Sports handicapper Ian Cameron provides a look at MLB betting lines for the games taking place on Tuesday, April 26.
Oakland Athletics vs. Detroit Tigers
Veteran lefty Rich Hill takes to the mound for Oakland against Mike Pelfrey for Detroit in this one. Hill has gotten off to a solid start but has benefitted from facing a trio of lighter hitting teams especially when it comes to facing left-handed pitching.
Detroit doesn’t have that same issue hitting lefties and have been very good against southpaws over the years including here in April as they’ve collectively hit .269 and averaged 6.18 runs per game against lefties. Mike Pelfrey is on the regression warpath right now with numbers that look good on the surface but simply do not add up to the weak pitching arsenal he possesses.
Pelfrey has a 3.68 ERA but his FIP is 6.23 which paints a very clear pitcher that he is likely due for a market correction and it started to show in his last outing against Kansas City where he lasted just 5 innings while allowing 4 runs on 8 hits and he has a very troubling 12 walks and just 8 strikeouts in 14.2 innings pitched. Neither starter is trustworthy which should lead to runs in bunches and a higher scoring contest here between these squads.
Chicago White Sox vs. Toronto Blue Jays
I found it to be quite hysterical listening to Toronto Blue Jays TV play-by-play announcer Buck Martinez during a recent R.A. Dickey start talk about this being the best knuckleball he had seen from him in a long time. Sorry to inform you Buck, it wasn’t.
I’m not interested in how the knuckleball looks coming out of his glove and how it is coming toward home plate. I’m interested in if you are getting opposing hitters out with it and so far, R.A. Dickey isn’t getting batters out on a consistent basis with his knuckleball which has been very hittable to say the least here in the month of April.
Dickey has a 6.10 ERA entering this game over 4 starts yielding 14 runs on 25 hits in 20.2 innings of work and a very high number of walks at 10 in those innings. Dickey has allowed 5 runs in each of his last two starts against the White Sox here at Rogers Centre since 2014.
The Jays lineup has performed well against lefties once again this season but Chris Sale isn’t your ordinary southpaw and he’s one of the few lefties in baseball that has a distinct strong track record facing this potent lineup. Sale has allowed just 6 earned runs in 30 innings with a 1.80 ERA in 4 starts and a sparkling 26-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
He has neutralized the Jays holding them to 3 runs or less in three starts against them since 2013. The White Sox are road chalk here for a reason and they should have an edge on the mound in this one.
Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels
The Kansas City Royals are the defending World Series champions and are 12-6 so far this season and yet somehow this team continues to be undervalued and a legitimate profit producer once again here in April. You would have made 5.92 units of profit if you had been betting on the Royals in every game they’ve played this month.
It is remarkable to see this team retain value in the betting markets despite their strong start and being defending champions. The Royals may once again be an undervalued commodity here in this matchup with Edinson Volquez facing the aging, declining Jered Weaver. Volquez has been solid in April with a 1.93 ERA allowing just 4 runs in 18.1 innings and the Royals are a perfect 4-0 in his starts this season.
Jered Weaver has a solid 3.12 ERA on the season but his FIP (5.75) and xFIP (6.23) are much higher, his velocity tops out at 85 MPH and his swinging strike rate is dropping for a 4th straight season. Weaver is at the stage of his career where he just isn’t missing a ton of bats and that is an issue here facing a patient, disciplined, Royals lineup.
If this game is close late, it's a major edge to the Royals with their outstanding bullpen which continues to lock the door repeatedly on opposing hitters late in games and it's worth noting the LA Angels bullpen has been a problem area all month long for them. Kansas City appears to once again hold plenty of value on the betting board on Tuesday night.