This article originally appeared on MLB.com: Here are 5 wise wagers for Tuesday’s games
A few strikeout props on DraftKings Sportsbook stand out from the games set to be played early Tuesday evening. But as we look toward the later portion of the slate, there are a pair of underdogs worth considering.
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Steele just blew past the over on Tuesday’s total in his last start, which came against this Washington lineup. Given they saw each other so recently, Chicago’s left-hander isn’t likely to go off to that degree again. However, getting over this total is very much attainable.
Since moving on from Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the deadline, the Nationals have been one of the most strikeout-happy lineups against left-handed pitching. Across their last 97 plate appearances against lefties, they’ve posted a 32% strikeout rate, which is the second-highest mark in the league during that stretch and a steep drop from their season-long mark (19.5%). Combine that with the fact Steele has gone over this number in six of his last eight starts, and the lefty is set for another strong outing.
Quite frankly, it’s surprising this number is nearly even-money. Goldschmidt against a left-handed pitcher is always asking for trouble.
Across his last 57 plate appearances against lefties, he has a .326 ISO and .370 average. That’s been the result of a 30.6% line-drive rate and 33.3% fly-ball rate, plus a 38.9% hard-contact rate. Kyle Freeland isn’t a lefty Goldschmidt has tagged that often, and the Colorado lefty has been better against righties on the road than at Coors Field, but that’s not enough to make him a challenge for the St. Louis stud.
JP Sears has done well in limited opportunities as a starter this season. The lefty has a 1.16 ERA in those three chances, scattering nine hits and three walks while striking out nine in 16 innings of work. That should play well against a Rangers lineup that has a 27.9% strikeout rate and a .142 ISO against left-handed pitching since mid-July.
More importantly, Kohei Arihara will be making his 2022 MLB debut. He’s spent the season in Triple-A, where he’s posted a 4.88 ERA over 72 innings. Although Oakland doesn’t have as much talent as it used to, this lineup is in the top 10 in ISO against right-handed pitching since mid-July despite having a bottom-10 BABIP against them during that span. They’re in a spot to build on those numbers against Arihara, who posted a 6.64 ERA in 10 MLB starts last season.
This number is so high because Justin Verlander is taking the mound for the Astros and Abreu has peppered the over on this number in the last four games via eight singles. Still, this is too good a number for too good a hitter to ignore. Especially when you look at the history between these two.
Abreu has seen Verlander a whopping 51 times, so he knows what the righty is bringing. More importantly, he has a .370 average, three doubles and six home runs against Verlander. When they saw each other earlier this season, Abreu added that third double to his ledger, and that’s all we need him to do again on Tuesday.
With the exception of two starts, Arizona has had a legitimate chance at a win any time Merrill Kelly has taken the mound this season. That’s led to a 10-5 record for him, but the team is only 12-11 in his 23 starts. Six of those losses came in the first two months of the season, so the D-backs have clearly gotten their act together for Kelly outings.
With Jakob Junis on the bump for San Francisco, they’re in a great spot to provide him ample support again. Arizona has been making a healthy amount of quality contact against righties since the break, and that’s why they find themselves among the top 10 in ISO against right-handed pitching during the stretch. That’ll play well against Junis, who’s coming into this contest on the heels of back-to-back brutal outings.
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