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Angels vs. Braves, 12:20 ET
Sometimes I wonder how much mentally goes into pitching a baseball. These pitchers are much different than they were a mere 20 years ago. That’s not a shot at them, my arm hurts when I throw my daughter in the pool. I can only imagine how difficult it is to throw a ball 90 mph 100 times a game. But, that’s the physical side of it. The mental side of it, the side of having to figure out scouting reports, or adjust to a new pitching coach in the middle of the season, etc. That’s the stuff that I wonder how much of an impact is there.
The Angels have a new pitcher on the hill for them in today’s game against the best team in baseball, the Braves. This will be the second start for right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito. Giolito has all the stuff in the world to be a front-end starter, but I wouldn’t really say he has ever put it all together. He’s been decent most of his career, and maybe that’s all he is and I’m giving him too much credit. There are worse things to be as a pitcher than a guy who goes out and offers a mid-three ERA over 175 innings per year. He has made one start for the Angels already and I kind of thought it would be a tough one for him. It turns out, it was. He was able to toss 5.1 innings and allowed three earned runs. That’s not brutal by any means, but I think he took the mound a day or two after his trade. That’s a big adjustment to make – you have to have a new catcher, a new pitching staff, a new environment, and that doesn’t mention your actual life. How would you respond if you were traded to a new company four hours by flight away and needed to give a presentation a day later? No one feels sorry for the guy, he makes millions of dollars throwing a baseball, but still, that’s not an easy thing to do. Now taking on the Braves, he’s been fairly average against them in his career.
The Braves seem to be trying to see if they can get anything out of a cast-off from Tampa Bay. On the surface, I suppose it is a low-risk investment. If the guy they claimed can reach his potential, it is a good move. However, they took him from the Rays, a team notorious for getting the most out of players. Still, Atlanta has a big enough lead that even if Yonny Chirinos loses a couple of games for them, it won’t be a big deal. Chirinos is one of those guys that they may just want to eat some innings. Their offense seems to be so good that it almost doesn’t matter if he allows some runs each start. He has only one under his belt thus far for the Braves, and he allowed three earned runs over 3.2 innings. I have to imagine that is kind of what the Braves will get from Chirinos this season. The Angels haven’t seen him, and as Matt Chapman of the Blue Jays was caught saying the other day – they really only have one guy who can hit. The Angles should be able to handle Chirnios though seeing as almost every other team has been able to pile some runs on him this season.
I did this once before and if we got a better pitching performance from Freddy Peralta, we would’ve had an easy win. I’m taking the Angels through five here. I get Giolito at plus money against Chirinos, a guy who keeps allowing runs to everyone he faces. The Braves are a great team, but this is a good spot for a plus money play. Take the Angels through five innings on the moneyline.
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