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Tue, 04/29/14 - 8:05 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 967 OAK (+100) Pinnacle vs 968 TEX
Results: W, $200
967 Oakland at Texas

Scott Kazmir will get his first crack at the Texas Rangers on Tuesday night while Martin Perez is forced to face the Oakland A's for the second consecutive start. There are a lot of injury indicators for Perez and a plethora of red flags that we think the A's can exploit in this start.

Perez is coming off of back-to-back complete game shutouts, which clearly inflate his value. For the fifth straight start, Perez has seen his average fastball velocity drop off. With the number of balls in play, especially ground balls, it's very unlikely that Perez will be able to sustain a .206 average against and a .252 BABIP. By Baseball Info Solutions data, Perez is throwing just 37 percent of his pitches in the strike zone. Hitters are making contact with almost 94 percent of the pitches in the strike zone. The margin for error for Perez is extremely thin. In his last two starts, he's managed to hold the opposition to BABIPs of .120 and .136. Expect the A's to make adjustments and chase less against Perez in this start.

The declining velocity and lack of location are major injury flags for Perez. He's gotten by with a lot of batted ball luck to this point in the season, especially over his last three starts, and those look to be a mirage.

Kazmir has exhibited tremendous control to this point in the season and too many people are questioning his start to the year because he has gotten to face the Astros twice. Kazmir is missing barrels, with a line drive rate against of just 11.2 percent. His velocity and strike-throwing tendencies have stayed consistent so far despite the triceps concern he had in Spring Training. All four of Kazmir's offerings have been above average pitches to date, so he is mixing speeds and changing eye levels very effectively.

The A's also have a major bullpen advantage in this one with the eighth-best bullpen FIP against the Rangers 19th-best FIP. If this is a tight game like the relatively low Arlington total of eight would suggest, the bullpens could play a major role in this one and we like where the A's bullpen is now that Jim Johnson has come around.


Pick Made: Apr 29 2014 4:56AM PST
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