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St. Louis Cardinals ML @ (1.80/-125) vs. the Washington Nationals

It’s game one of the National League Championship Series, and we’re liking the Cardinals in two phases of this game: the starters and the bullpen. In terms of starters Miles Mikolas will pitch for the Cardinals. We’ve been on Mikolas a few times this year already and we’ll go back to him here in this favorable matchup. He will face a Nationals team that will consist of 6 right handed batters. This is key as Mikolas has allowed just a .308 wOBA and a 0.261 batting average to opposing right handed batters. Compare this to a .330 wOBA and a .284 average against lefties. We noted in our write up last week, Mikolas has significantly improved his numbers as the season has gone along. He has been regaining form since August allowing 3 runs or less in seven straight starts where he’s gone at least 5 innings. He’ll also be at home where he’s thrived allowing a 3.10 ERA compared to a 5.40 ERA on the road. On the other side we see Anibal Sanchez pitch for the Nationals. Overall, Sanchez has had a solid last two seasons after many wrote him off, however he aren’t liking a few things about him. First his 5.17 xFIP is significantly higher than his 3.85 ERA in the regular season. This is concerning along with this quote: “I (haven't done) my homework, but I start today to prepare my game for tomorrow and let's see how my game plan for tomorrow is and hopefully just put up a quality start for the team." HOPEFULLY (key word). We are usually very analytical here with baseball tips, but confidence is important in the playoffs. I can’t say Sanchez and his quote represents that. Nonetheless, if Mikolas can pitch well, we’re liking the Cardinals over the second half of this game. We saw in the NLDS how the Nationals tried to avoid using their bottom 5 bullpen at all costs by going to starting pitchers like Strasburg and Corbin late in games. In a lengthened 7 game series they likely won’t do that here. In a scenario of a close game late, we will take our chances with the Cardinals against Washington’s relief pitchers every time. While we likely won’t get a 10-0 start like the other day, we like the spot for St. Louis at home to get a win in game one.
Our two bets for Friday:
Cambuur -1 @ (1.77/-130)— See article link above

St. Louis Cardinals ML @ (1.80/-125)
Cambuur -1
Maastricht defended well and made things hard for Cambuur. A disappointing 0-0 match here. Will do our best to win our next soccer bet
Cardinals

It was a no offense kind of day as the Cardinals lose 2-0. Not our best today as our amazing MLB playoff run and start to the month will take a step back. We’ll look ahead to the weekend to get back to our winning ways. 0-2 today and 8-3-2 to begin the month
Navy ML @ (1.83/-120) 🔥🔥🔥

Blowout win tonight! No shortage of offense today, Navy sails to a 45-17 victory!
Astros F5 -0.5 @ (1.87/-115) vs. the New York Yankees

Following a 7-0 shut out last night, we like the value we’re getting with Houston over the first 5 innings to bounce back given their talent, as well as the pitching matchup. First Justin Verlander will pitch for Houston. We start with him as you may recall his last start not going so well (we had to sweat out the under on that one—it worked out). However, unlike that game, Verlander will get one extra day of rest. We believe a lot in that extra day as Verlander is a 36 year old pitcher who was clearly impacted with only three days. But Verlander is experienced and will get four days this time. We believe he will have his arm ready for tonight’s game (pitching on four days rest now). In terms of advanced stats, we’ve said it about Verlander before, a 3.08 xFIP, 35.4% strikeout rate, and holds opposing batters to under a wOBA under 0.250. Great against statistics against a Yankees team that has the following results off of Verlander through 197 at-bats: .188 batting average, a .256 wOBA and a 0.132 ISO (advantage Verlander). The Astros hitters will go up against Yankees’ pitcher James Paxton. He’s an easy pitcher to explain as he is overall a solid pitcher but gets burned consistently by right handed power hitters. Against righties he allows a high ISO of 0.211 (compare this to an ISO of 0.091 against lefties). This is problematic as the Astros lineup consists of 6 righties and 5/6 have ISO’s themselves of 0.230 or more. A good spot for Houston to have home run upside as their home ballpark favors right handed power. Finally, we have seen Paxton have some troubles against Houston in the past allowing a 0.274 bating average, a 0.346 wOBA, and a ISO of 0.175 through 212 at bats against the Astros current roster. Taking these factors into account, we think Houston is in a good spot to bounce back. They’ll need a strong start and we believe they’ll lead after the conclusion of the 5th inning.
Astros F5 -0.5

Game is tied 2-2 after the 5th inning. A costly 2 run home run following a lead off walk made all the difference in the 4th inning. A tough sequence of events and missed opportunities end our week with a loss. Two weeks are concluded in October, let’s finish the second half of the month how we’ve started the first!
St. Louis Cardinals ML @ (2.18/+118)

Down 0-2 in the series, it’s a must win for St. Louis. We’ll build a case for a bounce back performance tonight. Two elite pitchers will take the mound: Stephen Strasburg for Washington and Jack Flaherty for St. Louis. Below are some key factors we found as we’ll make the case for St. Louis and how we see value in the odds for them to turn things around:

1. Flaherty against righties: Both pitchers are solid as mentioned, but Jack Flaherty is one to keep an eye on against right handed batters. The Nationals will have six in the lineup and will face Flaherty who has only allowed a 0.182 batting average, a 0.566 OPS and 0.249 wOBA to righties. All around, Flaherty has quietly been one of, if not the best pitcher in baseball during the second half of the season. His statistics are there to have an elite performance (Over his last 16 games to end the season he allowed the following run totals: 0 (9 times), 1 (4 times), 2 (2 times), 3 (once)

2. Pitching history: Speaking of Flaherty, the Nationals have only faced him once (last year) and have a sample size of only 19 at bats. From the perspective of baseball players, it’s difficult to face a pitcher with limited experience against them, especially a pitcher who has a 30% strikeout rate and hasn’t given up many runs over the 2nd half of the season. On the other side, where the Cardinals have a slight edge is they have seen Strasburg before and have done alright. Through 126 at bats they have a 0.286 average and a 0.339 wOBA. From an advanced stats standpoint those aren’t bad numbers considering Strasburg is a great pitcher and has a strikeout rate of 21% against St. Louis (9% below his season average) They just faced him last month and their recent experience could benefit St. Louis here.

3. Umpire Bill Miller (https://tht.fangraphs.com/an-exploration-of-mlb-umpires-strike-zones/) In this article you will find how tonight’s umpire Bill Miller has one for the widest strikezones in MLB. This will be an advantage for Flaherty as he throws sliders (east/west) pitcher, opposed to Strasburg who throws more curveballs (north/south). We’re looking for any little edge here, and it appears Bill Miller tends to give more strike calls on the corners. In games where Bill Miller is the home plate umpire, the strikeout rate has increased by 1.20x. This here is something to keep an eye on as major advantage for Flaherty’s pitching style throwing 30% opposed to Strasburg throwing 30% curves

4. Bullpen advantage: With Patrick Corbin and Max Scherzer already involved pitched (Scherzer pitched Game 2, Corbin pitches next game). Washington will have no margin for error. We’ve discussed their relief pitchers as they rank near the bottom in almost every stat. Needless to say Strasburg will need to have a great performance most likely. If he runs into any trouble, we give the edge to the Cardinals in the later innings as they have the more consistent relief pitchers looking at season long stats. 3.88 ERA (Cardinals) vs. 5.68 ERA (Nationals). It’s been a story the entire season— get to the Nationals bullpen late in games, it is our hope the Cardinals will be able to do so.
Cardinals ML

Our analysis was not on point here tonight. We acknowledge it and expect better. First rough stretch in quite a while as we now stand at 9-5-2 this month. We’ll push forward and look to build momentum again into the 2nd half of October
St. Louis Cardinals - Washington Nationals Under 4 runs (first five innings) @ (2.00/Even)

We’ll focus on the starting pitchers in this one. Dakota Hudson will pitch for the Cardinals. From a matchup perspective, we’re liking his chances to do well versus the Nationals lineup. We say this due to his massive pitching splits. We’ve mentioned it before but the Nationals will have 6 right handed batters in the lineup. This is significant as Hudson has been dominant against right handed batters holding them to a 0.232 batting average, a
0.296 wOBA and a groundball rate of 64.2%. With many F5 Under bets we’ve made, limiting the home runs have been the key. The groundball rate should help along with the Nationals hitting in this series. So far 9/13 Nationals runs have came with two outs. Timely hitting, yes, but hard to sustain over the course of an entire series. We’ll bet against this trend and will trust Hudson to generate ground balls and outs. On the other side we’ll see Patrick Corbin. One of the Nationals “Big 3” starters he’ll face a Cardinals team that has yet to show any life at all offensively. Although Corbin in a left handed pitcher facing many right handed batters, he’s still solid holding right handed batters to a 0.235 average, a 0.301 wOBA, a 49.7% groundball rate. Statistically the Cardinals hitters are in a better spot, but after watching every game thus far in this series, it’s extremely difficult to trust St. Louis. It was evident last night, and we missed the mark as they have yet to show any signs of being able to score runs in bunches. Patrick Corbin has mostly been working out of the bullpen but is back to his routine today. He’s fully rested having not started a game since October 3rd. So often the playoffs come down to rest and preparation. We have that situation with Corbin tonight along with team looking to sweep the series at home. Patrick Corbin has solid history against St. Louis only allowing a 0.239 batting average, a 0.316 wOBA, and just two home runs to the current Cardinals roster through 109 at bats. Overall we like the situations for both starters and like the value we’re getting with Under 4 with the safety of a push involved as well.
Nationals - Cardinals F5 Under

Tonight’s pick is a loss but we reach a key point as tonight was our 150th documented pick. We’ve used Blogabet for this starting on June 10th: (https://sports-betting-masters.blogabet.com) Since we’ve gone 89-54-7. We’re excited for the next 150 and continuing to share our analysis with you!
We’ve reached the halfway point this month and it’s been an interesting past two weeks to say the least. We stand at 9-6-2. A bit of regression after a hot start, but we’ll continue pushing forward and shift our focus to the second half beginning tomorrow. We wish everyone a great day!