Happy Independence Day! Baseball is celebrating the holiday with a seven-game main slate starting at 6:40 p.m. ET.
Let’s break down some of my favorite MLB wagers to target on DraftKings Sportsbook.
New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds
The Pick: Reds ML (+145)
This is an absolutely massive mismatch on paper. The Mets enter this contest with the second-best record in the National League, while the Reds are in dead last.
However, the Reds do have a glimmer of hope thanks to Hunter Greene. Greene has a huge fastball, checking in with an average velocity of 98.7 miles per hour. That was enough to make him the Reds’ No. 1 prospect entering the 2022 season.
Greene’s promise hasn’t translated to immediate success, and he owns a 5.72 ERA over 15 starts this season. That said, he has clearly been unlucky. He’s racked up an outstanding 11.31 strikeout per nine innings, and his 4.08 xERA is much better than his actual mark.
Greene is also catching the Mets at the right time. Their offense has been in a major funk recently, ranking just 27th in wRC+ against right-handers over the past 14 days. Overall, there’s enough here to warrant a play on the Reds as home underdogs.
Cleveland Guardians at Detroit Tigers
The Pick: Tigers ML (+110)
The Tigers are another home dog I think can bark on the Fourth of July. After all, nothing makes a dog bark more than fireworks.
The Tigers offense has been a disaster for most of the year, but they have an exploitable matchup against left-hander Konnor Pilkington. He owns a 5.13 ERA over 26 1/3 innings as a starter this season, and he has a tendency to walk the ballpark. He’s handed out 17 free passes as a starting pitcher, and his walk rate puts him in the ninth percentile. He also ranks in the 25th percentile or worse in expected batting average, expected slugging, hard hit rate and barrel rate, so he can surrender runs in plenty of ways.
The Tigers offense has also shown signs of life against left-handers recently. They rank seventh in wRC+ against southpaws over the past 14 days, which makes sense with most of their top hitters being right-handed.
They’ll hand the ball to Alex Faedo, and while his numbers for the year are similar to Pilkington’s, he was considered the superior prospect. I’ll take my chances with the Cats in this spot.
Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers
The Pick: Under 8.0 runs (-105)
This matchup features a sneaky-good pitching showdown between Julio Urias and Kyle Freeland.
Urias needs no introduction. He’s been one of the Dodgers' best pitchers for the past few seasons, and he owns a 2.64 ERA and a 2.99 xERA in 2022. His strikeout numbers are a bit lower than usual, but he’s trending in the right direction in that department. He’s racked up 30 Ks over his past 23 1/3 innings, so he’s shown significant improvement of late.
The Rockies have been tough all year on opposing left-handers, but Urias is talented enough to keep their offense at bay.
On the other side, Freeland has been outstanding when away from Coors Field. He owns a 2.91 ERA over 34 road innings this season, and opposing batters have managed just a .293 wOBA in that split. The Dodgers offense is extremely imposing, but they’ve been much weaker against left-handers. They rank merely 12th in wRC+ in that split, so Freeland should be able to limit the damage.
I’m expecting runs to be at a premium in this matchup, so I’ll grab the under on eight runs.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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