MLB Play 7/24

1 unit – St. Louis Cardinals -.5 (-120) first 5

Our first bet of the 2020 baseball season comes from St. Louis in a pitching matchup that will feature Joe Musgrove for the Pirates and Jack Flaherty for the Cardinals.  While both starters had solid seasons last year, Flaherty established himself as one of the best starters in the MLB.  In just his second season in the MLB, Flaherty posted a 2.75 ERA and a .968 WHIP earning himself an All-Star appearance and a fourth-place finish in NL Cy Young voting. Musgrove, on the other hand, has also solidified himself as a solid big-league starter.  Over his four seasons in the MLB, Musgrove has had an ERA in the 4’s and a WHIP around 1.2-1.3 each year.  What really makes me like this matchup is how the pitchers compared against each other’s respective teams’ last year.  Last year, in four starts against the Cardinals, Musgrove was 0-4 with no quality outings.  His best outing of the four, he lasted just 5.1 innings giving up 3 runs but yielded 9 baserunners.  Musgrove’s three other outings had the same theme: baserunners all over the diamond.  In 18 innings against the Cardinals he had 12 walks, 24 hits and 20 earned runs.  Flaherty, meanwhile, in two starts allowed just one earned in 15 innings earning a win and a no decision. 

            It’s impossible to know where every player is at physically and mentally right now with all the unknowns and limited preparation time with the team, but I think the Cardinals are one of the best fit teams to adapt to these circumstances.  The Cardinals have a veteran manager and their lineup is comprised of experienced players led by Goldschmidt and Yadi Molina.  I think the experience, continuity in the clubhouse with their entire lineup returning, and leadership will help them adjust to these unknown circumstances.  I expect the Cardinals lineup to have the same patient approach they had at the plate last year against Musgrove and capitalize on his mistakes. 

Leans:

Braves +150

A’s -140

Indians -1.5 (-120)

— Odds courtesy of Mybookie.ag

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