Here are 4 wise wagers for tonight's Apple TV+ games

July 29th, 2022

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Tonight features the last pair of AppleTV+ games before we hit the Trade Deadline, where the landscape of baseball could change dramatically. We kick it all off at 7 p.m. ET, with the Tigers visiting the Blue Jays and then the Cubs at the Giants. Below, I’ll give two plays from each game that I like and will sweat along with all throughout the evening.

Tigers at Blue Jays
The wager: Blue Jays Team Total over 2.5 -1st 5 Innings
Line: -130 (bet $100 to win $77)

I expect the Blue Jays to get out to a quick start against the Tigers tonight. Facing Bryan Garcia is the reason, as he’s struggled mightily during his time in the Majors. Designated for assignment earlier this season, Garcia has posted a 7.55 ERA and an xERA of 8.36 in 39 games out of the bullpen. He’s allowed 10 home runs through 39 1/3 innings and lefties have really hit him hard, tagging him with a .499 wOBA. With this being his first start, it’s likely he’ll be used as an opener, although he has made three starts in Triple-A this season. This Tigers bullpen will also be shuffling around roles a bit, as one of their most reliable relievers in Andrew Chafin did not make the trip due to his vaccination status. 

Given his struggles in the Majors, the Blue Jays could realistically hit the over on this total before Garcia exits. This Blue Jays offense has been cooking since the All-Star break ended, averaging 9.3 runs per game. Of course, this total is inflated due to the 28 runs put up against Boston, but they’ve also scored at least five runs in four of the six games they’ve played. Give me the Blue Jays getting off to a quick start here tonight and scoring at least three runs before we get to the sixth inning.  

Tigers at Blue Jays
The wager: Alek Manoah outs recorded over 18.5
Line: -110 (bet $100 to win $91)

I like Manoah to go deep in this game. To win this bet, he needs to pitch at least 6 1/3 innings, something he’s done in seven of his 19 starts. I’m not expecting the Tigers to give him much pushback, as they currently own the lowest wOBA (.261), wRC+ (67), and ISO (.101) against righties. This Tigers offense is full of free swingers, as their walk rate is the third lowest at 6.5%, while also sporting one of the highest K% at 24.2%

Manoah has been downright untouchable almost the entire season. It’s quite impressive when you look at his 2.77 ERA for the month of July -- and that’s currently the highest it’s been for any month in 2022. When this is statistically considered the worst month of the season and yet you’re holding opposing hitters to a .211 average and a .259 wOBA, I think you’re doing just fine. Give me a lengthy start from Manoah against this Tigers club with at least 19 outs recorded.  

Cubs at Giants
The wager: Game Total Under 4 Runs – 1st 5 innings
Line: -125 (bet $100 to win $80)

This total through the first five innings feels a bit high, so I’m looking at the under. After a rough start to open the season, Marcus Stroman has really settled in as a Cub. Despite a clunker against the Cardinals before missing some time, Stroman has allowed two runs or less in eight of his last nine starts. It’s even more impressive that he’s doing this while inducing ground balls at the lowest rate we’ve seen in his career at 46.3%. For reference, Stroman has ended each season above 50% and even saw as high as 64% in 2015. Nonetheless, Stroman continues to limit the damage. He’s also at his best the first time through an order, as he has a 2.54 ERA with a .227 wOBA.  

Alex Cobb hasn’t seen the consistency we’ve seen from Stroman but he’s also at his best the first time through the order. His 1.93 ERA in that scenario shows that, to go with a .277 wOBA. Both Stroman and Cobb start to struggle the second time through but ideally, we’re coming close to closing out this bet once that happens.  

Cubs at Giants
The wager: Cubs Team Total over 3.5 runs
Line: -135 (bet $100 to win $74) 

I do like the Cubs to go over their 3.5 team total in this game. The biggest weakness for the Giants lately has been their bullpen and this is where I think the Cubs will get the offense going. Since coming out of the All-Star break, the Giants bullpen has a combined 7.00 ERA with a 5.1 BB/9. If you think this is too small of a sample, we can stretch this even further to the entire month of July. Doing that shows a 5.73 ERA, and a 5.2 BB/9. This has been a major hole in the Giants as of late and getting the Cubs to go over 3.5 runs feels plausible. The Cubs' offense hasn’t exactly been a juggernaut this month, but they are averaging 5.2 runs since coming out of the break. If this bullpen does more of the same, I think the Cubs can go over this total.

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