One of the many interesting storylines in baseball and in the betting world right now is the curious struggles of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The heavy favorites with a star-studded lineup have gone into an automatic fade as they bring virtually no value to the table while still being favored nearly every game.
LA is not getting the job done, and have all of two wins over their last 10 games. With this little nugget on our minds, let’s explore some other options that are on the docket for a Saturday edition of Diamond Picks.
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Season Record: 13-4
Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros (7:10 p.m. EDT)
The Jays finished off their series with the Oakland Athletics with offensive flair, accounting for 19 runs in a pair of wins. The over has hit in five of their last seven games heading into Friday. They will face off against righty Cristian Javier. The Jays are hitting .275 against righthanders in their last 10 games and are averaging a robust 6.37 runs/game. Outfielder Randal Grichuk is scorching hot to start May. He has nine RBI and a .385 average in six contests.
Meanwhile, the Astros got a heavy dose of the boo birds in the Bronx and are happy to be back home. They were able to scrounge up a victory in the final game. Yordan Alvarez continues to be a force, going 3-for-4 with a pair of round-trippers. He is now slashing .337/.376/.609 on the season. Houston bats get cranked up at home as they own a sixth-best wRC+of 115.
The Astros will look to do damage versus lefty veteran Steven Matz who has struggled over his last two starts. He has surrendered a ghastly 11 runs over his last 8 2/3 innings of work in back-to-back losses. Houston hits .266 against southpaws, 22 points better than when they are matched up versus righties. Neither pitcher has an advantage in their respective matchups. The Astros have a hot offense that is known to do damage at home. That’s a good recipe for the over.
Diamond Pick: Over 9 (-115)
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves (7:20 p.m. EDT)
Keep your attention on the Braves going forward. Similar to how the Yankees have figured things out recently, the Braves are a team that can go on a similar run. They are fresh off sweeping the Washington Nationals and are putting up 5.2 runs/game over a 10-game block.
Related: April NL East Recap
Vince Velasquez will oppose them, having just recently been moved into a starting pitcher role. The output has been average at best. In three starts, he has pitched 14 1/3 innings and has allowed six earned runs. Over 14 games against the Braves, he has pitched to a 4.83 ERA and has allowed a .309 average. Freddie Freeman is 10-for-29 while Ozzie Albies has blasted two homers and three triples off of Velasquez. Atlanta owns a sixth-best wRC+ of 110 while facing right-handed pitching, miles better than their second-worst 51 wRC+ when matched against southpaws.
Second-year-pro Ian Anderson gets the call to silence the Phillies’ bats. He has backed up his impressive rookie camp with a good showing early on. He will carry a 3.27 ERA and a record of 2-1 into the matchup. In a limited sample, the Phillies have fared decently against Anderson, scoring five runs over 10 1/3 innings.
The ugly bullpen woes of 2020 have crept back in for Philadelphia. Heading into Friday, teams have hit .313 in the last five games versus the retooled relief group. They are also sporting an ugly 8.04 ERA during the span. Give me the Atlanta Diamond Pick all day in a big bounce-back win after last night’s ugly defeat.
Diamond Pick: Atlanta Braves money line (-170)
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