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MLB Best Bets: Baseball Picks, Predictions, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for June 18

Nick Friar gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Friday’s MLB betting card.

Boston Red Sox v Atlanta Braves Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Odd times in baseball. Or is this normal?

Either way, we can navigate the MLB bets on DraftKings Sportsbook. Here’s what jumps out from Friday’s action.

If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.

Minnesota Twins at Texas Rangers

Jose Berrios over 6.5 strikeouts -110

Strikeout props could be a little tricky to navigate over the next few weeks with all this stick-substance stuff going on. Normally, I wouldn’t look into spin rate, but I’m paying attention to some of that in the short term while we wait for other numbers to regress since we have no clue who’s used these substances and to what degree.

Now, Berrios hasn’t thrown since MLB announced the new rules. But he, like everyone, has thrown since the chatter about the matter started. Looking at his latest start (vs. the Astros on June 12), the Minnesota righty struck out eight against a team that hasn’t been striking out much against right-handed pitchers of late. In looking at his spin rate numbers from that game against his nine-strikeout performance (season-high) vs. Kansas City back on May 2 (back when righties could actually strike out Royals hitters), things are relatively similar across the board. In fact, his changeup bottomed out at a lower RPM in that May start. Now, Berrios’ RPM numbers in that game vs. Houston were a bit lower than those he posted in his first two outings of 2021, but he was still extremely effective against an Astros team that’s hitting righties well of late.

For now, I’m still comfortable backing Berrios to punch out at least seven against a Rangers lineup that’s doing much worse against right-handers than the Astros of late, posting a worse plate appearances per strikeout rate, OPS and ISO than Houston against righties over the last two weeks.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]

Oakland Athletics at New York Yankees

Athletics over 4.5 runs -105
Jameson Taillon over 4.5 hits allowed -125

If there was ever a time to bet the over on hit props, it’s now. Walk rates should go up a tick, as should the number of mistakes pitchers make over the heart of the plate.

Again, we don’t know who’s used what or which guys have been clean. Either way, we know Taillion is getting hit around, despite being in the top 25 in both fastball and curveball RPM among pitchers with at least 200 plate appearances against, as well as 32nd in slider RPM among the same group.

But whether those numbers decrease or maintain doesn’t matter in this instance — the Yankees right-hander is getting hit around either way.

Taillion has given up five-plus hits in each of his last three, five of his last six. On Friday, he squares off with an Athletics lineup that’s third in OPS and seventh in ISO against right-handers over the last two weeks.

This all said without acknowledging the fact this game is being played at Yankee Stadium. Not that the Athletics need help at the moment, but that puts cheap home runs in play for them — against a pitcher who has a 1.7 HR/9.

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Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals

Red Sox over 4.5 runs -130

Jackson Kowar may get it together at some point, and it won’t take much to improve on what he did in his first two MLB starts. He began his big-league career against two teams that have scorched righties of late in the Athletics and Angels. But, things aren’t about to get easier for the rookie on Friday. The Red Sox are sixth in OPS against right-handers over the last two weeks and ninth in ISO.

After Kowar exits, Mike Matheny will turn to a struggling bullpen. Royals relievers have a 4.85 FIP and 4.53 ERA over the last two weeks. While their WHIP is a strong 1.19 during that span, Kansas City relievers’ HR/9 is 1.7 over that same stretch of games. Furthermore, the Royals bullpen has the third-highest barrel rate and seventh-highest hard-hit rate over the last two weeks.

The long and short of it: the Red Sox should score at least five on Friday.

Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $250K Bat Flip [$50K to 1st]

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