Braves vs. Yankees MLB Preview

Atlanta Braves v Chicago Cubs

The Braves will take the trip to Yankee Stadium and take on a struggling Yankees team that is 5-10 on the season. Can the Braves capitalize in this series.

Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees

Yankee Stadium

Probable Pitchers:

Braves: Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.76 ERA)

Yankees: Jameson Taillon (0-1, 7.56 ERA)

The Braves and Yankees will start a three-game series. When we all looked at the schedule and saw this series, nobody predicted that both teams would be below .500 when this series started. But here we are.

The Yankees are 5-10 on the season and will start a free agent signee in Jamesson Taillon. He’s started two games this season after not pitching at all last year and has a high strikeout rate, low walk rate but has allowed three home runs in 8.1 innings.

In those 8.1 innings, he allowed 11 hits and seven runs but walked just one. The Yankees have lost both starts he’s pitched in against the Orioles and the Blue Jays.

This season, the Braves have been led by Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman at the top of the order. Outside of these two, the Braves have been inconsistent hitting the ball and have six batters striking out 22.9 percent of the time or higher against righties this season.

Of course, Acuna and Freeman are not part of those six batters as they’ve limited strikeout and increased walks. They’re just not being helped by batters like Marcell Ozuna and Travis d’Arnaud.

On the flip side. Charlie Morton will take the hill for the Braves. Morton has allowed nine runs in 17 innings off 17 hits and five walks. He has struck out 21 and has induced 21 grounders to 22 fly balls on the season but the runs are a problem.

In his last outing, Morton allowed the Marlins to score five runs off seven hits in seven innings. He still struck out nine but the damage was already done in that game and the Braves lost in extras.

Morton, through 12 starts dating back to last year, has struck out 10.31 batters per nine innings and has limited walks and home runs. But his batting average of balls in play is stuck at .362, even with allowing under 30 percent of hard contact. You would think that has to regress to some degree.

The Yankees lineup has also struggled plenty this season but are getting on base thanks to many walks. The entire team walked 7.7 percent of the time or higher in that projected lineup. But they also strike out at a high rate with only Odor striking out less than 17 percent of the time against righties.

The Yankees lineup will figure it out eventually but we’re not betting on eventually. We’re betting on the present and right now the Yankees aren’t getting the job done.

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Dodgers vs. Mariners MLB Preview

Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.   Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

Dustin May #85 of the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 14, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. Harry How/Getty Images/AFP

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Seattle Mariners

Monday, April 19, 2021 – 10:10 PM EST at Petco Park

 

Probable Pitchers:

  • Dodgers: Dustin May (1-0, 1.74 ERA)
  • Mariners: Justus Sheffield (0-1, 4.91 ERA)

 

The Dodgers are 13-3 on the season and that was expected. But what wasn’t expected was the Mariners getting off to a hot start, as they’re currently 10-6 on the season. Dustin May will take the hill for the Dodgers for his third start of the season.

He’s thrown 10.1 innings and allowed two runs and nine hits while striking out 14 and walking three. In his last start against the Rockies, he couldn’t make it through five innings after allowing seven hits and a walk. However, he also struck out six batters in that game and struck out eight in his first start of the season against the A’s.

May has been getting a high ground ball rate and limits hard contact to 28.4 percent dating back to last year. The Mariners’ offense has had limited success against righties this season.

While they’re keeping ground balls low, they’re striking out a high amount of the time and have seven batters with a wOBA of .326 or lower against righties this season. After striking out around seven batters per nine innings last season, May has made it a mission to increase his strikeouts per nine innings and already has 14 in 10.1 innings this season.

On the other hand, Justus Sheffield will take the mound for the Mariners after going 11 innings this season, allowing eight runs (six earned) and 11 hits (2 HR’s) in two games.

Sheffield has gotten more ground balls than flyouts in these first two games of the season but has struggled with balls in play, allowing a .312 BABIP dating back to last year.

This season, Sheffield has an XFIP of 5.10 and is allowing plenty of hard contacts. The Dodgers are really good at working walks against lefties this season and Sheffield is dishing out over three per nine innings. Uncharacteristically, the Dodgers only have two players that have high ezra base hit numbers against lefties including Justin Turner and Chris Taylor, who hit a two-run homer yesterday.

If the Dodgers can work walks and limit strikeouts, the Dodgers should be able to score runs against Sheffield.

 

Prediction

 

I’ve been intrigued with Dustin May and his strikeout numbers to start the season. He’s really looked to increase them this season and it’s showing early.

The Mariners are filled with power bats who hit righties hard, but only when they make contact. There are six batters in the projected lineup for the Mariners that have a high strikeout rate against righties.

As long as May can go five innings or more, there’s a very high chance he’ll be able to get six strikeouts in this game.

 

MLB Pick: Dustin May Over 5.5 K’s (+100) at Bet 365

Heat vs. Nets NBA Preview

Joe Harris #12 high-fives Bruce Brown #1 and Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets on April 16, 2021 in New York City.  Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Joe Harris #12 high-fives Bruce Brown #1 and Blake Griffin #2 of the Brooklyn Nets on April 16, 2021 in New York City. Sarah Stier/Getty Images/AFP

Brooklyn Nets vs. Miami Heat

Sunday, April 18, 2021 – 3:30 PM EST at AmericanAirlines Arena

 

The Miami Heat have lost three straight games to the Suns, Nuggets, and Timberwolves. They’ll now have to take on one of the best teams in the East in the Brooklyn Nets, at home.

The Heat’s offense has been subpar this season. They’re scoring 109.5 points per 100 possessions and have an effective field goal percentage of 53.7 percent.

The Heat turn the ball over 14.8 percent of the time, which is good for 24th in the league and rarely get offensive rebounds off their misses at just 22.1 percent. They are led by Jimmy Butler who is averaging 21.4 points per game and bringing down 7.2 rebounds along with 7.2 assists per game. Bam Adebayo has contributed 19 points and 9.2 rebounds but outside that, there’s been no consistency.

Tyler Herro averages under 15 points per game after he was supposed to break out as a big offensive weapon. Kendrick Nunn is scoring 13.3 points per game while Duncan Robinson has scored just 13 points per game as well.

Defensively, things are much better. They’re 6th in points per 100 possessions on defense and ninth in effective field goal percentage on defense, allowing teams to have a 53.8 percent effective field goal percentage. The Heat are aggressive and force a heavy dosage of turnovers at 15.9 percent but again, aren’t capable on the glass.

The Nets, on the other hand, will be without James Harden but do have Kevin Durant back in action. The Nets offense hasn’t played at full strength for most of the season but when they do, this team will be hard to stop.

The Nets are scoring 119.3 points per 100 possessions and are first in effective field goal percentage at 58.2 percent. They’re limiting turnovers to 13.6 percent per game, and that’s one area they’ll have to focus on doing better in this game.

The Nets have Kyrie Irving who is leading the way with 27.5 points per game and Kevin Durant, who hasn’t played enough games to qualify, but still has 28.1 points per game on the season.

Defensively, the Nets have struggled, which is why many Nets games are going over. They are allowing 114 points per possession this season and are allowing an effective field goal percentage of 53.9 percent. They’re also not very good at forcing turnovers at 12.6 percent and don’t do well on the defensive glass, limiting opponents.

However, a match-up against the Heat on the glass should save them from allowing many second chance opportunities.

Both teams are getting to the line at a high rate and both teams are allowing opponents to get to the line at an above average rate compared to the league. So you can likely add some extra points to this game from the line.

 

Prediction

 

The Nets are going to be much better with Harden leading the way but let’s not forget that Kevin Durant is back on the floor. The Nets should have no problems scoring points in this one and with the Nets performing so poorly on defense this year, the Heat should be able to match the Nets and score points themselves as well.

The Heat have shown no consistency on offense this season but that doesn’t mean they won’t score in this one.

 

NBA Pick: Over 222.5 (-110) at Bet365

Reds vs. Giants MLB Preview

Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates.  Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds celebrates. Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images/AFP

The Reds offense has been red hot to start the year but after scoring just three runs last night, what can we expect from Cincinnati’s offense against the Giants tonight?

Cincinnati Reds vs. San Francisco Giants

Tuesday, April 13, 2020 – 9:45pm EST at Oracle Park

Probable Pitchers

● Reds: Luis Castillo (1-1, 6.97 ERA)

● Giants: Kevin Gausman (0-0, 1.32 ERA)

The Giants offense went missing yesterday even after going up against a lefty in Wade Miley that had struggled against right-handed batters. The Giants offense has not been good lately and now they’ll have another major test going up against Luis Castillo of the Reds.

Luis Castillo started the season allowing 10 runs (eight earned) in 3.1 innings pitched off eight hits and two walks against the Cardinals. In that first start, he didn’t get a single strikeout but was still able to get 11 ground balls to seven fly outs.

After that miserable showing against the Cardinals, Castillo went seven strong against the Pirates, allowing no runs on four hits with five strikeouts and one walk. Castillo produces nearly 58 percent of ground balls and gets 10.53 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s walked just over three batters per nine innings and rarely allows home runs at .67 per nine innings.

Castillo will have his poor moments but he’s a fantastic pitcher who should have success against this Giants lineup that can’t seem to figure out hitting early into the season. There’s not a single Giants batter that currently has a weighted OBA of above .350. While the Giants have been able to work out walks, they’ve struggled getting hits consistently which should be a problem against Castillo.

One thing of note is that the Giants have been able to limit ground balls hit against righties but they haven’t gone up against anyone close to Castillo in terms of ground ball rate. On the other hand, Kevin Gausman will take the hill for the Giants. He didn’t get nearly as much love as he should have in 2020. He had a high strikeout rate and left nearly 75 percent of runners on base. On top of that, he’s been able to limit walks to 2.33 per nine innings and home runs under one per nine innings.

Gausman has gone over six innings in both starts this season and allowed just one run in both starts as well. Strikeouts aren’t as high as they were last year but hits are low and walks are low, giving him two quality starts to begin the season. However, he’ll go up against a Reds offense that has looked incredible against righties this season.

The Reds lineup has seven batters that have a wOBA of .354 or higher and five batters with a wOBA of .380 or higher. Walks are low and strikeouts are also low for this Reds team that has four lefties and a balanced offense that can really work Gausman. Gausman strikes out lefties nearly as much as he does righties. It’ll be up to the lefties to get on base and create havoc to score runs.

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Heat vs. Trail Blazers NBA Preview

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrates his basket. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

Bam Adebayo #13 of the Miami Heat celebrates his basket. Mike Stobe/Getty Images/AFP

The Miami Heat are just two games above .500 late into the season. Can they pull off a road win against the Blazers on Sunday night?

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