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Jake Arrieta, looking at the insane odds being offered in Tuesday's Phillies-Yankees matchup
Welcome back to the LazyBets Free MLB picks column for Tuesday, June 26th. Monday’s roll of the dice on Shelby Miller’s return from Tommy John surgery crapped out, as Miller exited early in a 9-5 Marlins win. If Miller could have just gotten opposing pitcher Dan Straily out at the plate, he might have fared a lot better - Straily doubled, walked, and scored two of the five earned runs charged to Miller.
We’re looking to bounce back in a big way on Tuesday, as there is one line that jumped off the page at us that is absolutely dripping with value. We’ll be taking a look at the second game of the interleague matchup between the Phillies and Yankees - let’s get into it.
New York Yankees (Severino) at Philadelphia Phillies (Arrieta)
We should start off this section by getting some things straight: the Yankees are very good this year, and Luis Severino is one of the best pitchers in the AL. We wish that wasn’t the case - we’re rooting for their main competition in the AL East this season. However, this is obviously true, as the Yankees have the best winning percentage in baseball (.671) and Severino ranks third in WAR amongst AL pitchers.
However, there are some reasons to believe that the Yanks aren’t quite as good now as they have appeared so far. For one, they are outpacing their pythagorean record by three games, meaning that they should have actually lost three more games than they have based on their run differential. They also just lost catcher Gary Sanchez, a key cog in their offense, for 3-4 weeks to a groin injury.
Elsewhere in the lineup, while Giancarlo Stanton hasn’t quite delivered on the lofty expectations placed on him thus far, the Yankees are getting more than they bargained for from Aaron Judge, Didi Gregorius, and rookies Miguel Andujar and Gleyber Torres. Even if Stanton starts mashing, the likely drop-off from some of their other hitters (especially the rookies) should keep the Yankees offense from outpacing other strong offensive clubs like the Astros and Red Sox.
As for Severino, there’s no doubting the track record over the last two seasons - he’s now got an ERA+ of 163 since the start of 2017. However, there are signs that he has been getting lucky as well - his homer rate is about half of what it’s projected to be, despite inducing less ground balls than last year. The other luck stats - BABIP and LOB% - have also favored Severino in 2018. We believe he’s a very solid pitcher, just not quite as good as his 2.24 ERA would suggest.
The reason we mention all of this is because the Yankees, in a road game against former Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta, against a Phillies ball club that is six games above .500 themselves, are an incredible -200 favorite in Tuesday’s contest. These types of lines are typically reserved for home favorites going up against the weaker teams in baseball with replacement level starters on the mound.
We could dive into why we think the Phillies are better than this line suggests. We’ve already bet on them 19 times this season, more than any other club, so needless to say we think that they’re a solid team. We could talk about the virtues of Jake Arrieta - not quite the same pitcher as he was in his dominant 2015 season, but solid nonetheless.
Good luck to all of you LazyBets readers out there, and be sure to check our homepage for our daily World Cup picks as the tournament rolls along - we gave out a +129 winner on Monday, and we’ll be looking to give out some more winners on Tuesday.
As always, let’s get a win!
Bet the Phillies +185
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