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Fri, 05/16/14 - 8:10 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 926 MIN (-110) Pinnacle vs 925 SEA
Results: W, $200
Analysis: 926 Seattle at Minnesota

The Mariners head to Minneapolis for a weekend set against the Twins at Target Field. The series opener on Friday will feature a matchup between Chris Young and Kyle Gibson. Chris Young is due for some major regression. His ERA is 2.63, but his FIP is 4.80, his xFIP is 5.78, and his SIERA is 5.95. Those are all atrocious numbers in the advanced metrics. Young has made five of his six starts in extreme pitcher's parks with starts in Seattle, Miami, Oakland, and Yankee Stadium. Over 58 percent of Young's balls in play are fly balls. While Target Field is a rather neutral park, in large part because of the high wall in right field, the Mariners are one of the league's worst defensive teams and the left center and right center gaps are big at Target Field.

With advanced metrics like that, an above average walk rate, one of the league's worst strikeout rates for starters, and a matchup against a patient Twins lineup, this is a bad matchup for Young. He also throws nearly 80 percent fastballs and the Twins are the third-best offense in the league at hitting fastballs so far this season. Young's BABIP against is .179. He's always had a better than average BABIP because of the number of fly balls and a career made up of pitching for teams in good pitcher's parks, but it's still .251. That's more than a 70-point difference. Pitchers that can't strike hitters out shouldn't post 81% left on base rates. A lot of regression is coming for Young, especially in road parks. It should start here.

Kyle Gibson should get some help from Mother Nature in this start because cool, damp conditions will slow down ground balls and should make for some easier plays for the infielders. Gibson has a ground ball rate of nearly 50 percent and an infield fly ball rate of nearly 16 percent. Gibson is able to limit extra-base hits, which means that the opposition has to string hits together to score runs. The Mariners are batting just .230 on the season, which ranks 28th. Based on Gibson's Zone%, his walk rate should start to go down throughout the season. He's also pitching from ahead in the count more than last year.

Ultimately, the regression that we see projected in Young's advanced metrics are the big reason why we like this play. The Twins should put up a nice big number for Gibson and let their solid bullpen do the rest.


Pick Made: May 16 2014 4:43AM PST
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