St. Louis (Leake) -160 at Philadelphia (Hellickson) O/U 9.5
Recommendation: St. Louis/Over
Currently ranked among the top 10 qualified starter with a negative ERA-FIP differential (4.91 ERA-5.91 FIP), Philadelphia's Jeremy Hellickson is no doubt fortunate his ERA isn't higher. Like his counterpart tonight, Mike Leake, Hellickson pitched out of his mind the first part of the season (5 starts, 1.80 ERA) but has come crashing down with a near 7.00 ERA over his last nine starts. During that span of 47 innings, the veteran righty has a 23-20 K-to-BB ratio while allowing 13 home runs. He's currently as bad a starter as there is in the National League. Speaking of regression, after posting a sub-2.00 ERA through his first nine starts, Leake has seen his ERA rise well over a run thanks to a 6.20 ERA (24.2 IP, 17 ERs). His overall performance this season, however, is far more "real" than that of Hellickson. Leake currently owns career bests in both groundball rate (54.9%) and swinging strike rate (8.2%). Not to mention that stretch of regression came against four of the NL's better offenses (Cubs, Reds, Dodgers, Brewers). Here he faces a big step down in class with the Phillies near the bottom of MLB in most offensive categories. A lot of the value with both St. Louis (-140 to -160) and total (9 to 9.5) was taken out early but those remain the prefered ways to play this contest.