Kansas City @ Cleveland
Kansas City +135 over Cleveland

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Posted at 11:00 AM EST and are subject to change. 

Kansas City +135 over Cleveland

From 2021 to the present, Zach Plesac (RHP - CLE) compiled a 4.62 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 16.1% K%, and 6% BB%. In 2020's shortened season, he ran off a 2.28 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and a 24.8% K-BB%. In 2020, Plesac’s hit rate/strand rate outliers clearly fueled his success; those two metrics alone impacted the ratio jump. All of his walk-and strikeout-based metrics trends are on a serious downward slope since 2020: BB%, K%, K-BB% and swing and miss rate.

Pitchers can manage a higher walk rate if the strikeout rate improves, but that hasn't been the case for Plesac. Plesac's fastball velocity has dropped, also: from 92.9 mph in 2020 to 91.7 mph in 2022, but the pitch does get above-average ride. As Plesac's brutal ratios indicate, he cannot be favored in this range. If the underlying metrics of his swing and miss rate by their pitch and movement profiles looked more enticing, we could make a case for him and might lay off but that’s not the case either. Although Plesac's slider remains a near-elite pitch, all of his other pitches are weak. Any starter that can only rely on one-pitch is a starter in trouble.

Jon Heasley has horrible, horrible, horrible numbers. He’s made three starts since his promotion and in that time covering 13 innings, he has walked 13 batters while striking out just 7. Those 13 walks in 13 innings will stick out but what’s interesting is that his ERA with all those walks issued is just 4.73.

What’s also interesting is that Heasley was with Kansas City for three starts in 2021 and showed a decent pitch mix, sequencing ability, control and durability. Before his call-up, he walked just six batters in 26 innings at Triple-A Iowa with 30 K’s. Point is, Heasley is capable of throwing strikes and when he is, he’s difficult to hit, as his ERA with all those walks will attest to. He also has significant durability and stamina with enough arm strength to pitch deep into games. Heasley operates with a 92-95 mph fastball that touches 97, two distinct breaking balls and an average change-up. His sequencing is what sets him apart from others of his ilk. He can blow the ball by hitters upstairs, but then keep them off balance with a big-bending curveball. Both his slider and change-up aren’t yet average offerings, but he can be sneaky with both. One scouting report said, “Heasley has excellent control and rarely beats himself with walks”. If that truly is the case, we’re getting the Royals at a great price here because Heasley’s small sample size stats are ugly. Let’s see if we can take advantage of a sweet takeback with lots of hidden value.

Our Pick

Kansas City +135 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 2.70)