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MLB Picks and Preview, 7/2 – Will Rockies Start Fireworks Early?

MLB Picks and Preview, 7/2 – Will Rockies Start Fireworks Early?

One of the biggest, loudest weekends of the year is here – both on and off the diamond. As the US prepares for fireworks in the sky on Monday, we’ve dug into data for today’s – Saturday, July 2’s – and surfaced the betting value uncovered.

Below are my MLB predictions, picks and best bets for games today, including breakdowns for St. Louis at Philadelphia and Arizona at Colorado, powered by our friends at Ballpark Pal.

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mlb predictions - park factors - july 2, 2022

Cardinals @ Phillies

Key Facts and Figures

– As seen in the table above, park dimensions and weather are creating an extremely hitter-friendly environment at Citizens Bank Park.

– Phillies starter Kyle Gibson has decreased the amount of contact made by RHBs this season, racking up a 9.55 K/9 and 5.11 K/BB en route to a 2.72 xFIP over 43.1 IPs vs. right-handers. This comes despite a top-level .274/.307/.423 slash line and .317 wOBA against RHBs. The three most dangerous lineups in the Cardinals lineup (Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Juan Yepez) are all right-handed.

– Cardinals starter Matthew Liberatore is an extreme flyball pitcher (30.4% GB%) and not a particularly good one through his first 18 IPs in the Majors (4.00 ERA, 6.36 xERA, 6.02 FIP). He has been particularly lucky leaving men on (89.7% LOB%), even moreso when you see he is giving up tons of hard contact (43.9% Hard%).

– Multiple projection models have Liberatore ranked as one of the worst SP options today. Kyle Gibson projects for a serviceable alebeit not great start – which essentially is the story of Gibson’s 10-year career (83-86, 4.45 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 4.27 FIP, 51.4% GB% over 1416.2 career IPs).

– Runs will rain down in Philadelphia today. Oddsmakers have juiced up the totals though, so while I see the Phillies winning a high-scoring affair, I’m most interested in player props that can hit with a single swing of the bat. The Phillies lineup is very top-heavy sans Bryce Harper.

Picks and Props

1 unit

  • Brendan Donovan o1.5 TBs (+145)
  • Nick Castellanos o1.5 TBs (-115)
  • Rhys Hoskins o1.5 TBs (-125)
  • Kyle Schwarber o1.5 TBs (+120)

0.5 units

  • PHI 5i o2.5 (-120)
  • Kyle Gibson u4.5 Ks (-115)
  • Nolan Gorman o1.5 TBs (+135)
diamondbacks at rockies prediction july 2

Diamondbacks @ Rockies 

Key Facts and Figures

– Refer to both Ballpark Pal’s Park Factor and Game Simulations above. Coors Field will be as extreme of a hitter-friendly environment as ever and runs will be scored in bunches…but that doesn’t mean that you necessarily bet on the game total to go over. We’ll break this down further below.

– Diamondbacks starter Dallas Keuchel continues to kill worms at an above-average rate (50.7% GB% in 2022, 58.0% GB% for his career), but hitters have been able to capitalize on their contact more effectively than they were in the left-handed pitcher’s prime. While Keuchel’s decline now spans his past 200+ IPs (5.28 ERA, 5.23 FIP across 162 IPs in 2021), his awful 7.93 ERA is due for a decent amount of positive regression. His 5.05 xFIP reflects the abnormality of his 50.7% LOB% and .377 BABIP despite boasting a 25.7% Hard%. that is well above league average.

– Keuchel has never pitched at Coors in his career. That seems odd given his 1563.2 career IPs, but alas. We have no data on how the thin air does or doesn’t affect his repertoire. What we do know, though, is that you can’t a HR off a groundball. If Keuchel is indeed able to keep balls on the ground, he should be able to at least minimize the damage done by the Rockies lineup. (This applies to all groundball-heavy pitchers at Coors.)

– The Rockies are starting a southpaw of their own, with Austin Gomber toeing the rubber. Like Keuchel, his numbers are terrible, but are slightly less terrible when you look at his underlying peripherals. While he has a bloated 6.55 ERA, his 58.4% LOB% and .325 BABIP support a forward-looking 4.30 xFIP and 4.45 SIERA.

– These two offenses couldn’t perform any differently against southpaws. Arizon has a below-average 23.6% K%, .653 OPS and .290 wOBA against LHPs as a team. Compare that to Colorado’s 19.1% K%, .815 OPS and league-best .355 wOBA against left-handers.¬†

– This is quite similar to the Cardinals-Phillies game above. There is not going to be any type of shortage of offense in Denver tonight. There is not going to be as much offense as the current lines suggest, though. Attack the hitters and prioritize the upper-cutters, but fade the public money on the total. Beware the vig.

Picks and Props

1 unit

  • COL -1.5 (+115)
  • Under 12.5 (-105)
  • Jordan Luplow o1.5 TBs (+125)

0.5 units

  • Kris Bryant o1.5 TBs (-130)
  • CJ Cron o1.5 TBs (-130)
  • Connor Joe o1.5 TBs (-125)
  • Christian Walker o1.5 TBs (-125)

Quick Picks

1 unit

  • SD (+130)
  • Jarren Duran o1.5 TBs (-105)
  • Xander Bogaerts o1.5 TBs (+125)
  • Anthony Rizzo o1.5 TBs (+110)

0.5 units

  • TB (+112)
  • BOS (-140)
  • NYY -1.5 (-108)
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