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The homeruns are taking over. Last night, Clayton Kershaw, the best pitcher in all of baseball, gave up four homeruns for the first time in his career. He looked mortal and you have to wonder if anyone is reliable in this environment. The ball is flying out at record rates and we need to adjust our expectations. Cody Bellinger of the Dodgers has less than 200 at-bats, but he already has 20 homeruns. Guys like Justin Smoak, Logan Morrison and Eric Thames are breaking career highs. I don’t even have to talk about the crazy numbers that Aaron Judge is putting up. Baseball is homeruns now. Long live the homerun.
Of course, bookmakers have adjusted to the new reality. The over/under lines are mostly at 9 runs or higher. Some games are as high as 11, that is normal for Coors Field, but it is surprising to see in Camden Yards. This is the new reality, let’s adjust accordingly.
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We’ll start with the aforementioned Indians vs. Orioles game. The total on this one is set at 11 and for good reason. Last night the Indians dropped a 12 spot on Baltimore and tonight they get a worse pitcher in Chris Tillman who is sporting an ERA over 8 for the year. The Indians send Josh Tomlin who has an ERA over five runs and this game could be a homer haven. The humidity out in Baltimore has led to a lot of runs of late and tonight should be no different. It’s high, but take the over 11 runs. It’s worth it.
Another game I am targeting for offenses is the Reds at Rays. The Red send Amir Garrett who is a real Jekyll and Hyde case. Here are his last nine starts by runs allowed: 2,2, 8, 7, 6, 2, 2 and 9. The Rays are one of the more homer-happy teams out there and I think they’ll get to him tonight. The Rays will send Alex Cobb who has struggled at times this year and the over 9 runs is a nice play.
There is another on/off pitcher going tonight, but I actually like him in tonight’s match-up. Francisco Liriano over the Jays faces the Rangers in Texas. The total on this one is set at 11, but I think Liriano could have a good game tonight. The Rangers have just a .670 OPS against lefties. Moreover, I love the Jays offense against the Nick Martinez. Jays -127 is a nice road play tonight.
The main event of the evening is a potential National League Wild Card match-up between the Arizona Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies. These two have been the story of the young season and both teams come into this on winning streaks. The Rockies have won five straight while Arizona has won their last seven. This game takes place in Coors Field so the total is naturally set high, but I don’t see it. Zack Greinke goes for the Rockies and in his last two Coors Field starts he has allowed just five runs. It’s Coors Field so I don’t like to bet the under because bullpens happen, but I will take the Diamondbacks +100 tonight. German Marquez gave up 5 runs in six innings in his last start against Arizona and holds a 5.70 ERA at home.