MLB Picks of the Day: NL Wild Card

Mark Lathrop

Monday, October 2, 2017 7:14 PM UTC

Monday, Oct. 2, 2017 7:14 PM UTC

Our MLB expert handicapper brings his regular season wining record into the playoffs. Read on as Mark Lathrop breaks down the pitching matchup and lines offered for the National League Wild Card game.

2017 MLB Record, 215-192-11, +8.84 units

In the National League wild card play-in game we have an all-West Division affair with the Colorado Rockies traveling to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night. The Diamondbacks will have their ace on the mound in Zack Greinke, while the Rockies will counter with Jon Gray. The early line has the home team Diamondbacks favored by as much a -170 at Intertops, while the moneyline has moved downed to -165 at 5Dimes. The tight spread on the moneyline suggests consensus and the line hasn’t moved much since opening at -169. The O/U total is currently sitting at 8.5 runs across the board. As mentioned, with this game being in Arizona and indoors we will not have to worry about the weather.

With these teams being in the same division they have played 19 times this year. The Diamondbacks are 11-8 against the Rockies on the year, although just 5-5 at home. The Under has cashed in 6 of the 8 games played in Arizona this season. 

Zack Greinke enjoys a favorable home split coming into this game and allows just a .207 BAA with not much difference between lefties and righties. A lot of Greinke’s success came in the first half of the season as he allowed a .214 BAA overall and a 3.17 FIP. That has since gone up to a .245 BAA and 3.48 FIP as his K/9 rate has gone down and his BB/9 rate has gone up. His 4.12 FIP in September was the worst month of the season, but included an 8 earned run dud at home against the Miami Marlins in which he gave up 3 home runs. Greinke had only given up 3 home runs in a game to one other team this year – the Colorado Rockies.

The reason that the Diamondbacks are so heavily favored likely has to do with the discrepancy in home/away splits between Greinke and Colorado’s starter, Jon Gray. Gray has put up a .277 BAA on the season on the road, and actually pitches much better at Coors Field with a .244 BAA. He’s been very solid over the last two months as well, accruing a 2.71 FIP and 2.73 FIP in August and September. Those are elite numbers, and his 2nd half K/9 and BB/9 rates are better than Greinke’s were. Gray’s 48.9% ground ball rate is also a tad higher than Greinke’s, and shows why he doesn’t get blown out often. In 20 games started this year Gray has given up more than 3 earned runs in only three of them.

I won’t touch on the offenses here, but both have been great this season or they wouldn’t be in this position. What I will say is that these pitchers are much closer in value than this line indicates. I’m expecting a close game though, and will take the Rockies on the run line at +1.5, -135 at 5Dimes as my NL Wild Card pick.

Free MLB Pick: Rockies +1.5Best Line Offered: at 5Dimes

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