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Wed, 06/04/14 - 8:10 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 969 ANA (-126) Pinnacle vs 970 HOU
Results: W, $200
969 LA Angels at Houston

Garrett Richards will look to bounce back from the worst start of his career against Jarred Cosart and the Houston Astros. Richards was completely awful last Friday night against the A's when he lasted just 0.2 innings and allowed five runs, including a grand slam. It was one of those nights where Richards just didn't have it and regression found him in a hurry. With that blip out of the way, he's a great bounce back candidate on Wednesday night against the Astros.

Richards threw just 37 pitches in last Friday's shellacking, so he'll be plenty rested for this outing on regular rest. That may have played a role as Richards had just 29 previous starts to his name. Prior to that start, Richards was still pitching well with a 3.44 ERA in the month of May. His important statistics that would project regression are well within the average range and his advanced metrics are now right around his current 3.66 ERA. Control has been an issue at times, but only four teams swing and miss more than the Astros.

Jarred Cosart threw the ball well in May, but four of those five starts came on the road in neutral or better parks for pitchers and Minute Maid Park is far from that. Cosart continues to struggle with his control, with a 15 percent strikeout rate and a walk rate near 12 percent. It's hard to fathom a low strikeout rate for a pitcher that sits in the mid-90s with his fastball, but that's Cosart.

Cosart is primarily a two-pitch pitcher with a fastball and a curveball. On the season, only the Blue Jays have hit fastballs better than the Angels have. Cosart has a 4.16 ERA but his advanced metrics do show some regression with a 4.50 xFIP and a 4.66 SIERA. Keep in mind that Cosart is a ground ball pitcher working with a very mediocre defense.

Another issue for Cosart is that he's lasting just between 5.1 and 5.2 innings per start and the Astros bullpen has been very unreliable this season. It's great to throw 95 and get outs, but Cosart is not efficient and that puts his team at a serious disadvantage against a lineup like the Angels, even if Trout misses the game.


Pick Made: Jun 4 2014 5:16AM PST
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