I feel I must remind people that past success is not necessarily indicative of future success; however after another 3-0 week on article plays last Wednesday, we’re now up to 21-11 on the season. That’s pretty [flames emoji]. That’s right. I’m hip and cool.
Here are my three favorite MLB bets for tonight’s slate on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Team Total: Rays Over 4.5 runs (-104)
We won a similar prop last week with the Braves going over 4.5 runs in a matchup with Garrett Richards. Well, as long as the veteran RHP keeps pitching on Wednesdays, I’m going to keep finding ways to bet against him. I guess the worry here would be that the Rays just haven’t been hitting the past seven days, as the team’s lengthy losing streak has coincided with a stretch that’s seen the lineup produce an underwhelming 73 wRC+. However, if we go all the way back to May 1, Tampa is one of only 13 teams with a wRC+ above 100. They can hit, and the addition of Wander Franco to the 26-man roster doesn’t hurt, either.
Still, this is all about Richards, who is now rocking a 5.62 xERA across 74.2 innings of work. The 33-year-old has been asking for trouble lately, with opponents registering an insane 66.2% hard hit rate in Richards’ past four starts. That’s right. Two thirds of the batted ball events that Richards induces have been put into play with an exit velocity of at least 95.0 mph. Between that and a 10.5% walk rate, it’s easy to see why Richards is rarely pitching without traffic on the bases.
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Oakland Athletics at Texas Rangers
Athletics ML (-141)
It’s hard for me to believe that this line is moving towards the Rangers — the Athletics opened as -155 favorites on the DraftKings Sportsbook — but I’ll gladly take the extra juice. I simply don’t see the appeal of betting Texas this evening, especially with Mike Foltynewicz on the mound. The Rangers are 1-7 in the veteran’s past eight starts, with Foltynewicz mustering a pathetic 6.64 ERA in that span of time. Texas is also 1-9 in its past 10 games against a divisional opponent and 1-7 in its past eight contests as a home underdog. The moral of the story: The Rangers are not a good baseball team.
On the other side of the ledger, the Athletics are fantastic. The club is 14-5 in their last 19 games overall, and they’ve won nine of their past 13 matchups in Texas. James Kaprielian has thrived at the major league level, maintaining a 2.84 ERA and a 3.67 xERA across seven outings in 2021; while Oakland’s offense has registered the fifth-best wRC+ in all of baseball (108). This one shouldn’t even be close.
Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles
Jose Urquidy Over 4.5 Strikeouts (-136)
While I definitely wouldn’t consider Urquidy a “strikeout artist” by any means, the right-hander has had some recent success in generating swings and misses. In fact, Urquidy has posted a 28.1% strikeout rate across his past four outings, a span where he’s hit this over each and every time he’s taken the bump. Urquidy also owns a massive 15.7% swinging strike rate since May 31 — the fourth-highest qualified mark in the league, trailing only the likes of Jacob deGrom, Robbie Ray and Clayton Kershaw.
At the end of the day, this prop really just comes down to volume. With numbers like I mentioned above, Urquidy should have little issue hitting the over if he’s able to pitch six innings tonight against the Orioles. Considering Baltimore comes into Wednesday with an AL-worst .288 wOBA versus right-handed pitching, I think the Astros’ bullpen will be taking a bit of a breather.
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