BetsByBob Tuesday MLB picks: Nola to keep struggling Yankees hitters at bay

Aaron Nola

The All-Star break is over, and we are back into the swing of all things MLB. I must say, it was a nice break for me as well. It’s always nice to reset every once in a while. Sports seemingly go on all year round, but it’s not good for anyone to do this every single day. The dog days of summer are quickly approaching, as the NBA Finals could be wrapping up as early as tonight. That means we will have only MLB out of the major sports for 1.5 months or so until some meaningful football rolls back around. Don’t feel like you have to throw your whole bankroll at baseball in the time being. Lines get sharper as the year goes on and the data accumulates. Pick and choose your spots, and if nothing sticks out, take the day off and get back at it the following day.

With that said, I have had smaller betting cards than usual here as of late. I am also trying to pick and choose my spots a bit better. Also, there have been quite a few large favorites on the board lately. I do have a few spots that I really do like today, so lets get right into it!

Philadelphia Phillies (Aaron Nola) at New York Yankees (Domingo German)

Play: Phillies (-126)

*Playable to (-135)

The Philadelphia Phillies head to New York to take on the Yankees for a quick two-game inter-league series. Both teams are trying to claw their way back into their division races, and this should be a fun series to watch. We should indeed have a good game on deck, as this was a fun pitching matchup to break down.

Aaron Nola gets the start for the visiting Phillies, and is one of my favorite pitchers to back. He is having a bit of a down season by his standards, but there are signs for better luck coming his way. Nola has an ERA of 4.53 with a FIP of 3.47. He carries a strikeout rate of 29.5 percent, and walks only 5.4 percent of the batters he faces. The big outlier that stands out to me is the HardHit rate compared to his BABIP. He does a good job limiting the hard contact he gives up, to a clip of 36.9 percent of the time. Even though opposing batters aren’t hitting the ball hard that often, they still have a BABIP of .333 against him. I expect some better fortunes coming Nola’s way, and with a struggling Yankees lineup, this should be a good matchup for him.

Domingo German gets the start for the home team, and unlike Nola, seems to have been on the good side of the luck spectrum thus far. German has an ERA of 4.03 while carrying a FIP of 4.72. Opposing hitters have a HardHit% of 39.4, and he has had trouble with the long ball. He has given up a home run to 4.6 percent of the batters, resulting in almost two homers every nine innings. German only strikes out 21.7% of batters, and could have a tough time here against a talented Phillies lineup. Look for the Phillies to grab some runs of German today, and Nola to keep the Yankees at bay in this one.

Los Angeles Angels (Jose Suarez) at Oakland Athletics (James Kaprielian)

Play: Angels (+148)

*Playable to (+140)

Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani (17) makes contact with the ball against the Seattle Mariners during the fifth inning at T-Mobile Park

© Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Angels wrap up their quick 2two-game set against their division rival the Oakland Athletics today. It’s not often to see a division series be only two games, but things get funky after the All-Star break. Oakland won their game last night, scoring four runs late to win 4-1. They have a quick turnaround today, and I like the Angels’ chances to leave town with the series split.

Jose Suarez gets the start for the Angels, and he has had a fine season up to this point. He has an ERA of 2.29 with a FIP of 4.05. Suarez has a bit of a high walk-rate, but the rest of the peripherals look good. He does a good job limiting the amount of hard contact he gives up, sitting at a HardHit% of 35.4. He also does a good job limiting damage, allowing opposing hitters a SLG of just .357 against him. Suarez has good stuff, and should be able to keep the Angels very much in this game.

James Kaprielian gets the assignment against of opposing Suarez today, and carries similar numbers with a few exceptions. He has an ERA of 2.90 with a FIP also over a full run higher at 4.40. Also like Suarez, Kaprielian has a high walk rate of 9.5 percent. The difference here is in the contact they give up. Kaprielian has a HardHit% of 46.5 while maintaining a BABIP of .233. Balls are getting hit hard frequently, but more often than not, just right at the defense. This isn’t something that is sustainable, and at some point those hard-hit balls will find open space. This looks like a great chance to take a shot on a relatively large underdog. I think the Angels are being severely undervalued in this one.

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