MLB Best Bets is off to a great start after three articles, going 11-5-1 for +6.31 units. We’re just going to key in on a couple spots in two games on Thursday’s betting card. Here’s what stands out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds: CIN ML — First 5 Innings (-132)
The Cubs’ bullpen has been absolutely atrocious, so a full game play makes sense here, too. I just don’t trust the Reds either, and we saw their bullpen blow Castillo’s gem against the Tigers. The Reds had a 3-1 lead after five innings in Castillo’s first start of the season, and I’d imagine he can keep these Cubs’ bats relatively in check — current hitters on the roster that have faced him are hitting .252 with just four homers in 175 plate appearances. Meanwhile, Yu Darvish gave up three quick runs in his first start of the season, lasting just four innings against the Brewers (an 8-3 loss in which the Cubs trailed after the 5th). Darvish had a 4.60 ERA against the Reds last season, and the Cubs have trailed after five innings three of the last four times Darvish has started against Cincy.
Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati Reds: Luis Castillo Over 6.5 strikeouts (-134)
The Reds fell apart late in Castillo’s season debut, but he dominated the Tigers before the bullpen blew the game. Castillo fanned 11 Detroit bats, but we’re not basing this bet off a matchup against the Tigers. He averaged over seven strikeouts per game in 32 starts in 2019, including 7.5 per game against the Cubs. Castillo picked up his strikeout rate later in 2019, punching out 18 total Cubs the last two times he faced them. In 175 plate appearances against current Cubs bats, Castillo has recorded 40 strikeouts. Castillo’s hit the over on this number in six of his last seven starts overall.
Boston Red Sox at New York Mets: NYM ML — First 5 Innings (-162)
The Red Sox somehow got a win against Jacob deGrom on Wednesday, but it was an ugly one that the bullpen almost gave away. Don’t let that sway you into thinking Boston has turned some kind of corner. It can compete with Nathan Eovaldi on the mound, but after that, this team has zero pitching. The Red Sox have a terrible bullpen, but the starting pitching outside of Eovaldi has been even worse. Martin Perez gave up five runs in five innings against the Orioles in his first start of the season — an eventual 7-2 loss that Boston trailed 5-0 after five innings. Steven Matz has his issues, but the large majority occur on the road. Matz allowed just one run in six innings in his season debut against the Braves, and had a 2.31 ERA in 17 outings at Citi Field in 2019.
Boston Red Sox at New York Mets: NYM Team Total O4.5 (-139)
This one is as simple as it gets. Boston ranks 27th in baseball in ERA and team totals are 5-1 to the over for its opposition. Get used to this one, because it could be a rare auto-play for a while. Getting 4.5 instead of 5.5 is a gift. Bet this one early and with confidence. I’ll make it a 1.5-UNIT play in this article.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) and 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.