Dog of the Day – 6/23/21

There are not many underdogs on the MLB slate that look too appealing, so forgive me for taking the low-hanging fruit. I seriously considered the Royals at +164 with Danny Duffy facing off against the Yankees’ Michael King. But with Duffy coming back from an injury, I doubt he’ll last long in this start. The play in that game might be the first five innings line +138 at FanDuel.

Instead, I am going to do more than just take the low-hanging fruit (the Fish). But I am also going to cheat and make this a double-dog day.

MLB dogs for Wednesday, June 23:

  • Miami Marlins (+104) hosting the Buffalo Blue Jays (-112)
  • Detroit Tigers (even) hosting the St. Louis Cardinals (-116)

Jays at Marlins

I can sometimes be guilty of overrating the starting pitching matchup, which is why I created MLB bullpen power rankings. But the Marlins have a very good pen, #11 in those rankings, and the starting pitcher matchup here is so heavily in their favor, I think it makes up for the discrepancy in lineups.

Trevor Rogers has been a top 10 pitcher in baseball this season and is showing no signs of slowing down. If nothing else, this will be worth the price of admission (your bet) to watch Rogers face off against this talented and deep Blue Jays lineup.

Opposing him is the human home-run machine, Robbie Ray. Ray can be good, he strikes out over 11 batters per nine, and has a 3.50 ERA in 74.2 IP.

However, for the second straight year, he is allowing over 2.0 HR/9, which is simply unacceptable. The Marlins can mash when they want to, and I think they might want to tonight.

Cardinals at Tigers

These are two of the worst bullpens in baseball. So, we should really be looking at the Over in this game (currently at 9). But these are also two challenged lineups. As for the bullpen matchup, as bad as the Tigers are, they’ve been much more unfortunate than the Cardinals and just got their closer Michael Fulmer back. Edge goes to the Tigers, as it does for every one of the Cardinals’ opponents.

The lineup edge here also goes to the Tigers if we’re judging by weighted on-base percentage. Detroit as a team is at .299 with the Cardinals at .294. By weighted runs created plus, the two teams are tied at 88. Comparing the two teams’ splits vs. RHP, the Tigers look even better ranking #18 in wOBA at .304 compared to the Cardinals ranking #25 at .289.

This brings us to the starting pitcher matchup. The Tigers go to rookie phenom Matt Manning, while the Cards turn to walk-machine John Gant. I’m not going to get too carried away with Manning, but he features a plus fastball, plus curve, and above-average changeup along with solid command.

Gant, on the other hand, might have the worst command in baseball among starting pitchers. In 61.2 innings, Gant has 46 strikeouts to 44 walks. Need I say more?

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