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Big Al's Daily Angle: NBA, NHL and MLB Previews and Odds - 05/30/2024

by Big Al Staff

Thursday, May 30, 2024

The Thursday sports card features NBA, NHL, and MLB action.The National Basketball Association continues the playoff season with Game 5 of the Western Conference finals. The Dallas Mavericks host the Minnesota Timberwolves on TNT and truTV at 8:35 p.m. ET. The Timberwolves extended this series to a fifth game with their 105-100 upset victory as a 1.5 road underdog on Tuesday. Dallas had won five games in a row before that loss. They hold a 3-1 series lead. The Mavericks are a 5-point favorite, with the total set at 209.5 (all odds from DraftKings). The National Hockey League playoffs continue with Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals. The Florida Panthers travel to New York to play the Rangers on ESPN at 8:10 p.m. ET. The Panthers evened this series at 2-2 with their 3-2 win in overtime on Tuesday. They have won six of their last nine games. New York had won the previous two games in this series in overtime. Florida is a -122 money-line road favorite with an over/under of 5.5.The Thursday card in Major League Baseball has eight games on its schedule. Three MLB games throw out the first pitch at 1:10 p.m. ET. The Oakland A’s play at Tampa Bay to play the Rays. Neither team has yet to declare their starting pitcher. The Minnesota Twins play at home against the Kansas City Royals. Chris Paddack takes the ball for the Twins to pitch against Brady Singer for the Royals. Minnesota is a -125 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. The Milwaukee Brewers are at home against the Chicago Cubs. The Brewers tap Colin Rea to battle against the Cubs’ Jameson Taillon. Milwaukee is a -125 money-line favorite with an over/under of 8.5.The Seattle Mariners host the Houston Astros at 4:10 p.m. ET. Logan Gilbert goes to the mound for the Mariners to face Spencer Arrighetti for the Astros. Seattle is a -142 money-line favorite with a total of 7.5. Two MLB games start at 7:10 p.m. ET. The Boston Red Sox play at home against the Detroit Tigers. The Red Sox turn to Nick Pivetta to duel against the Tigers’ Jack Flaherty. Boston is a -122 money-line fate with an over/under of 8. The Arizona Diamondbacks are in New York to play the Mets. Zac Gallen grabs the ball for the Diamondbacks to battle against Christian Scott for the Mets. Arizona is a -120 money-line road favorite with a total of 7.5.The Atlanta Braves are at home against the Washington Nationals at 7:20 p.m. ET. The Braves turn to Reynaldo Lopez to go against the Nationals’ Trevor Williams at 7:20 p.m. ET. Atlanta is a -225 money-line favorite with an over/under total of 8.5. The New York Yankees visit Los Angeles to play the Angels at 9:38 p.m. ET. Carlos Rodon goes to the hill for the Yankees to go against Patrick Sandoval for the Angels. New York is a -180 money-line road favorite with a total of 8.5.

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May Starting Pitching NL Overachievers

by Nelly's Sports

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

May Starting Pitching NL Overachievers There are a few pitchers that stand out as overachievers in the month of May, posting impressive conventional numbers but with some concerns lurking deeper in the data. Here are four National League starters which you’ll likely want to likely avoid supporting moving forward after fortunate recent runs on the mound that are not likely sustainable.  Bailey Falter – Pittsburgh Pirates There has been some recent enthusiasm and improved play from the Pirates with the arrival of rookie Paul Skenes but Bailey Falter has also posted good numbers in the rotation. Falter was among MLB’s worst starters in 2023 eventually landing with the Pirates after being traded by the Phillies after being unable to match his solid 2022 results and being relegated back to AAA. Falter has a 3.55 ERA so far for Pittsburgh this season including a 2.73 ERA in the month of May. That success came with a 3.4 K/9 in the month as his FIP is 5.14. His BABIP is just .198 in his four May starts for incredible fortune. Falter has made three of his last four starts at home as well while posting a 4.73 season ERA on the road.  Andrew Abbott – Cincinnati Reds A second round pick in 2021, Andrew Abbott is a prized young left-handed starter for the Reds that delivered good numbers in his rookie season last year with a 3.87 ERA and a 9.9 K/9 in 21 starts. This season his ERA is down to 3.29 but in the month of May Abbott had a 5.06 FIP next to a 3.30 ERA. For the season his K/9 has fallen to just 6.6 and he has allowed 11 home runs in 11 starts. Abbott’s season includes road starts in several favorable pitching venues and he has stronger numbers away from home for the season. Abbott did not pitch well in his most recent start with six runs allowed and over his last four starts he has only 11 strikeouts in 25 innings of work.  Javier Assad – Chicago Cubs A surprise success story for the Cubs, Javier Assad has great numbers through his first 11 starts in 2024. He did take his first loss of the season in his last start in St. Louis put he has a 2.42 ERA in the month of May. Somehow Assad has avoided damage even with a 4.9 BB/9 in May as his BABIP is just .243 and he owns an over 88 percent strand rate. Assad has pitched well against a few contenders posting quality starts at Wrigley Field against the Brewers and Braves in May but there is little to suggest Assad can continue an All-Star caliber pace throughout the season.  Austin Gomber – Colorado Rockies Austin Gomber has brought his ERA down to 2.76 for the season with an impressive run in May, posting an 0.68 ERA in four starts. Gomber was dealt to the Rockies as part of the Nolan Arenado trade in 2021 and after a solid first season with the Rockies he has not had much success the past two seasons. The difference so far this season is a .232 BABIP compared to his career average of .293. He has also stranded nearly 88 percent of his baserunners this season compared to a career average of just over 71 percent. Gomber pitched on the road in three of his four starts and faced struggling Pittsburgh and Oakland lineups in that run as well. The run of success for Gomber is likely to be short-lived and his ERA is likely to climb closer to his current FIP of 4.60 by season’s end. 

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May Starting Pitching AL Overachievers

by Nelly's Sports

Wednesday, May 29, 2024

May Starting Pitching AL Overachievers There are a few pitchers that stand out as overachievers in the month of May, posting impressive conventional numbers but with some concerns lurking deeper in the data. Here are four American League starters which you’ll likely want to likely avoid supporting moving forward after fortunate recent runs on the mound that are not likely sustainable. Triston McKenzie – Cleveland Guardians Triston McKenzie broke into the big leagues with big strikeout counts in 2020 and 2021 but so far in 2024 his K/9 is 8.5, the lowest of his career. This season and last season, walks have been a huge problem for McKenzie, including allowing 34 in just over 57 innings this season. McKenzie had a few rough April starts but he has a 3.06 ERA in six starts in May as Cleveland continues to control the AL Central. McKenzie has a 5.57 FIP in that span however and only six percent of his baserunners have scored. His BABIP is May is just .205 and while McKenzie has posted a low BABIP throughout his career, that is an exceptionally low mark. McKenzie has allowed 11 home runs in 11 starts and he has already faced the White Sox twice, in addition to facing the Athletics and Rockies for several favorable early season draws.  Marcus Stroman – New York Yankees After two solid seasons with the Cubs, Stroman received a two-year deal with the Yankees and so far the move has been a success with Stroman pitching well and the Yankees leading the AL East. Stroman’s numbers are pretty similar to the past two seasons in terms of strikeouts and walks, but his ERA is just 2.76 thanks a drop in his BABIP and a big rise in his strand rate with only 15 percent of baserunners scoring against him. A strong New York bullpen has helped to leave runners on the bases, but Stroman simply has had some good luck in the first two months of the season, particularly in May with a 1.78 ERA in his last five starts even with a weak 6.2 K/9. Stroman has stranded 94 percent of his baserunners in May, a rate that will be impossible to keep up over the rest of the season.  Michael Lorenzen – Texas Rangers A useful option as a starter or reliever and with some pinch hitting potential, Lorenzen has carried his weight bouncing around the league the past few seasons. He famously threw a no-hitter with the Phillies last August but eventually landed back in the bullpen. Due to injuries elsewhere in the rotation Lorenzen has been counted on to take regular turns in the Texas rotation and the results have been good with a 3.35 ERA in eight starts. Lorenzen has a worse than 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season and his month of May includes a 2.87 ERA but a 4.34 FIP. Lorenzen has turned in three quality starts in a row, but he has rarely had sustained runs of starting success in his career, something that isn’t likely to change at age 32. He recently left his last start with knee cramping and his season could unravel further from there.  Griffin Canning – Los Angeles Angels It has been a miserable season for the Angels but in the month of May, Griffing Canning has put together a run of five solid starts, pitching at least five innings while allowing three or fewer runs in each. He struggled mightily in April and still owns a 5.08 season ERA but in May it was just 2.60. His FIP in May was 5.30, however, seventh highest among all qualified AL starters. Canning still has poor strikeout and walk rates and few pitchers have a worse HR/9 than Canning in his career at 1.56, a rate he has even topped so far this season. Canning has only had 36 percent groundballs this season and is on pace for his worst K/9 in his career at just 6.5, compared to 9.0 in his career. Canning and the Angels won’t command strong valuations, but the recent run of success is more than likely to be short positive blip on Canning’s season.  

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