Yes, it’s here, and it’s beautiful. It’s our day this week to enjoy hours and hours of day baseball — Thursday! From 12:10 p.m. to 10:10 p.m. ET, we have 11 games on the card all told. Like yesterday, two of those will come in the form of a seven-inning doubleheader. With that in mind, here are my favorite MLB bets to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Here, we have one of the most tantalizing pitching matchups of the day in Trevor Rogers versus Ian Anderson. The total for this one is just a bit too high given the probable pitchers on both sides. Rogers and Anderson have both had one good start and one bad start to begin the season, but have solid track records in their young careers.
Rogers flashed a great four-seamer in 2020 which helped him post superb expected stats across the board. His .289 xwOBA ranked in the top 30% of the league, and he was in the 68th percentile when it came to average exit velocity. Luck wasn’t on his side with an ERA almost three runs higher than his expected ERA, but in 2021 things have begun to turn. Rogers added 2.0 MPH on his fastball which has helped play up his slider, which has a higher whiff rate, which is one way to eliminate the issue of getting unlucky with contact. Helping out Rogers here is the fact that the Braves ranked right in middle of the league last year in wRC+ to lefties, and sit 15th again.
On the other hand, we know from watching him pitch last year that Anderson is a dominant force, and though he struggled with the Phillies last time out and gave up two homers, he did manage to strike out six. The swing-and-miss stuff is still there, and I’m not willing to write off a great debut season because of two starts against a great offense. I think both pitchers roll.
Can the Mariners and Orioles score eight runs in a seven-inning game? I really do believe they can. For starters, both of these pitchers absolutely stink. Marco Gonzales enters with a 10.45 ERA, and Harvey a 5.59. Trust me, these guys have earned it.
The main thing I’m looking at here is the matchup for the Orioles, since I’d be much more worried about their offense scoring than the Mariners’. Baltimore is ninth in wRC+ against righties at 120 this season, which gives me confidence they should be able to take advantage of a bad southpaw in Gonzales, who has given up an alarming .579 xwOBA on contact. Yikes!
All the Mariners have done, meanwhile, is kill right-handed pitching to the tune of a 117 wRC+ which ranks fourth in the league. This offense has averaged six runs over the last three games and is red-hot, led by Kyle Seager, of all people! I thought he was done hitting like three years ago. Anyway, the Mariners have looked great at the dish, the Orioles should have the splits advantage, and both of these pitchers couldn’t be worse. Runs, runs, runs.
Look, you need to know something before I give out this pick. You’re talking to the resident Tigers backer. I’ve been on these guys since their Opening Day win! I really believe in these bats.
Now that I’ve said my piece, I hate the Tigers in this spot. For as well as they’ve hit, the Tigers rank dead last against lefties this year with a 53 wRC+. 53! That’s unsightly. To make matters worse, this isn’t just any lefty, like Cole Irvin or something. They’ll have to face Sean Manaea, who’s been really consistent over the past three seasons, hardly walks anyone and has shut down some of the league’s best offenses. His season hasn’t gone to plan so far, but I’m willing to give him a little bit of a break since he had to face the Houston Astros, who he managed to dominate last time out after a shellacking in his first start of the year.
Manaea will be too much for this offense, and while I think Tarik Skubal will be good, he’s not there just yet. This should be all Athletics tonight.
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 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.