Chicago (Hammel) -135 at Arizona (Ray) O/U 9
Even with the roof closed at Chase Field on Friday (decent chance of desert rain tonight), I’m still looking to bet the Over in Phoenix tonight. Both of these teams have come out of the gate swinging – literally. We’ve seen 17 home runs hit through the first four games at Chase Field. Three of the first four games here have produced 15 runs or more. And there’s no reason to expect anything dramatically different tonight.
Lineups are undervalued in the 2016 MLB betting marketplace, with starting pitchers exerting enormous influence over the prices for both sides and totals. These two lineups have no business with a total of 9 right now. Chicago has pounded out 29 runs in their first three games, with 14 extra base hits and an OPS of .920 in the process. Arizona has scored 25 runs in four games even with AJ Pollack out with a broken elbow; hitting .295 as a team with 16 extra bae hits and an OPS of .851. As we saw last night, either one of these lineups is capable of approaching or exceeding the total all by themselves.
Arizona’s pitching staff held a team meeting following last night’s loss, with manager Chip Hale expressing his frustration at their effort. Talking about pitching well is not the same as actually pitching well, and this bullpen is already showing signs of vulnerability. That’s bad news with Robbie Ray on the hill, after his 1-6 record with a 4.88 ERA on this field last year. Chicago’s bullpen has been strong thusfar, but starter Jason Hammel had a terrible second half last year and two disastrous postseason outings, not exactly the most trustworthy hurler here. Expect plenty of crooked numbers on the scoreboard in this game, just like last night!