Happy Thursday! The weekend’s right around the corner, and to celebrate we have a fun 10-game MLB slate, most of which are day games! I’ve got my eye on quite a few bets today, but have narrowed it down to three. With that in mind, here are my best MLB bets to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Houston Astros at New York Yankees
Yankees Lead After Five Innings -137
I touched on this a couple days ago, but I’ll say it again—this Yankees offense is not as bad as you remember. I was the first in line to throw dirt on this order earlier in the year; it deserved a lot of criticism for its inability to make contact with the baseball. However, a lot has changed. Over the past two weeks, the Yankees have the best—that’s right, the best!—wRC+ in baseball. Their contact rate has risen to a respectable 75.2% over that span, and they’ve hit a league-leading 22 homers. We know that when the Yankees are homering, they are generally winning, which is good news considering they’ve been walking a whole lot this season. With Gerrit Cole on the mound here against his former team, this offense should back up a solid pitching performance.
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Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
Indians ML +115
From one guy with great ERA predictors to one guy with not-so-great numbers in that department. Danny Duffy has been rather pedestrian, if not bad, despite having a Jacob deGrom-esque 0.60 ERA this year. He’s been a pretty horrific pitcher for his entire career, and now his hard-hit rate is at 41.3%, his highest that’s been tracked by Statcast. He walked three against the Twins in his last outing and allowed some very, very hard contact which resulted in outs like a a 97.1 mph laser off the bat of Nelson Cruz to the opposite field. A lot of the hard contact went straight into the ground, which is something the Indians will not do on Thursday.
Why do I know this? Well, Cleveland ranks all the way down in 23rd when it comes to ground-ball rate at just 41.9%. The Indians are also third in barrels per plate appearance. That spells a bad outing for Duffy, who should come crashing back to Earth.
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Detroit Tigers at Boston Red Sox
First Five Innings Under 4.5 (-120)
I’m not so sure why the market is so bearish on a pitcher’s duel here in Boston, but I think that’s exactly what we’ll get on Thursday. We know how great Nathan Eovaldi has been all season long, still averaging 97 mph on the fastball and pitching to just a 35.6% hard-hit rate and walking 4.9% of hitters. What’s probably not talked about enough is how good Spencer Turnbull has been for the Tigers.
All Turnbull’s done is post a 3.27 xERA, which would be by far the lowest of his career, and would also indicate he’s been the victim of rotten luck in 2021. Hitters have an expected batting average of just .207 off of him! We know the Tigers’ bats have been ice cold, which will help our case when it comes to this under, and I think Turnbull can do more than enough in his own right.
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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.