Straily A Solid Choice On Run Line Again in Anaheim

Mark Lathrop

Monday, August 29, 2016 4:43 PM UTC

Monday, Aug. 29, 2016 4:43 PM UTC

Our MLB handicapper spots two value plays in the same game as the Cincinnati Reds and Anaheim Angels finish up the MLB betting action late Monday night.

With the Cubs running away with the NL Central this year, the Cincinnati Reds have found themselves out of the playoff race since mid-May. The Angels have been just as bad in the AL West and are over 20 games back in the division. Either way, these two teams have to find some motivation here to play a baseball game, with postseason glory definitely off the table. The Reds seemingly couldn’t find that motivation yesterday, as they were crushed by an 11-2 score at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks, with starter Homer Bailey only lasting one inning in the game. The Angels on the other hand, just took 2 of 3 from the Detroit Tigers and won last night 5-0.


Cincinnati Reds vs L.A. Angels  
Even though these teams have nearly identical records, the momentum coming into this game favors the Angels, and the books have opened them up by as much as -150 favorites on the money line at Bovada. The O/U total has been set at 8, with most books shading that to the Over such as BookMaker at -120.

In all lost seasons, there are usually some bright spots, though, and Dan Straily is one of them for the Reds. Straily will get the pleasure of starting tonight against the Angels with a bullpen that is likely shorthanded after Homer Bailey’s performance yesterday. Luckily for the Reds, Straily has pitched into the 6th inning or further in 10 straight starts, and only given up 3 earned runs or less in all of those starts. I wrote about Straily last week as he is in the top 5 of all pitchers in money earned for bettors this season, with over 13 units. One of the reasons for this is his great run support, which last week stood at 5.22 runs per game.

Straily has been simply dominant since the All-Star Break this season and has posted 1.98 ERA, 43/8 K/BB rate (extremely good), and .205 batting average allowed over 50 innings pitched. He has recorded wins in 6 of his last 7 starts as well.

Getting the start for the Angels is a very consistent Matt Shoemaker, who mixes a fastball and splitter pretty effectively to induce weak contact at the bottom of the strike zone. The key for him is to stay out of the top of the strike zone, as his fastball sits around 91 MPH and will fly out of the yard in a hurry if misplaced. The interesting thing about Shomaker this year is also a hint at why pitcher win-loss records can be an inflated statistic in order of importance. What’s interesting about him is his current calculation of WAR or wins-above-replacement. WAR, as it is calculated, is all about run creation, or in the task of a pitcher, run prevention. In 2014, Shoemaker went 16-4 over 136 innings and put up 2.1 WAR – in 2016 over 151.2 innings Shoemaker is 8-13 and has put up 3.1 WAR. The quality of pitching coming from Shoemaker this year is at odds with his win-loss record. There are many reasons for this: run support, batted balls in play luck, etc. Shoemaker shut out the high-powered Toronto offense on the road in his last start for six innings.

I’m expecting the total in this game to touch 8.5 runs as we approach game time, in fact. That is the line I am looking for, as I expect Straily and Shoemaker to stay strong through this game in a fairly even matchup. And since it is fairly even, I’m looking to play Straily on the run line once more as I think he has great value while being spotted a run. The best spot for that is at Pinnacle with MLB odds showing Cincinnati +1.5 at -154. Those are my MLB picks as we get started with another great week of MLB baseball.


Free MLB Pick: Over 8 -110 & Reds +1.5 -154
Best Line Offered: at Pinnacle
2016 YTD MLB: 51-35-4, +13.88 Units

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