Thursday’s Major League Baseball Best Bet: Los Angeles at Toronto

May 21, 2015


Toronto right-hander R.A. Dickey is 1-5 with a 5.76 ERA and 1.36 WHIP this season, including going 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA and 1.18 WHIP at home, 1-4 with a 5.35 ERA and 1.35 WHIP at night and 1-2 with a 6.63 ERA and 1.36 WHIP over his last three starts. The veteran knuckle-baller’s poor start to the 2015 campaign is fully supported by his underlying metrics:

R.A. Dickey’s 2015 Metrics:

5.86 FIP & 5.16 xFIP
5.31 SIERA
4.14 K/9 & 10.7% K% (worst since 2006)
3.42 BB/9 & 8.8% BB% (worst since 2009)

“Truth of the matter is, I’m searching right now,” Dickey said. “Searching for answers, searching for consistency of movement.” Since allowing a run over eight innings of a 3-1 win over the Yankees on May 4, Dickey has been hammered for 13 runs and 17 hits over 11 innings in his last two starts.

“I’m not able to execute,” said Dickey, whose 94 home runs allowed since 2012 are the most in baseball. “It’s been the longest where I haven’t had the consistent movement that I’d like. I’ve had stretches like this before, and I’m confident it’s going to turn.” Fading Dickey in his current form, both physically and psychologically, makes for an excellent Best Bet.

While Dickey is 4-2 with a career 3.42 ERA and 1.20 WHIP versus the Angels, he has allowed a combined nine earned runs on 19 hits in his last 18.3 innings pitched against Los Angeles. Meanwhile, Los Angeles starter Matt Shoemaker is a perfect 3-0 on the road this season with a 3.60 ERA and 0.92 WHIP. In his last road outing on May 16, Shoemaker limited the Orioles to just one runs on three hits over seven innings (7/0 K/BB).

With Shoemaker toeing the rubber, the Angels are 12-1 in his last thirteen road starts, 9-2 in his last eleven starts as an underdog and a perfect 9-0 versus teams with a losing record. I also like the fact that Los Angeles is 21-8 in Shoemaker’s last 29 starts overall, including 4-0 in game 4 of a series.  These trends all support a Best Bet wager on the Angels.

Shoemaker is also 7-0 with a 3.00 in his last nine road starts. As a team, Los Angeles is 54-24 versus teams with a losing record, 45-19 versus starting pitchers with a WHIP greater than 1.30, 10-2 in game 4 of a series and 8-2 in its last ten games versus American League East opposition.

In contrast, the Blue Jays are a money-burning 8-20 versus American League West foes, 1-5 in their last six games off a loss, 0-6 in game 4 of a series and 1-4 in Dickey’s last five starts. With Los Angeles standing at 14-4 in this series, including 9-2 in Toronto, take the Angels as my free Best Bet and invest with confidence.

Thursday’s Major League Baseball Best Bet: Los Angeles Angels (+102)