Welcome to the first real day of the MLB Postseason, the beginning of the Divisional Series. With a two-game slate starting at 4:07 p.m. ET, we will be treated to some great baseball throughout the day on Thursday. With that, I’ve picked out some MLB bets I love on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Both of these offenses have been red-hot since the start of September, with the Astros checking in just a little higher than the White Sox, but I like Chicago in this spot in what I think could be a surprisingly low-scoring game.
First, there is the starting-pitching matchup here which I think tilts towards the White Sox. Chicago was sixth in weighted runs per 100 sinkers this season and will run into a sinker-baller in Lance McCullers who has been consistently good, but rarely untouchable this season. It’s worth noting one of those immaculate outings did come against the White Sox, but that was months ago. This team is now fully loaded on the offensive end.
The main reason I like Chicago here is the bullpen. The Astros have struggled all year with their relief staff, and have posted a 4.02 ERA since the break. Trade deadline acquisitions like Phil Maton (4.97 ERA) and Yimi Garcia (5.48 ERA) have actively hurt this team, and it doesn’t help that Kendall Graveman regressed a bit after coming over from Seattle.
The White Sox had one of the five best bullpens in the last month of the season and should have a considerable edge there. Lance Lynn has looked a lot more like Lance Lynn since an ugly stretch in August and should be able to provide five or six solid innings before handing things over to this fantastic bullpen.
I think both of these starters will allow a home run, but I think getting the guy who will need to pitch deeper into this game due to a bad bullpen is the better call here, and we get it at plus money.
The White Sox have hit 16 dingers over the last two weeks, ranking ninth over that span, and that’s without much at all to play for. Over that span, Chicago also has struck out in just 21.9% of plate appearances, making much more contact. McCullers has ranked in the bottom 32% of the league in hard-hit rate, and while he has only allowed 13 homers all season, six have come since the beginning of August. I think this is a good roll of the dice here.
I’m pretty sure the Rays will win this game, given they’re one of the most complete teams in baseball, and one of the hottest teams as well. With that said, Eduardo Rodriguez has been so much better in the second half and it’s hard for me to completely fade him here.
The left-hander’s 3.71 ERA in those 15 starts is a drastic improvement from his 5.52 ERA in the first half, and much closer to the 3.55 xERA he pitched to all season long. I think this total is a bit disrespectful to the man who was arguably the best pitcher on the team in the second half, and it’s especially so when you consider he’s struck out 27.4% of the hitters he’s faced this season — a career-high.
The Rays have been one of the most productive offenses all year long, but they’ve struck out a ton in the second half and rank 27th in contact rate since September began. A pitcher with swing-and-miss stuff like this should slow their roll a bit and get us to the under, as should the Rays’ staff. Shane McClanahan is settling into life in the big leagues and this bullpen has been absolutely dominant.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) 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.