Tuesday features another sizable MLB slate, with 16 games to choose from. That includes a 14-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Rays ML (+100)
The big news in this matchup is that Chris Sale is scheduled to make his season debut. He will reportedly throw around 85 pitches, which means he should last around five or six innings if everything goes to plan. The Red Sox bullpen will take over after that, and they rank 13th in bullpen ERA.
Sale is a major question mark at this point in his career. He has previously been a dominant starting pitcher, but those days are further in the past than you probably realize. He logged a 4.40 ERA across 147 1/3 innings in 2019, and he wasn’t much better in a limited role last year. Sale did pitch well in his rehab starts, but it’s hard to put too much stock in numbers vs. minor leaguers.
Meanwhile, Corey Kluber continues to get the job done for the Rays. He’s not the same pitcher he was in his prime, but he owns a 3.62 ERA and a 3.92 xERA in 2022. The Rays have won five of his past eight starts, including a 7-1 victory in Boston in his last outing.
The Rays have also been better against southpaws this season than the Red Sox have been against right-handers. The Rays feel like a much safer team given the pitching options, so I’m happy to play them at even money or better.
Nationals ML (-115)
The Mariners are one of the hottest teams in baseball at the moment. They’ve rattled off eight straight wins, and they’ve won 16 of their past 19 contests. That still leaves them at just 45-42 record for the year, but they’re in a much better position than they were a few weeks ago.
However, they will have their worst pitcher on the mound for Tuesday’s matchup vs. the Mariners. Chris Flexen has pitched to a 4.00 ERA this season, and his 5.08 xERA suggests he’s been a bit lucky. He’s not a strong strikeout pitcher, which is not good considering his Statcast profile. He ranks in the 17th percentile in average exit velocity, 23rd percentile in hard-hit rate and 14th percentile in barrel rate. If you’re not going to miss bats, you need to be much better at limiting hard contact than Flexen.
The Nationals will hand the ball to Josiah Gray, who has the talent to be a frontline starter. He was ranked the No. 17 overall prospect in baseball last season, and he was the centerpiece of the trade that sent Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to the Dodgers. His 4.14 ERA isn’t great, but he’s racked up an excellent 10.24 strikeouts per nine innings. He’s also been above average in terms of hard-hit rate and exit velocity, so the Nationals have the clear edge at pitcher in this matchup.
I think the Nats deserve to be slightly larger favorites in this spot, and the sharps seem to agree. The Nationals have received just 26% of the moneyline bets, but they’ve accounted for 54% of the dollars.
Angels ML (+105)
The Angels have once again fallen near the bottom of the AL West standings, meaning we will likely have another year without Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani in the postseason. It is borderline criminal how they have wasted the primes of both of these players.
That said, they’re in a decent spot on Tuesday. They’ll have Noah Syndergaard on the mound, who has been effective at keeping runs off the board this season. He doesn’t possess the same explosive fastball that made him a star, but he’s still pitched to a 3.84 ERA in his first year in Los Angeles.
He’ll be opposed by Luis Garcia, who has similar numbers on the year. He’s been a bit better from a strikeout perspective, but he owns a 3.81 ERA across 82 2/3 innings.
The Angels offense hasn’t been great recently, but they obviously still have plenty of talent. Trout and Ohtani are among the best hitters in the league while Taylor Ward has been nearly as good this season. Those three players alone should be enough to form a competent offense.
The Angels are another team getting some sharp support on Tuesday, so I’ll take my chances with them as slight home dogs.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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