Call it tonight’s Vegas vs. Vegas prop, I’ll take Victorino over young Harper

Posted: May 23, 2012 in MLB
Tags: , , , , , , ,

I noticed at several offshore books the player-proposition in this game is a “Vegas vs. Vegas prop,” for Most Total Bases with Shane Victorino installed as a -120 favorite over Bryce Harper (-110). And with all the hype surrounding this game, I might have to side with the veteran tonight, as I think Victorino is due for a big offensive output.

Victorino is 3-for-7 (.428) with two doubles and five total bases (three in the first game and two last night), while Harper is 4-for-9 (.444) with a triple and six total bases (two in the first game and four more last night.

As much of a fan as I’m of the local guy making good, and have been rooting for Harper since Day 1, I think he might press a little bit too much tonight, and if Hamels is smart, he’ll go after him intelligently, poking around the zone before freezing the youngster with an off-speed out pitch. The crafty left-hander is 6-1 on the year, with a 2.48 ERA. And against this team, he’s a very respectable 11-4 with a 2.62 ERA. So aside from all the drama with Harper, let’s not forget Hamels is pretty good. He knows a thing or two.

He came into this season with a stellar 2.62 ERA dating back to the 2010 All- Star Break – fifth-best among MLB pitchers with 300-plus innings. And as one of the better pitchers in the game, he knows when and how to employ his tailing dower curveball and plus-changeup. He really does have one of the best changeups in the game, and Harper, who’s struggled with off-speed pitches, hasn’t fully matured mentally in the bigs yet. This could very well be one of those games – every 15 or so we may see it – where he emotionally implodes and whacks a wall in the tunnel of the Nationals’ dugout with his bat, which ends up caroming off the wall and smacks him above the eye.

Victorino, on the other hand, has never faced Jackson – which shocked me when I looked it up – and I know how crafty the Flyin’ Hawaiian can be in the box. I’ve actually watched the switch-hitter train, take batting practice and work on every angle of the plate right here in Las Vegas. When the guy wants to hit the ball, or better yet, when the Phillies need a go-to hitter, I have to say Victorino is the man.

Tonight, a price of -120 on Victorino in a series finale, to help his team end a losing streak is not a bad investment against young Harper.

Besides, I said I’m a fan of the local guy making good, and Victorino is just as much a Las Vegas resident as Harper.


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