1U Clarke Schmidt (NYY) under 17.5 outs recorded (-140) available at BetMGM sportsbook at time of initial post to Twitter. Playable at that price or better. Would scale down bet size at 16.5 outs but favorite pivot is actually Corey Seager over 1.5 HRRBI.
Clarke Schmidt is below this 17.5 mark in 13 of his 15 starts this season. That includes a start made against these same Texas Rangers on 4/28 when he allowed 10 hits and 5 earned runs across a season-high 97 pitches. Despite throwing 14.5 more pitches than his season average in that matchup the right-hander only recorded 15 outs, falling a full inning short of this line. The 27-year-old former first-round pick has mainly been used out of the bullpen until this season and thus has very little experience dealing with lineups the 3rd time through the order. When exposed to that situation, across a sample size of 43 PA this season, Schmidt has allowed a 1.047 OPS with 6 extra-base hits. Aaron Boone is already a cautious manager who is more than willing to turn to his bullpen for certain advantages. This was true in both of Schmidt's recent starts against the Boston Red Sox. Boone pulled the right-hander with a lefty bat coming up to the plate in both of those games. The reasoning for pause when Schmidt is facing a lefty is because LHB are hitting .311 against him this season with a .207 ISO and .395 wOBA. Texas, Schmidt's matchup tonight, is expected to have 4 lefties in the lineup including Corey Seager and Nathaniel Lowe towards the top of the order. Their 3rd time up to bat could present a natural time for Schmidt to be relieved if any runners are on base or if his pitch count is high.
Schmidt does generate a decent number of ground balls, but Texas is one of the premier teams in baseball at lifting the ball in the air. Their 38.9% ground ball rate against right-handed pitching in the last 30 days is the 4th lowest mark in MLB. Schmidt's sweeper leads his pitch arsenal in usage, but he draws a Texas lineup that ranks 1st in wOBA and 5th in ISO against right-handed sweepers this season. They crush that offering. Texas also sits just above league average against right-handed cutters and Schmidt has allowed a .418 wOBA on that pitch this season. Domingo German was crushed yesterday by the Mariners, but the Yankees left him in as long as they could to save the pen. They only used 2 arms in the process, and the rest of their bullpen is well-rested for this series against the AL West leading Rangers. I like this play regardless of weather, but the fact that weather is even a possible concern gives this prop even more value. Current forecasts are calling for around a 60% chance of rain in the 8 and 9 PM hours. With a 7:05 EST start, that puts the game in jeopardy of a mid-game delay if the weather holds. With all things considered I see a ton of value in fading Clarke Schmidt today against the Texas Rangers.
1U J.P. France (HOU) under 17.5 outs recorded (-130) available at BetMGM sportsbook at time of initial post to Twitter. Playable to -140 odds. Pivots include Dodgers F5 TT O2.5 or France under 4.5 strikeouts.
You may check recent game logs and see the Houston Astros' right-hander J.P. France has exceeded this 17.5 outs prop in 4 straight starts and 5 of his 8 MLB start to date. In each of last 3 he has pitched into the 7th inning while completing that 7th frame twice. While France has filled in admirably for the Astros amid injuries to their pitching staff, he is not a big prospect or someone who was particularly dominant at the minor league level and is someone I am looking to sell high on in a tough matchup. The 28-year-old right-hander was a 14th round pick in 2018. In 2021 he began in AA before jumping to AAA for a sample of 80.1 IP. In those 17 games (13 starts) France posted a 4.70 FIP and 5.10 xFIP with a 4.26 BB/9. He pitched 110.2 more innings at that level in 2022 with a 4.60 FIP, 5.07 xFIP, and 4.15 BB/9. A 4.75 xFIP and 5.12 BB/9 in 19.1 AAA innings (only 3 of 5 appearances were starts) France was called up and has since been in the rotation. His 3.42 ERA across 47.1 IP in the majors is not supported by his 4.94 FIP and 4.59 SIERA.
Despite a very low 54.8% first pitch strike rate France is only walking 8.1% of his batters so far. That is unsustainable given his 60.2% strike rate which would rank tied for 105th among 110 qualified arms with Alek Manoah if France had enough innings to qualify. He generates chases on pitches outside the zone just 19.5% of the time this season which ranks 1st percentile in MLB. France has been fortunate to draw matchups against lineups that are both undisciplined and largely unproductive so far. The Los Angeles Dodgers are neither of those things. The Dodgers average the 6th most pitches per plate appearance on the season while chasing at the league's 2nd lowest rate and drawing walks against right-handers at the 2nd highest rate. While their chase rate is up of late, they have faced a slew of high chase and high spin rate arms with massive talent. It is not officially announced but it is somewhat expected that Max Muncy will return to the lineup tonight after it being announced this was his targeted weekend following his IL stint. His 4.41 pitches per plate appearance rank 2nd in baseball behind Ha Seong Kim, and his 19 homers are tied for 7th in the league despite his injury.
France leans heavily on his 93.3 MPH 4-seam fastball, throwing that pitch over 44% of the time and 56.1% when behind in counts. Los Angeles ranks 8th in ISO against right-handed 4-seamers this season. They will have 5 or 6 right-handed bats in tonight's lineup in all likelihood and France has reverse splits, at least at this level, allowing right-handed batters to post a .248 ISO and .356 wOBA while his ground ball rate is nearly chopped in half. Look for the Dodgers to get to France early and make Houston turn to their rested bullpen that had yesterday off.