Bales' Best MLB Bet (9/3/20)
Welcome to my newest edition of Bales' Best MLB Bets. In this article, I will outline my favorite bet for September 3, 2020. You can also find all of Bet Karma's staff bets through our MLB Premium Package.
Zach Eflin has been enjoying a solid season, allowing 12 earned runs over 26.1 innings. He has thrown better than his numbers show, though, as he also boasts a 3.02 xFIP and a 3.18 SIERA. Furthermore, his BABIP sits at .365 through 5 starts. Eflin consistently has found ways to get out of trouble, as he enters this game with 33.3% strikeout and 46.9% ground ball rates in 2020.
The major concerns with Eflin are his struggles in Philadelphia and against left-handed batters. Last season, be posted a 5.61 xFIP at home against lefties. While he has still struggled against lefties in 2020, it looks as if he has continued to progress and he has found success in Philadelphia early on. Eflin is a pitcher that needs to get ahead in the count and his 64.9% first-pitch strike rate in 2020 has certainly helped.
I don’t expect Eflin to be untouchable today, as he gets a tough matchup against the Washington Nationals. They rank 10th in the MLB in team batting average, slugging percentage, and wOBA over the last 10 days. They’re averaging 4.6 runs per game over that span but haven’t scored in their last 2 games in Philadelphia. Ultimately, they have found more success as an offense on the road but they have struggled significantly more against right-handed pitching. They also don’t feature many left-handed bats that have the power to truly worry Eflin on the mound.
Anibal Sanchez will be taking the mound for Washington. He’s allowed 23 earned runs over 30 innings thus far. He has also struggled with a 5.35 xFIP and a 5.07 SIERA in 2020. Sanchez struggles to get strikeouts while allowing 39.6% fly ball and 19% HR/FB rates. Overall, he owns a 2.40 HR/9 in 2020. Since joining the Nationals, Sanchez has struggled on the road, allowing an xFIP well over 5.00. He was slightly worse against right-handed batters in 2019 but that has switched to lefties in 2020, suggesting he’ll continue to struggle against both sides of the plate.
Sanchez gets a matchup against a scorching hot Philadelphia Phillies offense. They rank eighth in the MLB in team batting average, fifth in slugging percentage and sixth in wOBA over the last 10 days. The Phillies are averaging 6.0 runs per game in those contests, as well. They have found success at home, on the road, and against either handedness, although they are at their best in Philadelphia. They boast the power throughout their lineup to give Sanchez troubles in a hitter-friendly stadium.
The Phillies feature the highest bullpen ERA in the MLB but they rank 18th in xFIP, suggesting their bullpen is due for positive regression. That has been coming, as they rank 11th in the MLB in bullpen ERA over the last 10 days. Over that span, the Nationals rank 27th with a 5.94 bullpen ERA. Washington also ranks second-last in bullpen xFIP over the last 10 days, suggesting Philadelphia could find plenty of success once Sanchez is out of the game.
Bet 1 unit on Philadelphia Phillies -1.5 RL (+114) to win 1.14 units
2020 MLB Season Record - 22-36 (-14.09 units)