Free MLB Picks – July 11, 2018

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The Yankees' powerful combo of Judge and Stanton will face homer-prone Orioles righty Dylan Bundy on Wednesday

Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB picks column for Wednesday, July 11th.  While Colorado’s Tyler Anderson won the starting pitching battle against Arizona’s Patrick Corbin on Tuesday, the D’Backs offense won the war by beating up on Rockies reliever Jake McGee to win the game 5-3.  Arizona’s victory cashed in our bet on Tuesday, which we called one of our favorites of the year.

We’ve picked the Diamondbacks plenty of times this season already - Tuesday’s win makes us 13-7 when betting on them.  We’re mixing it up for Wednesday’s pick though - we’re taking a team that we’ve yet to bet on in 2018, the New York Yankees.  What makes Wednesday's matchup more appealing to us than any of their previous 90 games?  Let's get into it. 

New York Yankees (Gray) at Baltimore Orioles (Bundy)

Game Time: 7:05 PM EST

Where to Watch:  MLB.tv

Run Line: Yankees -1.5 (+106)

Moneyline: Yankees -144

Bet the Yankees -144

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Yankees Orioles Pick

Last season, the Yankees believed that Sonny Gray would be the missing rotation piece they needed to make a deep postseason run when they traded three prospects for him at the trade deadline.   Today, almost a year later, the Yankees are gearing up for another postseason run, but Gray’s spot in the rotation is looking less solid than ever after a horrendous start to 2018 (5.85 ERA in 17 starts).   While Yankee fans have surely gotten tired of watching Gray’s starts, we believe there is still reason for optimism with the 28 year-old righty.

First off, it’s clear that Gray has had his share of bad luck this season - his 4.33 xFIP tells a clearer and more friendly version of his 2018 season than that nasty ERA.   Among pitchers with at least 80 IP this year, Gray’s BABIP is 6th highest in baseball.  That’s a stat we love to fade, because typically pitchers will regress to the mean in BABIP and their entire stat line improves as a result.  

Secondly, while Gray is only 28, there’s a reason the Yankees gave up a bounty to get him last year - he’s already got a solid track record of success.  Just last year he posted a 3.55 ERA over 27 starts, and he had a tremendous two-year run for the A’s in 2014-2015.  If he can get his walk rate in order - currently at career high 4.04 per nine - he should be able to solidify his position in the Yankees rotation as they head into the postseason.

While Orioles’ starter Dylan Bundy has been better than Gray so far this season, he hasn’t been spectacular by any means, and he projects to be about a half-run worse in FIP for the rest of 2018.  Bundy’s main weakness is the long-ball - his career HR/9 rate of 1.49 is well above average, and it’s even higher in 2018 (1.72). For that reason, we see no worse matchup for Bundy than the Yankees offense he’ll face on Wednesday.

The Yankees offense leads baseball in homers by a ton, and are tied with the Astros for the league lead in wRC+.  We thought they might be a bit overhyped to start the year, but this is clearly a top-five unit at absolute worst.  The Orioles offense on the other-hand is second-worst in wRC+; imagine how bad they’ll be if (when) they trade slugger Manny Machado.  Mark Trumbo is the only non-Machado Oriole having an above average year, and Chris Davis is having one of the worst seasons in baseball history (.159/.233/.284).   Calling this an offensive mismatch would be an understatement.

With such a disparity in the offensive talent on the field, it’s clear that the oddsmakers and general public are weary of betting on Sonny Gray, as the Yankees are only a -144 favorite on the moneyline at BetOnline on Wednesday.  While the Yanks are typically overhyped and over-wagered upon, we think that Gray’s struggles have swung this line too far in the opposite direction.  We trust the Yankees powerful offense against the homer-prone Dylan Bundy to outscore the weak O’s lineup on Tuesday, and we love the price we’re getting.

That’ll do it for Wednesday’s free MLB pick.  If you haven’t been checking out our World Cup free picks, well, you’ve been missing out - France’s win over Belgium made for another winning day for us.  You’ve only got two more chances to take our advice - be sure to check out our picks for England vs. Croatia in last match before the final on Sunday.

Good luck to all of our LazyBets readers out there, and as always, let’s get a win!

Bet the Yankees -144

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