Cleveland (Kluber) at St. Louis (Martinez)
Recommendation: See analysis
I continue to look for ways to play against St. Louis' Carlos Martinez who since returning from the DL has had a real difficult time. Martinez's season thus far has been littered with ups and downs. He barely threw during spring training and looked lost in his first start of the season when he issued six walks and allowed four runs against the Mets. Martinez then produced a 7-game stretch with a sub 1.00 ERA; as dominant as any starter in MLB. He was no doubt fortunate during that span with only one home run allowed and a pitcher friendly .233 BABIP but it appeared Martinez was "dialed in." Then came a stint on the DL followed by a regression to the mean and a loss of command. Over his last four starts, Martinez has walked (20) more batters than he's fanned (18). There are other red flags as well: his velocity is down a tick or two from previous seasons and for whatever reason, Martinez decided to add a cut fastball to his repertoire which has negatively impacted the effectiveness of his other offerings, particularly his slider which in years past was one of the best pitches in the league. According to FanGraphs, Martinez had the eighth-best slider in MLB last season. This year, his bread and butter pitch ranks well below league average. Tonight, he faces a Cleveland lineup that after a slow start has emerged as one of the best offenses in MLB. Over their last 28 games, the Indians have averaged 5.5 runs per contest. And with Martinez showing a pattern of being unable to pitch deep into games, St. Louis' league average bullpen is projected to be heavily involved as well. Numbers of ways to play this but I would key in on Martinez and look to play Cleveland's team totals over. I found both a 2-135 on the first five and 4-130 on the game and played both for a half unit.