Bales' Best MLB Bets (7/24/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for July 24, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
Aaron Nola struggled in 2019 compared to the years prior but still boasted a 3.87 ERA to go along with a 3.82 xFIP and a 4.14 SIERA. He was at his best in Philadelphia, where his xFIP dropped to 3.67 over 117.1 innings. His HR/9, strikeout rate, opponents batting average, WHIP, opponents wOBA, and BABIP all dropped at home last year, as well. There’s also reason to believe the 27-year-old could return to the sub-3.5 xFIP that he held for the majority of his career after a dominant Spring Training.
Nola gets a matchup against the Miami Marlins, who featured one of the worst and least powerful offenses in the MLB last season. The heart of their order will be a bit more dangerous after adding Jonathan Villar, Corey Dickerson, and Jesus Aguilar, but their lineup is still far from scary at this point. Oddly enough, Miami was worse on the road and slightly worse against right-handed pitching.
Sandy Alcantara enjoyed a solid surface-level 2019 season, posting a 3.88 ERA, although he only went 6-14 in 32 starts. His advanced metrics were far less impressive, though, recording a 5.17 xFIP and a 5.28 SIERA over 197.1 innings. Alcantara’s xFIP ballooned to 5.62 on the road, where his HR/9 also increased in 2019. Furthermore, he was at his worst against left-handed batters, who posted a .253 average with a .424 slugging percentage and a .323 wOBA against him.
The Philadelphia Phillies featured roughly an average team in terms of runs scored in 2019. They were significantly more consistent and powerful at home, though. Philadelphia added Didi Gregorius in the offseason and boast a high upside offense virtually from top to bottom. They also have a trio of high upside left-handed batters throughout the lineup for this particular matchup. The Phillies hit 57.2% of their home runs at home last season, and they are a team that can take advantage of Alcantara’s 35.9% fly ball rate.
One of my major concerns in this game is the bullpen. The Phillies bullpen struggled throughout the 2019 season, and it likely isn’t going to get better in 2020. With that being said, the Marlins bullpen is slightly worse. I also trust Nola to throw deeper into this game than Alcantara, forcing Miami to focus more on their bullpen arms than Philadelphia.
The Phillies have the edge in every category in this game. I wouldn’t be surprised if this game gets out of hand with home runs, though. Alcantara held his opponents to a 10.8% HR/FB rate last season, but normal fly balls can quickly turn into home runs in Philadelphia. Nola will be able to limit Miami’s opportunities, as he boasts a career 50.6% ground ball rate. Even so, the Marlins don’t feature many powerful bats throughout their lineup, giving the massive edge to Philadelphia, as they won’t necessarily need to string hits together to find runs.
Bet 1 units on Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 run line (+102) to win 1.02 units
2020 MLB Season Record - 2-0 (+5.6 units)
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