Bales' Best MLB Bets (7/27/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for July 27, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
We have a game between two bad offenses that are undervalued at the moment. The Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers have combined for 15 runs in their first 6 games, hitting for .158 and .186 averages, respectively. These two teams faced a murderer’s row of pitching, though. Kansas City faced off against Shane Bieber, Mike Clevinger, and Carlos Carrasco while Detroit saw Sonny Gray, Luis Castillo, and Trevor Bauer. The Tigers found very little success against those three arms, but they did score a few runs against what was expected to be one of the better bullpens in the MLB. Nonetheless, the tide should turn for the offenses tonight.
Mike Montgomery will take the mound for the Royals. He posted a 4.95 ERA with a 4.61 xFIP and a 4.90 SIERA in 2019. Montgomery doesn’t strike out a lot of batters, but he keeps the ball on the ground. With that being said, he recorded an absurd 23.7% HR/FB rate, allowing quite a bit of power when his opponents got the ball in the air. On the surface, Montgomery struggled significantly more against left-handed batters, but his xFIP suggests there will be a bit of positive regression for righties in 2020. The southpaw also struggled with a 4.73 xFIP on the road last season. Furthermore, his opponents posted an elite 35.7% HR/FB rate with a 3.32 HR/9 against Montgomery on the road in 2019.
Detroit isn’t a dominant offense that is going to consistently score, but this is somewhat of an ideal matchup. They were more consistent at home in 2019, while hitting .258 with a .404 slugging percentage and a .714 OPS against left-handed pitching. The Tigers also have a few young players and saw their hitting improve in the second half of last season. Tonight, they are expected to utilize nine right-handed batters, taking full advantage of a left-handed pitcher on the mound. The Tigers offense also has some life in it after adding two lefty-mashers in Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron in the offseason.
Detroit will start Michael Fulmer, who isn’t a pitcher I’d normally be attacking. I respect his stuff and his peripheral stats suggest he’ll continue to find success at the MLB-level. With that being said, he’s only an opener tonight after returning from Tommy John surgery. He threw three innings of batting practice and there’s very little reason for Detroit to rush him into major innings. In other words, expect this to be a bullpen game for one of the worst bullpens in the MLB.
There have been suggestions that Tyler Alexander would play the long reliever role tonight. He saw limited action in 2019, holding left-handed batters to a 3.82 xFIP while righties saw it jump to 4.66. He also struggled with a 5.33 xFIP at home. Alexander struggles to get ground balls from right-handed batters, adding to the upside of the Royals offense tonight.
Kansas City is expected to start seven right-handed batters against the Tigers tonight. The backend of their lineup is a bit weak, but they have multiple All-Star caliber players that they can rely on near the top of the order. The Royals also have a pair of hitters that have stolen base potential every time they step on first, giving them the chance to turn walks or singles in scoring opportunities.
This game will feature two bad bullpens with a pair of starters that are surrounded by plenty of question marks. It’s the perfect opportunity to buy low on two offenses that have faced arguably the best six pitchers of any pair of series early this season. I don’t expect these offenses to light the league on fire throughout the season, but they have more than enough speed and power to find success in this matchup.
Bet 1.15 units on Kansas City and Detroit OVER 9.5 runs (-115) to win 1 unit
2020 MLB Season Record - 4-8 (-3.14 units)