This article originally appeared on MLB.com: Here are 5 wise wagers for this weekend’s games
There are quite a few surprising lines to take advantage of on DraftKings Sportsbook this weekend.
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The Orioles are making their move, now only two games behind the third American League Wild Card spot. The fact they have the same odds as Cincinnati in this one is surprising. Tyler Mahle has been good since that eight-run fiasco at the end of May, but him taking the mound shouldn’t be enough to give these two teams the same odds — especially once you consider the relievers coming in behind him.
The Cincinnati bullpen’s July numbers have improved the group’s season-long stats, but Reds relievers have still combined for a 4.43 ERA and 4.69 FIP this month. They’ve also been giving up a lot of fly balls, while failing to strike out opposing batters. Pretty much the exact opposite can be said of Baltimore’s bullpen. Orioles relievers have been lockdown from start to finish this season — and despite struggling in his last two outings, Dean Kremer usually puts his bullpen in position to secure a win.
After taking a second to gather himself, J-Rod has come out of the break red-hot. In four games, he has three extra-base hits — most recently logging a double in his 2-for-4 showing vs. Houston on Friday. Now, Framber Valdez does present a tough matchup for Rodríguez. But the AL Rookie of the Year favorite has shown he knows how to get left-handed offerings airborne, posting a 52.4 percent fly-ball rate and 23.8 percent line-drive rate since June. That’s helping lead to his .286 average against lefties during that timeframe.
After getting swept by the Mariners, Texas has responded with back-to-back, multi-run wins vs. the Angels. If the Rangers can pull another one off, it’d be their first three-game winning streak since June 11-13 and their sixth winning streak that’s lasted at least three games.
So, this isn’t exactly a common occurrence for the Rangers, but the fledgling Angels are absolutely an opponent they can do that against. After losing their first series vs. L.A. (1-3), the Rangers have gone 6-1 vs. the Angels.
Also, Texas is hitting right-handed pitching well right now, unlike the Angels. In July, the Rangers are just outside the Top 11 in ISO and have the second-lowest ground-ball rate against right-handers. As for the Angels, they have the highest ground-ball rate, lowest ISO and second-lowest hard-contact rate against right-handed pitching this month.
The totals on Coors Field games need to be steep, but this is a bit ridiculous. This has to be the result of Tony Gonsolin struggling in his last start before the break, the All-Star Game itself and his first start post-break. But even with his last start going poorly, the under hit for the sixth time in his last nine starts. The Rockies are a much tougher team against righties at home than on the road, but they only have a .163 home ISO against right-handed pitching in July — which is partially the result of their 51.2 percent home ground-ball rate.
As for Germán Márquez, the over on this total has only hit during one of his 2022 Coors Field starts — his very first. Some of that’s been the result of Colorado not hitting, but Márquez has churned out a quality start in four of his last five home starts. That one recent outing that wasn’t a quality start was a four-run, six-inning effort against this very Dodgers lineup. Believe it or not, those numbers are an encouraging sign, too. Márquez made that start after getting shellacked by the L.A. in his previous outing — so he was in a spot to get crushed again. But he was serviceable instead.
George Kirby has been much better since the Orioles got to him for seven runs in just four innings of work on June 27. However, the two July outings he dominated were against the Rangers and A’s, who aren’t on the level of the Astros. The Blue Jays, however, are on that level, and the Seattle right-hander gave up two runs on 10 hits over 4 1/3 innings on July 8. Like the Jays, Houston is among the Top 10 in ISO and wOBA against righties this month, so Kirby is in for a challenging outing.
Jake Odorizzi isn’t about to get off easy, either. He’s given up five-plus runs twice this month — and Seattle got to him for four runs in 4 1/3 frames earlier this season. He gives up a lot of fly balls, which is dangerous vs. the Mariners. Against right-handed pitching this month, Seattle has the second-highest fly-ball rate and ranks inside the Top 10 in both in hard-contact rate and ISO.
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