MLB Free Picks – May 2, 2018

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Los Angeles Angels (Heaney) -145 vs. Baltimore Orioles (Bundy)

We got back to our winning ways with our pick yesterday, as the Angels were able to defeat the Orioles with a walk-off single from Justin Upton in the 9th.  The game didn’t play out exactly as we thought - it was much more of a pitching duel than an offensive affair, with Nick Tropeano (6.1 IP, 1H, 2BB, 0 ER) leading the way for the Angels.  Regardless, a win is a win, and we’ll take it.

We spoke yesterday about the Halos offense and how their non-Trout sluggers need to get going in order to remain in the AL West race.  Even with the walk-off hit by Upton yesterday, that core group of hitters - Upton, Albert Pujols, Zack Cozart and Kohl Calhoun - have left much to be desired.  They will have yet another great opportunity to get going tonight, as they face another mediocre Orioles starter.

Once considered a top 10 prospect in baseball, Dylan Bundy has not yet lived up to the hype in the big leagues. While not terrible, Bundy’s ERA is an even 4.00 over his first 317.1 big league innings, and his xFIP of 4.60 suggests it should be even higher.  Despite a solid strikeout rate, Bundy’s main issue throughout his career has been allowing hard hit balls - amongst the 60 pitchers with at least 160 IP last year, Bundy ranked 7th-to-last in Fangraphs’ Hard%, a stat that looks at how often a hitter makes hard contact when putting the ball in play.  Combined with his high fly ball rate (3rd highest amongst those same 60 pitchers), Bundy is actually lucky that more balls didn’t leave the park against him last year.   For that reason, projections have his homer rate spiking this year.  Angels hitters should be aiming for the seats against Bundy today.

On the other side of the coin, Andrew Heaney, today’s starter for the Angels, has gotten pretty unlucky throughout his big league career.  Through 32 big league starts, Heaney’s HR% is an obscenely high 1.63 per nine innings, and his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) through 3 starts this year is a ridiculous .429 - 7th highest amongst the 341 pitchers with at least 10 innings pitched this year.  That BABIP alone does a good job explaining his 6.91 ERA - his xFIP is a very solid 2.35.  Things should start turning around for Heaney soon - pitchers don’t get this unlucky for an extended period of time.  With the Orioles in town, if Heaney can just avoid getting beat up by star Manny Machado, he should be able to start getting that ERA back where it should be.

We see today’s matchup between the Angels and Orioles to be an even bigger mismatch than yesterday, where we still laid the -177 and won the bet.  That’s why today’s odds looked like a misprint at first; Angels -145 today is an absolute steal, and is one of our favorite bets of the year.  

Bet the Angels -145

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We’re going back to the well today with the Angels, one of our favorites this year.   Who’s your personal favorite team that the general public is sleeping on? Hit us up @Lazy_Bets and give us your reasoning - we may feature your opinion here if we like it enough.

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