Anytime we’ve got a Coors game you know it’s going to be chalk. The game between the Dodgers and Rox today opened with an over/under of 11, which is a run and a half higher than any other game. Left-hander Alex Wood will start for Los Angeles and right-hander Chad Bettis will go for Colorado.
The Dodgers are a -125 favorite, so we’ll start with them. They have a nice matchup with Bettis who has a 4.50 xFIP and the fifth lowest strikeout rate among today’s probable starters. In addition to giving up a fair amount of contact, Bettis isn’t generating much soft contact with a soft contact rate of only 18.5 percent.
Bettis has reverse splits for his career allowing a .364 wOBA to righties compared to .317 to lefties. That’s a good thing because LA’s best hitters against righties are righties themselves. Yasiel Puig is their best hitter against righties dating back to last season with a 131 wRC+. Fellow righties Chris Taylor , Justin Turner and Austin Barnes are all safely above average without the platoon advantage as well. On the other side of the plate, Cody Bellinger and Yasmani Grandal are also good options.
The Rox are much better against lefties as a predominantly right-handed lineup, so Wood is a nice matchup for them. Active Rox have a combined .350 wOBA against Wood in 126 total PA. Trevor Story is 3-for-8 with a home run and a double against Wood. Nolan Arenado and DJ LeMahieu join Story as Colorado righties with well above average numbers against lefties. But don’t sleep on lefties Charlie Blackmon and Gerardo Parra against Wood. Blackmon has a .389 wOBA against lefties dating back to last year, and Parra is 6-for-9 against Wood in his career.
The Yankees and Brewers will probably also be chalky options being favorites in games with an over/under of 9.5. But we’re going with the D’Backs here as the non-Coors chalk option as they opened as a -145 favorite at home against Miami in a game with an O/U of nine.
The D’Backs will face Dan Straily whose 4.96 xFIP is more than a full run higher than his ERA. Straily has struggled to miss bats with a 16.9 percent strikeout rate this year. His soft contact rate is a paltry 10.5 percent, so he’s getting hit hard and getting hit often.
The D’Backs have five hitters who have been at least 15 percent better than league average between this year and last, and four of them will have the platoon advantage against Straily with the fifth being Paul Goldschmidt . Those four lefties are Jake Lamb , David Peralta , Daniel Descalso and Álex Ávila .
Not the Chalk
Kansas City Royals
The Royals-A’s game opened with an over/under of 9.5, which isn’t all that low, but KC is a slight dog in the game. That along with the Royals ranking 24th in wRC+ vs. RHP should keep them from being an overly popular play today.
Oakland starter Daniel Gossett is like Straily as a matchup for hitters in that he struggles to miss bats and gives up a lot of hard contact. In four starts this year Gossett only has a 13.1 percent strikeout rate, which is third-lowest among today’s probables, and he’s the only pitcher going today with a soft contact rate generated that is in single digits.
The Royals tend to start their lineup with Jon Jay , Whit Merrifield , Mike Moustakas and Salvador Pérez . If that’s the case today, that is a viable stack against Gossett. Jay and Moustakas will have the platoon advantage with Moustakas being a well above average hitter against righties. Merrifield and Perez won’t have the platoon advantage, but they’re both near average against same-handed pitching.
Perhaps a game stack is in order for the Miami-Arizona game since the D’Backs were mentioned above. The Marlins are in a decent spot here against right-hander Matt Koch . Koch has shown some serious reverse splits this season allowing a .434 wOBA to same-handed hitters. He also has the second-lowest strikeout rate among the day’s starters, and his soft contact rate is low just like that of Straily and Gossett at only 13.2 percent.
Miami has several right-handed hitters who are near average without the platoon advantage that could thrive against a guy like Koch with reverse splits. J.T. Realmuto owns a 115 wRC+ vs. RHP dating back to last season while Brian Anderson , Miguel Roajs and Starlin Castro are all right near league average. Left-hander Justin Bour is also a good candidate to include in that stack as he has a 138 wRC+ against righties in the same time frame.