With 6 weeks left in the 2017 MLB Regular Season, every day there are possible value baseball plays. My Thursday, August 17 game has the Philadelphia Phillies traveling to San Francisco to battle the Giants. There should be a nice money line value play in that contest.
2017 MLB Week 17 Weekend Preview and Picks
The Yankees battle the Red Sox in Boston this weekend. Boston beat New York in 2 out of 3 last week while on the road. Friday’s game between the two legendary rivals is where I see the most value.
Saturday’s value game is between AL Central rivals Cleveland and Kansas City. KC is in the midst of a desperate fight for the final wildcard spot. The team the Royals are battling for the final wildcard spot are the L.A. Angels.
The Angels show up in my Sunday value play game. The Angels battle the Baltimore Orioles who aren’t yet out of the wildcard chase. The weekend series between the Angels and Orioles could be a great one.
Thursday, Aug. 17
Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants
The Giants, who remain one of the worst teams in baseball, send Jeff Samardzija to the mound for this Thursday game versus the Phillies. Samardzija hasn’t been the worst pitcher on the Giants’ staff. His record of 7 and 12 isn’t all that terrible considering the Giants overall record. Not only that, but Samardzija has a 4.74 ERA, and a decent 1.19 WHIP.
As crazy as it sounds, Jeff Samardzija has never faced a player on the Philadelphia Phillies current roster. Should that help Samardzija? It should. The Phillies only bat .248 as it is. They average 3.49 runs per game. Facing a pitcher they’ve never faced before shouldn’t give Philly batters the advantage.
Philadelphia sends Aaron Nola to the mound to counter Samardzija. The 24-year-old former LSU pitcher has an excellent 3.02 ERA. His WHIP is 1.15. His record of 9 and 7 is also great when one considers that the Phillies are 43 and 73 overall as of August 14.
Although Jeff Samardzija should have an advantage over the Philly batters, the advantage may not be as great as Aaron Nola’s advantage over Giant batters. The Giants bat .556 versus Nola. That’s a scary batting average.
But the batting average is because the Giants are 6 out of 9 against the Phils’ listed starter on Thursday. Brandon Crawford is 1 out of 2. Jarrett Parker is 1 out of 2. Buster Posey is 2 out of 2. Denard Span is 1 out of 3.
Nola has pitched well in his last 10 starts. He hasn’t allowed more than 2 earned runs in his last 10 starts. His record in those last 10 is 6-2-2. What’s fantastic about that is Philadelphia’s bullpen and batters are responding when Aaron Nola starts.
I think that’s a terrific sign that Nola and the Phillies are the team to beat in this matchup. Even if Philadelphia is favored, unlikely, but even if they are, the odds shouldn’t be more than -110. That constitutes value in my book because Aaron Nola’s pitched much better for the past couple of months than Jeff Samardzija has.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies money line
Friday, Aug. 18
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
MLB Network is going to broadcast Friday’s battle between the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox. It’s an incredibly important game for the Yankees who are now 4.5 games behind Boston in the AL East Division.
The Yankees have listed pitcher Jordan Montgomery as their starter. Montgomery has a 3.94 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. He also has a winning record at 7-6. He’s faced Boston batters 36 times. Although that’s not enough data to determine how well Montgomery is always going to pitch against the Red Sox, so far, he’s thrown well. The Red Sox only have 8 hits off Jordan Montgomery. The batting average is .222.
Boston’s listed starter for this August 18 game is Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz has an exceptional 12-4 record this season. His ERA is a fantastic 3.39. His WHIP is somewhat high at 1.34. But, based on his record, the high WHIP hasn’t hurt him at all.
Pomeranz allows the Yankees to bat .266. He’s faced Yankee batters a total of 139 times. Aaron Judge is 2 out of 7 against Pomeranz. Gary Sanchez is 6 out of 13. Sanchez has 3 home runs and 6 RBIs from those 6 hits.
The last time Pomeranz faced the Yankees, he pitched well. He lasted 6.2 innings. He allowed 3 earned runs off 7 hits. Pomeranz struck out 5, walked 2, and gave up a single home run. The Red Sox beat the Yankees 10 to 5.
In Jordan Montgomery’s last start against Boston, he didn’t pitch badly. He only lasted 5.1 innings. But, he only allowed 2 hits and a single earned run. Montgomery did walk 3 batters. That didn’t seem to affect the Yankees too much as they ended up losing 2 to 3.
I believe Pomeranz and the Red Sox get overplayed in this game. Pomeranz’s overall record is much more impressive than Jordan Montgomery’s. Almost as important is the fact that Boston has dominated New York the last couple of series between the 2 historical rivals.
Montgomery should pitch another great game. With some luck, the Yankees might turn the tables on the Red Sox in this matchup.
Pick: New York Yankees money line
Saturday, Aug. 19
Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
Kansas City must try and win every game they play from here on out. The final wildcard spot is up for grabs. The Royals try to knock off the AL Central rival Cleveland Indians on Saturday, August 19 by sending ace Jason Vargas to the mound. Vargas has a nice 3.45 ERA to go along with a decent 1.28 WHIP. His record on the season is 14-6.
The Tribe counters Vargas with Trevor Bauer. Bauer’s record is 11-8. His WHIP is 1.42. His ERA is 4.75. Bauer has faced Kansas City batters 133 times. He’s allowed 32 hits. 5 of the 32 hits went for home runs. The Royals bat .241 against Bauer.
This game on Saturday could either be a high-scoring affair where both pitchers fail miserably. Or, it could be one of those games where neither team gets much going. I believe that KC ends up the favorite on both the money line and the run line.
The value is in playing Cleveland straight up. The reason is because no matter what happens, Vargs and Bauer both blow it early, or Vargas and Bauer both step it up until the 6th inning, the game should come down to each squad’s bullpen.
Cleveland’s bullpen has been much better lately than Kansas City’s. The Tribe’s bullpen is ranked first in MLB based on ERA. Cleveland’s BP has a 2.97 ERA. No other bullpen in MLB has an ERA less than 3.00. The L.A. Dodgers’ bullpen’s ERA is 3.02.
I think Cleveland’s bullpen does a good enough job for the win. If Cleveland is favored, I’ll give up the 1.5 on the run line.
Pick: Cleveland Indians money line or run line
Sunday, Aug. 20
Los Angeles Angels at Baltimore Orioles
The hot Los Angeles Angels send pitcher J.C. Ramirez to the mound. Ramirez is 10-10. His ERA is 4.26 while his WHIP is 1.35. He’s only faced Oriole batters 36 times. The fact that he’s allowed 12 hits for .333 batting average doesn’t mean much.
Baltimore battles the en fuego Angels on Sunday with pitcher Kevin Gausman. Gausman has a 5.08 ERA and a 1.60 WHIP. His record is 9-8. The Angels have a .329 batting average versus the Orioles’ listed starter for August 20. From 79 at-bats, the Halos have 26 hits.
Don’t let Gausman’s overall stats fool you. He’s been much better in the second half of the season than he was in the first half of the season. Gausman’s tossed 5 quality starts in his last 6. The one non-quality start was against the Angels on August 9.
Could Gausman make the adjustments for this Sunday game? I believe he will. If the Angels start Parker Bridwell in this game, I might go the other way, but if Ramirez shows up as the actual starter, I’m taking a shot on Baltimore to win straight up if they’re the dogs.
If Baltimore is the favorite, I’m all over the run line.
Pick: Baltimore Orioles money line or run line