Milwaukee right-hander Zachary Davies is having a solid 2016 campaign, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 17 starts. The 23-year-old has been particularly effective at home as evidenced by his 3.56 ERA, 3.78 xFIP and 22.8% strikeout rate (8.22 K/9).
Davies also toes the rubber in excellent form with a 1.35 ERA, 0.95 WHIP and 2.39 FIP in July (20.0 IP), together with an elite 4.1% walk rate (1.35 BB/9).
Davies possesses excellent command of his sinker and plus changeup, both of which have allowed him to post above-average exit velocity on balls in play. He is also throwing his cutter, four-seam and changeup more, which has also contributed to his vastly improved exit velocity suppression. Let’s also note that Davies owns a 2.84 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP since the outset of May.
Arizona southpaw Robbie Ray is also enjoying a solid season with a 3.55 FIP, 3.73 xFIP and a 3.65 SIERA, together with an elite 26.8% strikeout rate (10.87 K/9). Ray has really excelled away from the hitter-friendly confines of Chase Field, posting a 3.86 ERA (5.17 ERA at home) with a 29.3% strikeout rate (11.91 K/9) in 53.2 innings pitched.
The month of July has been even better for Ray wherein he has garnered a 31.1% K% (12.52 K/9) with a 2.92 FIP and a 3.31 xFIP. Ray’s surface numbers are being held back by an unsustainable .362 BABIP, including a .379 BABIP in July. The talented lefty has been incredibly unlucky with balls in play, and I expect a breakout second half for Robbie Ray once the inevitable BABIP regression takes place.
From a technical standpoint, the UNDER is 13-5-1 in Robbie Ray’s last 19 road starts and 8-2 in the Diamondbacks’ last 11 road games versus teams with a winning home record. The UNDER is also 5-0 in Milwaukee’s last five home games versus left-handed starters and 4-1-1 in the last six meetings in this series.
Oskeim Sports’ Free MLB Pick for Thursday, July 28: Arizona/Milwaukee UNDER 9 runs (-125)