Kansas City (Young) +120 at Los Angeles (Tropeano) O/U 7.5
Recommendation: Kansas City
Here’s an excerpt that I’ve been cutting and pasting when betting on Chris Young games for the last two seasons. It’s (obviously) still pertinent and valid:
“Young is a veteran hurler – he’s been in the majors since 2004 – and a bright guy, a Princeton graduate. He’s also extraordinarily tall at 6-10 with a tendency to throw high strikes, resulting in awkward angles for many opposing batters as they try to take him deep. This bright, experienced veteran now has a CAREER xFIP of more than a full run higher than his career ERA. Two years ago, it was more than a run and a half higher. Last year it was close to a run and a half differential between xFIP and ERA. Over one season, this would be an anomaly. Over a decade, it’s a clear pattern. Young’s fairly unique skill set allows him to leave high fastballs over the plate and still get fly ball outs. The advanced metric numbers don’t see the method behind the stats, which leaves Young as a perennially undervalued commodity.”
This Ned Yost quote after Young’s start in Oakland speaks volumes: “He’s not at his best right now, but he’s getting really, really close.” And after a rough start to that game against the A’s, Young made a mechanical adjustment with his slider: “My slider got sharper and had more depth to it.” Lo and behold, Young pitched his best game of the season against Baltimore in his last outing.
Behind Young is one of the best bullpens in baseball, in sharp contrast to the Angels pen that is ranked among the bottom half of MLB bullpens in ERA so far this season. That matters a lot with Nick Tropeano on the hill for LA tonight. Tropeano is no innings eater -- he has lasted into the seventh inning only twice in his 14 previous big league starts.
I want KC as an underdog off an ugly loss like the one they suffered last night; a squad that hasn’t lost three in a row yet this season. And I want no part of the Angels off back-to-back wins, something the team had managed to do only once prior to last night’s victory. Take the Royals.
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