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The Brewers' Junior Guerra has a 2.87 ERA this year, but he's become a favorite target of ours this season
Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB picks column for Sunday, July 8th. Yesterday’s pick was a resounding success - the Diamondbacks set a franchise record for runs in a 20-5 beatdown of the Padres. We’ve bet against the Padres’ Tyson Ross in his last two starts, and they’ve been his two worst starts of the year by far. We’re hoping that well hasn’t gone dry - hopefully the oddsmakers still overvalue him in his next go around.
The two teams we’ve bet on the last two nights have scored a combined 37 runs - we hope you’ve been tailing us for some easy cashes the last couple nights. There is one moneyline on the board for Sunday’s slate that looks like ridiculous value to us, and it features a pitcher that we love to bet against. Let’s get into it.
Atlanta Braves (Newcomb) at Milwaukee Brewers (Guerra)
We’re 3-1 on the year when betting against Junior Guerra, and we still think that the oddsmakers are grossly overrating his ability. Guerra’s ERA is 2.87, which looks nice at first glance, but it’s been the byproduct of a lot of good fortune. He gives up too many hard-hit balls to have such a low BABIP (.261), and his left-on-base percentage (LOB%) is completely unsustainable at 84% on the season (he’s projected at about 72% for the rest of the year). When these hard hit balls start finding gaps instead of the inside of a glove, Guerra is going to struggle - he’s a league-average starter, at best.
Braves lefty Sean Newcomb has also out-performed his projections this season - his 3.10 ERA is also the result of an unsustainably low BABIP. In contrast to Guerra though, Newcomb has a low Hard %, so he’s at least earned some of that luck. Newcomb can get a little wild (4.23 BB/9), but so can Guerra (3.49 BB/9), and Newcomb avoids giving up homers at a far superior rate. Newcomb is the better pitcher, and it’s not particularly close.
So if Atlanta has the better starting pitcher on the mound, but they’re being offered at +111 odds at BetOnline, then surely Milwaukee has the far better lineup? Not even close, as Atlanta currently ranks 10th in wRC+ to the Brewers’ 20th. We’re not quite sure we buy the Braves as a top 10 offense for the remainder of the season, but they’ll be getting young phenom Ronald Acuna back from injury soon (hopefully on Sunday), and Freddie Freeman is one of the best in the business - he’ll be easily the best hitter taking the field on Sunday. The Brewers may be overachieving themselves - Jesus Aguilar in particular should slow down from his torrid pace any day now.
Even if you call the offensive matchup a wash (which is being overly generous to Milwaukee), the odds being offered still don’t make sense - the Braves’ Sean Newcomb is the better pitcher, and we’re being offered Atlanta +116 at BetOnline. That’s one of the real bargains of the year - we’re going to grab all the value we can out of Junior Guerra and the Brewers before the public catches on.
The Braves are our MLB pick for Sunday. If you haven’t been following our World Cup picks, you’ve been missing out - we’ve been killing it and having a blast watching the tournament. Be sure to check back on Tuesday for our picks in the semifinals.
Good luck everybody, let’s get a win!
Bet the Braves +116
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