Monday features a small MLB slate, with just 10 games to choose from. Six of the 10 games will be part of doubleheaders, so there are just 14 teams in action. We’re also still waiting for a bunch of starting pitchers to be announced, so the options on DraftKings Sportsbook are a bit thin at the moment.
Still, that doesn’t mean we can’t look for some betting value. The slate kicks off with the Reds vs. the Pirates at 4:10 p.m. ET and wraps up with the Padres vs. the Dodgers at 9:10 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Monday’s slate.
Under 6.0 runs (-115)
This is obviously a very low total but keep in mind that this game will be played over just seven innings. That means we should see fewer bullpen arms than usual, which should work as a positive in this contest.
The A’s will be sending Jesus Luzardo to the mound, who has built on a solid debut as a rookie in 2019. He has pitched to a 3.97 ERA and 3.74 xFIP even though his K/9 is a bit lower than expected at 8.93. Luzardo had a K/9 of 12.00 coming out of the bullpen last season and was someone who racked up strikeouts in the minors. I would expect that number to increase as his career progresses and this matchup vs. the Mariners could be a good place to start. They own the fifth-highest strikeout rate vs. left-handed pitchers in 2020.
On the Mariners’ side, they’ll be handing the ball to Marco Gonzales. He doesn’t have the same big-league projection as Luzardo but he’s actually been the superior pitcher this season. He’s posted a 3.02 ERA and 3.29 FIP through his first eight starts thanks to his ability to generate soft contact. Opposing batters have managed an average exit velocity of just 86.4 miles per hour vs. Gonzales, which is the 12th-best mark among qualified pitchers.
Both of these pitchers are left-handers and both should be able to find success in this matchup. The A’s have been average against southpaws in 2020, ranking just 18th in wRC+, while the Mariners have been dismal (28th in wRC+).
Over 9.5 runs (-103)
This matchup features two teams that can absolutely mash the baseball.
The Twins were dominant offensively in 2019 and Minnesota has followed that up with another strong campaign in 2020. The Twins haven’t been as effective, but they still rank seventh in wRC+ and fourth in ISO. They have guys who crush right-handed pitching from the top of the lineup all the way to the bottom, including Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson, Nelson Cruz and Eddie Rosario.
The White Sox’ lineup has been at its best vs. southpaws this season, but the White Sox aren’t exactly slouches vs. right-handers either. Chicago has actually been better than the Twins in that department, ranking sixth in wRC+. The White Sox haven’t displayed as much pop vs. right-handers as they have vs. left-handers, but they’re still very capable of producing runs.
Neither of these teams will be sending great pitchers to the mound in this contest – Jose Berrios has posted a 4.06 FIP, Dylan Cease is at 5.95 – so I’m expecting plenty of offense.
Freddie Freeman to hit a home run (+270)
The Braves are in one of the best offensive spots of the day vs. Jorge Lopez. Atlanta’s implied team total of 5.7 runs is the top mark on the slate and the Braves rank second in wRC+ and ISO vs. right-handed pitchers this season.
Lopez has also been prone to giving up the HR ball. His mark of 1.13 HRs allowed per nine innings doesn’t jump off the page but that mark is over just 24 innings. He was significantly worse in 2019, allowing an average of 1.96 HRs per nine innings over a much larger sample size.
He was victimized, in particular, by left-handed batters. They posted a .405 wOBA and averaged 2.34 HRs per nine innings against Lopez in 2019, which is why I’m targeting Freeman in this matchup. He has just the fourth-shortest odds among the Braves’ batters to go yard in this contest but he’s the only imposing left-handed bat in their lineup. Freeman has also absolutely smoked right-handed pitching in 2020, posting a 208 wRC+ and .357 ISO.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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.