Happy Labor Day! We’ve got an 11-game MLB slate to celebrate the holiday. The action gets underway with the Mets vs. the Phillies at 1:10 p.m. ET and wraps up with the A’s vs. the Astros at 9:10 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Monday’s slate.
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Washington Nationals vs. Tampa Bay Rays:
Nationals ML (-139)
The Rays are a really good baseball team but it’s hard to look past Max Scherzer as such a small favorite. Scherzer hasn’t been as dominant as usual this season – he has posted a 3.95 ERA through eight starts – but his advanced metrics suggest he’s still been very good. He has averaged 12.67 strikeouts per nine innings but batters have managed a batting average on balls in play of .365 when they have made contact. That number is clearly due for some regression moving forward.
The Rays have been good against right-handers this season, ranking seventh in wRC+, but that doesn’t exactly make them a juggernaut. They’ve also posted a below-average strikeout rate in those matchups, so they should struggle to put balls in play vs. Scherzer.
On the other hand, the Rays will be sending Charlie Morton to the mound. Morton is an excellent pitcher when healthy but he’s still working his way back into the rotation. He went just two innings in his last start, so he’ll probably be limited again today.
I’ll take Scherzer vs. an opposing bullpen every day of the week.
Toronto Blue Jays vs. New York Yankees:
Yankees ML (+115)
The Yankees are looking like one of the sharps’ preferred targets today. The Bronx Bombers have received just 32% of the moneyline bets but those bets have accounted for 69% of the total money wagered. There have already been two “steam moves” tracked on the Yankees – meaning a large group of bets hit them at the same time – which is typically an indicator of sharp activity.
They will be taking on Hyun-Jin Ryu, who has been excellent in his first year with the Blue Jays. He’s pitched to a 2.51 ERA and a 3.10 xFIP and he has also increased his K/9 to a career-best 10.05.
That said, the Yankees’ lineup has the potential to do some damage vs. left-handed pitchers. Their numbers vs. southpaws are down in 2020 but they haven’t had their full lineup healthy for most of the year. The Yankees are still without both Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton, which obviously hurts, but otherwise, they’re as healthy as they’ve been all season.
Seattle Mariners vs. Texas Rangers:
Under 8.5 runs (-120)
This pitching matchup doesn’t jump off the page as an “under” spot but both of these teams should struggle from an offensive perspective.
Both teams are sending left-handed pitchers to the mound. The Rangers will turn to Kolby Allard, while the Mariners will hand the ball to Marco Gonzales. Gonzales has been a strong pitching option this season, posting a 3.09 ERA and 3.56 FIP, while Allard has displayed solid potential at the MLB level. He isn’t considered a can’t miss prospect by any stretch but he’s posted a 3.79 FIP through his first six starts this season.
More importantly, neither of these teams has been able to do anything against left-handers this year. The Mariners rank 28th in wRC+ vs. southpaws, while the Rangers rank just 29th.
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.