This article originally appeared on MLB.com: Here are 5 wise wagers for Tuesday’s games
Outside of Pirates-Cubs, every MLB game is set to start in the evening, which is where we’ll keep our focus while assessing Tuesday’s slate via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Follow along on Twitter (@Nick_Friar) for updates.
Braves vs. Phillies
Spencer Strider over 7.5 strikeouts -105
Strider has gone over this number in five of his 10 starts this season. He also managed to eclipse it in a four-inning relief appearance back in early May. In two of the starts that Strider has gone under Tuesday’s prop, he’s punched out seven.
The Atlanta right-hander hasn’t seen Philadelphia since becoming a starter, but his last relief appearance came against his Tuesday opponent. In that May 30 contest, Strider threw 46 pitches over 2 2/3 innings and struck out five Phillies hitters. Philly is only 12th in strikeout rate against right-handed pitching this season, so that showing might seem like an outlier. However, the Phillies have a whopping 25% strikeout rate against righties in July, which is the fifth-highest mark in baseball.
Orioles vs. Rays
Spenser Watkins under 2.5 earned runs -110
In a game that features the AL’s starting pitcher from this year’s All-Star Game, we’re backing an Orioles starting pitcher. Odd, but Watkins has dealt since his return to the bigs, dropping his season ERA down to 3.93 with his final four outings before the break. During that stretch, he never let up more than one earned run in an outing.
Now, the team Watkins saw before his injury and demotion was this Rays lineup. They got to him for three runs before he could record an out, but the right-hander has clearly made some adjustments, stymieing a few lineups that hit right-handed pitching well before the break. Also, Tampa has the fifth-highest wOBA against righties this month, but they’ve been the beneficiary of a .336 BABIP. That elevated BABIP is likely the result of the Rays’ 22.2% line-drive rate in July, but their 46% ground-ball rate and 27.2% hard-contact rate indicate Watkins is in a spot to take control of Tampa’s lineup.
Rockies vs. White Sox
The 2022 Rockies are known for mashing left-handed pitching, but they’ve also managed to do some damage against righties at home. This month, they have a 23% line-drive rate, .356 wOBA, .176 ISO and a measly 10.6% soft-contact rate against right-handers at Coors Field. They’ll get a crack at Michael Kopech, who has a 48.9% fly-ball rate and 35.6% hard-contact rate over his last five starts. Not exactly the sort of form you want as a visiting pitcher in Colorado.
As for Chicago’s hitters, they’ve put together a .144 ISO against righties in July. They have an elevated .318 BABIP this month, but Chicago only has a 29.8% hard-contact rate against righties during this span — despite being 11th in ground-ball rate against righties. Of course, this all plays into Germán Márquez’s hands. Colorado’s right-hander has had trouble keeping the ball on the ground of late, but he has a 45.1% ground-ball rate on the year.
Speaking of season-long numbers, the Rockies are 10-8 in Márquez starts. However, seven of those wins have come in his last nine starts. The two losses during this stretch didn’t come against scrubs, either. The Dodgers went to work on Márquez in back-to-back outings, scoring nine runs over a combined 9 1/3 innings. The White Sox could very well steal the AL Central title this season, but they’re certainly not on the Dodgers’ level at this stage.
Astros at Athletics
Yordan Alvarez over 1.5 total bases +140
Getting Alvarez at this price doesn’t happen every day. Of course, it’s not every day he has to face Frankie Montas.
Houston’s big bat is only 2-for-15 in his career against the Oakland right-hander, and neither of those hits went for extra bases. After struggling against lefties earlier in his career, Montas has been much tougher on them this season. However, maintaining a 15% line-drive rate is a tall task for any pitcher.
As much as I like Alvarez to end those trends if he gets multiple looks at Montas, the lefty might only see him once Tuesday. Oakland’s most valuable trade chip threw 53 pitches in his return from the IL, and the A’s aren’t going to push him much more than that with the Deadline near. While Oakland’s bullpen has been tough this month, backing one of baseball’s best hitters against almost any group of relievers is a worthwhile risk — especially at plus-money.
Rangers at Mariners
Adolis García over 1.5 total bases +115
George Kirby logged a quality start last time he saw Texas on June 5, but two Rangers took him deep. One of them was García, who’s absolutely cooking coming out of the break.
The Texas outfielder has logged an extra-base hit in four of his last five games played, and two of those hits were part of multi-hit efforts. Moreover, three of those extra-base hits were home runs, each of which came against a right-handed pitcher.
García is going to slow back down at some point, but his numbers before the break indicate this hot stretch was in order. In his 14 July games before the break, García had a 23.1% line-drive rate, 38.5% fly-ball rate and 38.5% hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching. Yet, he only had a .192 BABIP and one extra-base hit during that 49-plate-appearance stretch.
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