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The Weekly Taste: Three Plays for April 20

Dallas Keuchel

Dallas Keuchel

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

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I’m eternally sad for going 2-1 last night and still losing my crown in Battle of the Bets. While my opponent knocked me off of a six-game win streak, he threw in a couple chalk lattes to do it. Still, hat tip to Josh Wagner for the upset. Since April 12, JV is 18-7 in MLB. Just because I fall to the back of the line to reclaim my throne doesn’t mean we can’t stay hot!

*Each play will be labeled (1 through number “X”) to determine how I rank my plays on a daily basis.

Chicago White Sox (+125) @ Cleveland Guardians (-145) | Over/Under 7.5 (1)

Okay, let’s try this again after two-straight rainouts.

The baseball gods vehemently proclaimed they did not want the Sox getting another first five W. Some of the worst luck I have seen in a baseball game combined with the fact that Vince Velasquez has no business being a starting pitcher in any professional league decided the loss. Chicago now sits at 6-2-1 in the first half of ball games this season.

Dallas Keuchel is back on the bump for the South Side on Wednesday after an okay (?) debut against the Seattle Mariners last week giving up three runs and six hits in five innings. He faces a Guardians lineup that only managed to score four runs in three games vs. the San Francisco Giants. I mentioned last week there weren’t too many more pitchers in baseball that got more runs per start than DK last season (5.8). Chicago can plate runs in a hurry, but against Shane Bieber, it remains to be seen if the offensive firepower can carry over vs. a pitcher who is 5-1 against it since 2020.

Surprise, surprise. I am not OFFICIALLY touting the CWS F5, although at +138, it is definitely worth a sprinkle. With Eloy Jimenez out of the lineup in Game 1, I have hesitations. However, we are staying in the first half. In both of Bieber’s starts this year, the under has cashed. Not to mention out of his last six outings vs. Chicago, the under has hit four times.

PREDICTION: UNDER 4.5 runs F5 (-132) -0.5u

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Texas Rangers (+130) @ Seattle Mariners (-155) | Over/Under 7.5 (2)

Hello, darling. My child, the Mariners, have quietly taken four of their last five. Tonight they will go for the series against the division-rival Rangers. Logan Gilbert, fresh off a butter start against the White Sox (five innings, no earned runs), takes the ball as he looks to keep a lid on a gritty Texas lineup. There is not a ton to go off of, but Gilbert was okay vs. the Rangers last season. In three starts, he compiled a 4.15 ERA, .239 OBA and 17 K’s in 17 1/3 innings. Making his first home start of the year, he should be a great matchup against a lineup that has struggled to square up righties so far.

I’m not going to say the Mariners’ lineup is officially back, but it is definitely starting to look better with 29 runs over its past five contests. Even with its best hitter, Mitch Haniger, on the COVID list, Seattle poses a threat to Dane Dunning of the Rangers. Off to a weak start (8 2/3 IP, five earned runs, four walks in two starts this season), Dunning is not the kind of pitcher that strikes fear into the hearts of an opposing batter. After plating at least five runs in four of their last five contests, it would surprise me if the Mariners did not make it five of the last six. The home team should have a repeat performance of last night and cover the Run Line.

While I don’t particularly trust people with the name Logan, I definitely trust people named Dane a lot less. Love this fat plus money play.

PREDICTION: Mariners RL -1.5 (+140) -1.0u

Luis Severino O/U 5.5 Strikeouts vs. Detroit Tigers (3)

Don’t blink, but Sevy might be back. Eight innings, two earned runs, 11 punchouts in two starts. Take the stats out of it, he looks SHARP. The velo is back into the mid to high 90s and the slide piece is looking electric. This is exactly what the Yankees needed to see right now with Gerrit Cole morphing into an all out head case who is unable to throw strikes.

In his third start, Severino draws the Tigers, a ball club that has been dreadful against right handed pitching this season; a .176 batting average and 65 strikeouts in 234 at-bats to go along with an OBP, SLG and OPS that falls 60-100 points worse in every category compared to how they hit lefties.

To complement his arsenal, Sevy also may see his pitch count extended coming off an 83-pitch effort against the Toronto Blue Jays. There is a real possibility this incredibly sharp number is decided by the hook, but for a strong price Severino is definitely worth the over against a Detroit lineup that is middle of the pack with 92 punchouts.

This can be played out to -130.

PREDICTION: Severino OVER 5.5 Strikeouts (-122) -1.0u

Baltimore Orioles (+105) @ Oakland Athletics (-125) | Over/Under 8 (4)

11-0-1. That is the Under game record for the Orioles this season. As of April 20 (lol), this very well looks to be the most sure thing in the baseball betting market. Quite simply: their offense is trash and their pitching staff is also not good; but it is serviceable enough to keep the opposing team from blowing up the scoreboard. Jordan Lyles, fresh off a start against the Yankees where he there 5 1/3 innings and allowed just one earned run, takes the bump against an A’s squad that has been averaging five runs per contest thanks to a few big showings against the Rays.

Even if Oakland manages four or five runs tonight, their starter, Daulton Jeffries, should be able to contain this lethal lineup that has averaged 1.6 runs per outing. Jeffries’ 9 1/3 IP and two earned runs on the season should be a good sign to help keep the Orioles to less than four runs for the fifth straight game. If it makes you feel better, buy half a run to make a solid 8.5 total. This O’s team just is not very good, so we should try to ride the wave while it’s hot.

I played this at -110, but would lay it out to -125.

PREDICTION: Total UNDER 8 (-110) -1.0u

Have a taste, kid.

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