Tuesday’s Major League Baseball Betting Preview & Free Pick

May 12, 2015


The Dodgers acquired right-hander Mike Bolsinger, who had been designated for assignment by the Diamondbacks, in exchange for cash considerations during the offseason.  The 27-year-old was 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA in ten games (nine starts) for the Diamondbacks last year, but those surface statistics do not tell the whole story.

Bolsinger features a cutter with a decent amount of downward break, together with a loopy curve (79-84 mph) that induces a large number of ground balls.  In fact, Bolsinger has been quite effective in keeping the ball on the ground in his professional career as evidenced by his 52.4% GB% last year and 56.3% GB% this season.

While the righty doesn’t possess overpowering stuff, he keeps his 88-90 mph fastball down in the zone.  Getting back to last year’s 5.50 ERA, Bolsinger’s fielding-independent numbers were excellent (90 xFIP-, 105 FIP-).  Prior to the trade, Bolsinger’s projection as a starter called for him to produce a 1.7 WAR every 200 innings, which exceeds replacement level talent.

Mike Bolsinger’s 2014 Analytics:

  • 4.01 FIP & 3.31 xFIP
  • 3.49 SIERA

Bolsinger made his season debut on April 23 wherein he allowed one run on five hits in 5 2/3-innings of work against San Francisco at AT&T Park.  Since that outing, Bolsinger has been pitching in Triple-A Oklahoma City where he is 2-0 with a 1.42 ERA and 0.95 WHIP.  Even more impressive is the fact that Bolsinger has compiled 28 strikeouts in just nineteen innings of work.

Los Angeles also possesses an elite bullpen that owns a 2.00 ERA and 1.03 WHIP this season, including a 0.94 ERA and 0.87 WHIP at home and a 1.87 ERA and 1.04 WHIP at night.  Prior to last night’s game, the Dodgers’ relief staff had not allowed a run over the team’s previous 10 home games, spanning 37⅓ innings.

Meanwhile, the Marlins are a money-burning 10-17 (-8.4 units) versus right-handed starters against whom they are batting just .263 with a .312 on base percentage (3.9 runs per game).  Let’s also note that Miami is averaging a mere 3.6 runs over its last seven games.

The ageless Dan Haren toes the rubber for Miami tonight, and the 34-year-old veteran is 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA and 0.91 WHIP in 2015.  However, Haren’s underlying metrics tell an entirely different story:

Dan Haren’s 2015 Analytics:

  • 4.61 FIP & 4.38 xFIP
  • 4.35 SIERA
  • 5.00 FIP & 4.20 xFIP on the road
  • 17% K% (4th worst in MLB career)
  • 1.46 HR/9 (2nd worst in MLB career)
  • 35% GB% (worst in MLB career)

Haren now faces his former team that is 14-2 at home this season, averaging 5.6 runs per game.  The Dodgers are also averaging 6.3 runs over their last seven games.  Haren is also hampered by an untrustworthy Miami bullpen that owns a 4.44 ERA and 1.41 WHIP this season, including a 4.71 ERA and 1.55 WHIP on the road, a 5.08 ERA and 1.47 WHIP at night and a 5.09 ERA and 1.92 WHIP over its last seven games.

The biggest concern for Miami has to be struggling closer Steve Cishek, who blew his fourth save in seven opportunities last night.  “It’s just very disappointing.  All I needed to do was get the last three outs of the game, but I continued to let the team down,” said Cishek.  “I mean, this is about as low as I can get.  This is a huge trial in my life right now career-wise, but I’ve always found a way to get out of it.  I’m waiting for that time to come.”

From a technical standpoint, Los Angeles is 21-6 in its last 27 home games versus teams with a losing record, 39-15 as a favorite, 41-17 as a home favorite, 37-15 at home, 38-17 versus right-handed starters (13-1 this season), 35-17 versus National League East opposition and a perfect 12-0 at home with a total between 7 and 8.5 runs this season.

In contrast, the Marlins are just 5-18 in their last 23 games versus teams with a winning record, 21-45 on the road versus .601 or greater opposition and 1-4 in their last five games versus right-handed starters.  Take the Dodgers in this Major League Baseball clash and invest with confidence.

Major League Baseball Best Bet: Los Angeles Dodgers (-142)