Monday’s MLB Betting Preview: Angels at Indians
Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer possesses an electric arm that includes a fastball capable of reaching 95 mph. The 23-year-old prospect has been very good at Progressive Field this season where he owns a 2.50 ERA and 1.16 WHIP (18 IP; 15 H; 5 ER; 21 K; 6 BB). Overall, Bauer is 1-3 with a 4.24 ERA and 1.32 WHIP in 2014, including going 1-0 with a 4.38 ERA and 1.37 WHIP at night and 0-1 with a 4.59 ERA and 1.13 WHIP over his last three starts. However, those peripheral numbers are grossly misleading in light of Bauer’s positive metrics, including a 3.64 xFIP and a 3.48 SIERA.
Control has always been an issue for Bauer, although his command seems to be getting significantly better this season.
2012-2013: 59% strikes
2014: 63% strikes
2012-2013: 57% strikes
2014: 65% strikes
In his first eight starts in the Majors, Bauer walked 29 of 158 batters. Over this year’s first four starts, the young hurler walked just nine of 95 batters, together with a much better rate of strikeouts. In 2013, Bauer’s walk rate was 19.8%. Through six starts this season, Bauer’s walk rate is down to 8.4%. Watching game tape from this year also indicates that Bauer has changed his mechanics, which has resulted in increased velocity with better location. Scouts at Pro Edge have also noticed that Bauer has included a cutter to his arsenal, which he throws 11% of the time with a corresponding 79% strike rate.
Bauer’s inclusion of a cutter has helped to keep batters honest as hitters have swung 50% of the time (38% before cutter), and 36% of the time at pitches out of the zone (22% before cutter). The only remaining concern surrounding Bauer is the fact that he has baseball’s highest rate of pitches thrown at least three feet off the ground, but he’s only 23-years-old and has made significant progress this year.
Meanwhile, Los Angeles veteran Jered Weaver has watched his fastball velocity drop for the fifth consecutive season. Weaver is walking more batters and continues to maintain an alarmingly-low ground-ball rate of 36%. Overall, Weaver is 7-5 with a 3.51 ERA and 1.17 WHIP, although he toes the rubber in terrible form as evidenced by his 5.71 ERA and 1.67 WHIP over his last three outings. June has been a disaster for the 31-year-old right-hander as Weaver has yielded 11 earned runs in three starts after giving up only 12 earned runs in his previous eight outings. Let’s also note that Weaver owns a pedestrian 4.00 ERA and 1.31 WHIP in six road starts this season.
Weaver’s metrics also suggest that the second-half of the season does not bode well for him as he owns a 4.37 xFIP and a 4.18 SIERA. As for the team’s respective bullpens, Cleveland maintains a decisive advantage in this category. Cleveland relievers enter tonight’s game with a 3.13 ERA and 1.27 WHIP, including a 3.03 ERA and 1.15 WHIP at home and a 3.05 ERA and 1.32 WHIP at night. In contrast, the Angels’ relief corp. owns a 4.36 ERA and 1.36 WHIP on the year, including a 4.83 ERA and 1.45 WHIP on the road and a 4.54 ERA and 1.37 WHIP at night.
From a technical standpoint, Cleveland is a profitable 72-42 (+23.2 units) at home, 30-16 (+15.8 units) versus A.L. West opposition, 32-14 (+14.4 units) at home after two or more consecutive wins, 21-6 (+14.5 units) at home after yielding three or less runs in consecutive games and 18-5 (+12.5 units) at home following a win by one run. Cleveland is also 7-0 in its last seven home games versus right-handed starters, 6-0 in its last six games versus teams with a winning record, 8-2 in its last ten games following a win and 8-0 in its last eight home games with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs. With the Indians standing at 11-5 in their last sixteen games and 35-17 in their last 52 home games, Pro Edge Sports recommends a solid wager on the nominal home favorite tonight. We hope you found today’s MLB betting preview both helpful and profitable!