Double Play: Regression Candidates For and Against on Sunday

Sunday, April 22, 2018 11:54 AM UTC

Sunday, Apr. 22, 2018 11:54 AM UTC

A quick smack in the face was in order for our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, as his nice winning streak was put to a stop Saturday with a bucket of ice water -- in more ways than one. Read on as he looks to bring some hope back to our card with his Sunday MLB Picks.

2018 MLB Record: 25-16-2, +8.50u

MLB: Sunday's Double PlayCleveland Indians (9-8 SU) vs. Baltimore Orioles (6-14 SU)Free MLB Pick: Orioles +1.5 +121Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Corey Kluber has been fantastic this season and has put up a 2.40 FIP on the year through 29.2 innings pitched. Part of that has been luck, as he has a .206 BABIP on the year versus his career rate of .206. In addition to the low BABIP mark, Kluber has a LOB% of 88.5%, which is frankly, incredible. I’m not saying that Kluber isn’t fantastic, but he isn’t untouchable as his statistics imply through the first four starts of the season.

Kluber will pitch against Baltimore’s Andrew Cashner, who has all of the sudden become a fly ball pitcher this season. One of the positive outcomes of this has been his 12.7% line drive rate, which is one of the lowest marks in the major leagues. Line drives correlate to runs scored more than any other batted ball, so this is an indicator that Cashner has been deceiving batters to start the season. Now that we’ve set the scene, we have the home team Orioles as huge +214 underdogs against the Indians, which is reasonable given the overall trajectories of each club. But we can still get plus odds just by the Orioles keeping the game close here, which I think is more than reasonable and is why I’ll be taking Baltimore +1.5 on the run line as one of my Sunday MLB Picks.

Houston Astros (14-7 SU) vs. Chicago White Sox (4-12 SU)Free MLB Pick: Astros RLBest Line Offered: 5Dimes

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Lance McCullers has one blow up start in this short season so far and it is skewing his overall numbers. One only has to look at his 2.05 xFIP against a 5.57 ERA to know that he is due for some positive regression. His unlucky numbers are also off the charts, as McCullers has a .372 BABIP this year and an incredible 37.5% HR/FB rate. Neither one of those are sustainable, and he’ll be getting a fresh look at the majority of the White Sox lineup he’ll be seeing on Sunday to get things going in the right direction.

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15-7. #NeverSettle

— Houston Astros (@astros) April 22, 2018

Speaking of fresh looks, the entirety of the Houston lineup will be getting a first look at White Sox starter, Reynaldo Lopez on Sunday afternoon. He’s on the opposite end of the regression spectrum from McCullers, in that he has a 1.42 ERA over his first 3 starts and a 4.04 FIP. The 5.21 BB/9 rate will be the death of him if he can’t rectify it, and his .150 BABIP won’t be lower. I guess what I’m getting at is that I don’t believe that Lopez will be the pitcher that stops the Houston train dead in its tracks on Sunday and stop the White Sox's 5 game losing streak. We’ll have to take the Houston run line to get any value here, but I don’t see a reason why not as we look at the Sunday MLB wagering card.

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