Ohtani at Bat
Shohei Ohtani at Bat

Degens Only: Wednesday Plays, June 23

Well, MLB rolled out their substance checks this week and opposing managers really went after the opportunity to make sure that the opposing guy was clean. We saw it basically from the start the Royals go after Gerrit Cole, DeGrom laughed as his check was conducted, and Max Scherzer started basically started stripping on the mound leading to Max staring down the Philly dugout while walking off the field, which led to Phillies manager Joe Girardi getting ejected as Max continued to show his hat and glove in the Nationals dugout. Two things are clear from the roll out. First being that the umpires either don’t really care too much and do some brief showman check, or since they really don’t have too much training on spotting substances, unless it’s obvious, since let’s be honest a good 85% of pitchers were using something. Second Trevor Bauer was completely right and MLB has completely screwed this up. Something not messed up, today’s plays, let’s get into it.

Fear the Deer: Bucks Team Total over 116
Listen, I think the Hawks making it here is great and that everyone outside Atlanta never expected them to make it past Philly, but there comes a time where all magical runs end and this is it. When you run into someone who wants it more than you do, and has the supporting pieces to make it happen, it usually happens. Giannis wants this title so badly, and he is not going to let the Hawks spoil it for him. The Bucks definitely found their rhythm taking down the Nets and will carry that momentum into this series with the Hawks. The Sixers were able to put up comparable numbers to this total against the Hawks and the Bucks are a better offensive team than the Sixers, so look for these games to be high scoring. For this game, I like the Bucks to try and set the Tempo in this one and show the Hawks what their up against. Take the Bucks Team Total over 116.

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Asian Superman: Angels / Giants F5 under 4
It’s Ohtani time again. If he does not win MVP, it’s rigged.  What he is doing this season is truly incredible. Pitching lights out and has 20+ homers before the halfway point. Just listen to his numbers; five earned runs in three starts, 14 hits allowed, and an insane 23/3 K/BB ratio. Gausman has been dealing himself for the Giants this season. We have highlighted these two guys many times before and know all of the stats surrounding their solid starts. With the Angels still battling the injury bug, this game should stay low scoring as both pitchers will likely go as long as they can for their teams in this one. Take the F5 under 4.

New York Royalty: Royals F5 +.5
Both teams have been right around .500 lately, but King for the Yankees has been pretty bad and has had consistent short outings in each of his starts this month. Duffy was on a roll for the Royals before heading to the DL. He makes his return tonight and should find some early success against a strike out heavy Yankee lineup. If the Royals can get a few early ones off King, that should help relax some of the nerves for Duffy and put this one in the bag for the Royals. Grab the half run insurance and take the Royals F5 +.5.

Blast Off: Astros -1.5
The Astros are scorching hot right now, 9-1 in their last 10. They have enjoyed beating up on the Orioles the past two games of this series, outscoring the birds 13-3. While the Orioles send their best attempt to slow down this Houston lineup to the mound today, we all know it is not going to be enough. The Astros are league leaders in batting average from both sides of the plate. Urquidy takes the hill for the Astros today and besides a bad start against Toronto, he has been solid going seven innings each of his last two outings, allowing two and three runs while striking out five+ in each outing. Urquidy greatest strength is that he throws strikes and barley walks anyone, he has only 12 walks in 12 starts this season this is not good news for an Orioles team that is at the top of the league in strikeouts. Take Houston -1.5.

“Shohei Ohtani” by shinya is licensed with CC BY-ND 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

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