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Wed, 05/21/14 - 7:05 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 977 BAL (+101) Pinnacle vs 978 PIT
Results: L, -$200
977 Baltimore at Pittsburgh

We've had success betting against Wandy Rodriguez so far this season and we'll look to continue that trend when the Pirates host Chris Tillman and the Orioles on Wednesday night. After a stint on the disabled list for a knee injury, Rodriguez came back to throw five decent innings against the Brewers. After the game, Rodriguez told the media that his knee is still not 100 percent. His velocity returned after the DL stint, but his command did not as he allowed two more home runs and continued to pitch up in the zone at an alarming rate.

This season, 218 out of 388 pitches have been belt high or above from Rodriguez according to PITCHf/x data. With a guy like Rodriguez that sits in the upper 80s without a lot of deception, 56 percent of pitches up in the zone is a disastrous number. Hitters are posting an OPS of no worse than .780 against Rodriguez's four pitches. Nothing is working for him and we don't expect that to stop against a dangerous Orioles lineup.

Chris Tillman may lobby for a trade to Pittsburgh after this start. Tillman's problem has always been the home run, which tends to elevate his FIP and make it seem like regression is coming. However, Tillman outpitched his advanced metrics in 2012 and 2013 and is doing it again so far in 2014. This season, Tillman is throwing fewer cut fastballs and throwing more changeups and sliders to help with his ground ball rate. The changes have led to a drop in strikeouts and an increase in walks, but those should normalize throughout the season. The important thing is that hitters are barreling up Tillman less often with a three percent drop in line drives and a four percent drop in HR/FB%.

PNC Park should play into what Tillman wants to do and he's made it clear that the only way to score off of him is the long ball with batting averages against of .205, .238, and .231 over the last three seasons. Rodriguez still isn't healthy and there's absolutely no reason that he should be a favorite or even close to it against a decent team.


Pick Made: May 21 2014 4:58AM PST
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