitch a shutout as the Brewers can’t hit it. These teams are carrying some serious 'Under' trends into this game and I don’t see a reason it doesn’t continue with the line as high as it is. I will be taking 'Under' 11.5 runs in Denver again as one of my Thursday MLB Picks.

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