Here are my favorite DraftKings Sportsbook picks for Saturday’s slate of MLB games.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Chicago White Sox at Texas Rangers
White Sox Money Line (-125)
Michael Kopech’s win-loss record isn’t very impressive but his other numbers look good. His ERA is 3.12 but his xFIP is 4.92. From the perspective of “pitchers must strike everyone out,” he’s a below-average pitcher. From the view of run prevention, Kopech is an above-average pitcher. Kopech gets out. He gets outs through fly balls. It’s risky, but it looks like he has a plan. He’s pitched 95 innings and maintained a .223 BABIP. Regression isn’t coming. Fly ball pitchers exist, and plenty of them have great careers.
Texas is an average offense at home but their park favors pitchers, especially fly ball pitchers. Kopech is backed up by a top-10 bullpen. The White Sox offense has not lived up to expectations this season, but they should be able to score enough runs against Dane Dunning (1-6, 4.30 ERA) and a bottom-10 bullpen.
Houston Astros at Cleveland Guardians
Trey Mancini over 0.5 home runs (+450)
Cal Quantrill is a solid pitcher and that’s disappointing. In his first full season with Cleveland in 2021, it looked like Quantrill could be the leader of this rotation. Now, he looks like a stable third man. A middle-rotation pitcher does not stack up well against the newly strengthened Houston lineup.
Quantrill has allowed two home runs in each of his last two starts. He has surrendered at least one home run in nine of his last 11 starts (four two-homer games). Who’s putting one over the wall on Saturday? The splits suggest it could come from either side of the plate. Quantrill is an equal opportunity dinger distributor. Yordan Alvarez is a safe bet (+245). He’s homered four times in the last two weeks, but Trey Mancini has three home runs in his four games with Houston. In his last 10 games, he has a .364 ISO and 40% HardHit%.
Cincinnati Reds at Milwaukee Brewers
Reds Money Line (+165)
The Reds are not a good team. On paper this is an inferior team. The problem is that they know they’re inferior. They’re not underdogs, they’re trolls. Opposing teams dislike these matchups, but most of the time the annoying troll is put in their place. However, the troll steals more wins than they should and the money lines for these dogs are quite lucrative.
The truth is that the Reds aren’t really that bad. After a 3-22 start, the Reds are 39-41. The other reality is that the Brewers have one of the best offenses in baseball, but that offense struggles against southpaws. Their 88 wRC+ vs. left-handed pitching ranks 25th and their 24.3% strikeout rate is the fourth-worst in the league. The big fear is that the Reds’ league-worst bullpen blows this game, but plus money bets come with warts.
Colorado Rockies at Arizona Diamondbacks
Total Under 8 Runs (-105)
Colorado pitchers on the road always garner attention. Arizona is a hitter’s park but it’s not as extreme as Colorado. Although hitter’s have a slight edge in the desert, Arizona has been one of the least friendly parks for home runs over the last three seasons. This should be a decent spot for Antonio Senzatela, but it’s not. Senzatela has struggled at home and on the road. His road splits have been worse than at Coors Field in each of the last four seasons. This is mainly due to the fact that Senzatela is a ground ball pitcher that pitches to contact. This approach is more effective than being a fly ball pitcher in Colorado, but allowing contact is dangerous. And this season, the 84.6% contact rate has resulted in a .387 BABIP.
It’s hard to back the Rockies vs. Merrill Kelly, but this game does profile as a low scoring affair. The Rockies struggle outside of Colorado and they’re facing a quality pitcher. Senzatela has struggled on the road, but he’s not getting hammered. He’s getting bled. Kelly will do his part and Senzatela will limit an average Arizona lineup as long as the BABIP gods do not completely spite him on Saturday.
San Diego Padres at Los Angeles Dodgers
Padres Money Line (+120)
Mike Clevinger has found his stride. After missing the 2021 season, Clevinger is starting to look like the rising star that he was in Cleveland. In his last three starts, he has a 1.80 ERA (3.12 FIP), 24.4% strikeout rate and a 23.6% hard contact rate. He is supported by a top-10 bullpen and he’s going to need it in a matchup with the Dodgers.
This is just as risky as the Reds bet, but it’s not foolish. The Dodgers have owned the Padres this season, but this series is different. This is the new-look Padres. The lineup got a lot more powerful with the addition of Juan Soto and Brandon Drury, and the already strong bullpen brought in star reliever Josh Hader. This is a statement series. It’s unlikely that San Diego can win the West, but the Wild Card is theirs for the taking. The Padres can send a message this weekend in L.A.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is greenflagradio2) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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