Double Play: Home Team Value Found in Friday's Slate

daniel mengden

Mark Lathrop

Friday, May 4, 2018 11:41 AM UTC

Friday, May. 4, 2018 11:41 AM UTC

Our expert MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, is coming off a winning Thursday and looks to ride into the weekend strong with two picks that are sure to boost the bankroll. Read on as he keeps piling on units for us at a 42-30-4 ATS clip.

2018 MLB Record: 42-30-4, +12.24u (1 Pending)

Baltimore Orioles (8-22 SU) @ Oakland Athletics (15-15 SU)Free MLB Pick: A's -1.5 Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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The Orioles bring their 28th-ranked offense to the Oakland Coliseum on Friday night to face the 5th-overall offense in the Athletics. I believe the A’s were ranked 3rd before their game against James Paxton, when he struck out 16 batters (in a loss) as well). Either way, this is a huge mismatch in offensive efficiency, and the winning records of these teams bring that to light. The A’s will face right-hander Andrew Cashner, who although he has been successful in reducing his fly ball rates this year still has the highest HR/FB% in his career. He is sitting with a 5.45 FIP, 4.24 BB/9 rate and nothing indicates his results are based on bad luck. Cashner will face an A’s team that hits .272 at home with lineup components who have hit him well.

The A’s will go with Daniel Mengden in his first career start against the Orioles. He has an ERA of 4.68 and a FIP of just 2.85, suggesting a bit of bad luck is on his side. Mengden has displayed awesome command this year with a 1.10 BB/9 rate and has limited home runs to 5.6% per fly ball. He is coming off of a short start against the Houston Astros, an offense that couldn’t be more different than this Orioles lineup, which is batting just .218 against right-handed starters. With the discrepancy known to the oddsmakers the A’s opened at -148 on the moneyline, which will force me to take the A’s on the -1.5 run line at +135 to capture value here as one of my Friday MLB Picks.

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5 in a row for Nats as the NL East is changing. Hellickson! Trea! Zim! Wilmer! Bring on the Phils.
WSH 3 PIT 1 May 3 pic.twitter.com/Jgnnb6rxk3

— Bob Carpenter (@scorebook_bob) May 3, 2018
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Philadelphia Phillies (17-13 SU) @ Washington Nationals (15-16 SU)Free MLB Pick: Nationals MLBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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The story in this game will be Philadelphia’s record this year against left-handed starters, which sits at 5-2 with an amazing 7.4 runs per game on a .261 batting average. I believe that is why there was a kneejerk reaction backing Philadelphia that took the moneyline favoring the hometown Nationals from -155 where it opened to -131 where I finally laid my wager. Not all southpaws are the same, though, and Gio Gonzalez has ruled the lineup that Philadelphia will field Friday. In significant action, the best batting average against Gonzalez for the Phillies belongs to Odubel Herrera at .267. No Phillies batter has an on-base percentage greater than .353 against Gio, and only Cesar Hernandez has been able to touch him up for a home run.

The Phillies will counter with Nick Pivetta, who has plenty of demons on this Nationals roster. In much more limited action he’s gotten hit around and owns a career ERA of 7.45 and 1.86 WHIP against Washington. Many of those batters will be present for this game, and he lost both starts against the Nationals last year. The Nationals hit .268 off right-handed starters, and unlike Gonzalez above that form should hold in this spot. Winners of 5 in a row coming into this game, it looks like Washington is positively regressing, so I will take them on the moneyline at this reasonable price as one of my Friday MLB Picks.

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