Saturday’s MLB slate is a large one, with a whopping 16 games to choose from. Let’s break down some of my favorite wagers to target on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Kansas City Royals @ Texas Rangers:
Royals ML (+132)
The Royals will be taking on Rangers ace Kyle Gibson on Saturday. His traditional numbers are pretty imposing – he owns a 5-0 record with a 2.17 ERA – but his advanced metrics suggest he’s due for some regression. His K/9 is down to just 6.94 this season, which means that opposing batters are putting a lot of balls in play against him. That said, they’ve managed just a .244 BABIP against Gibson, and only 8.5% of fly balls have turned into homers. Gibson allowed a .313 BABIP and a 26.7% HR/FB rate last season, so his current numbers seem like outliers. Overall, his 4.09 xFIP is a much truer evaluation of his season.
The Royals aren’t a particularly good offensive team, but they do put the ball in play. They own the fifth-lowest strikeout rate against right-handers this season, so there should be plenty of batted-ball events in this matchup. Anything can happen at that point, so I like the Royals as modest underdogs.
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Philadelphia Phillies @ New York Mets:
Under 6.5 runs (-112)
This is a low total, but I still think it’s too high. The Mets will be sending Jacob deGrom to the mound, who continues to push for the greatest pitching season in league history. He has been utterly dominant to start the year, pitching to a disgusting 0.50 ERA and 14.63 K/9. He’s made 12 starts so far this season, and he hasn’t allowed more than one earned run in any of them. I think it’s reasonable to expect him to keep the Phillies’ offense at bay, especially since they rank just 24th in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers.
The biggest problem for the Mets is that their offense has been dreadful recently. They scored two total runs in a doubleheader yesterday, despite the fact that one of those contests came against the gas can formerly known as Matt Moore. They’ve posted the third-highest strikeout rate against right-handers over the past seven days, and they rank just 20th in wRC+ over that time frame. They’re taking on Phillies right-hander Zach Eflin, who owns a 3.33 xFIP through 14 starts in 2021. This game smells like a 2-1 victory one way or the other.
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Oakland Athletics @ San Francisco Giants:
A’s ML (+108)
The Giants have come out of nowhere to post the best record in baseball. They’ve opened up a 4.5-game lead over the Dodgers and Padres in the NL West, and they’ve gone 9-1 over their past 10 games. They’ve been particularly effective at home this season, posting a 25-10 record at Oracle Park.
That said, I’m ignoring all of that and picking the A’s.
The Giants will have Alex Wood on the mound, who has been one of their worst starters this season. He’s pitched to a 4.09 ERA and 4.18 FIP, and the A’s offense ranks fourth in the league in wRC+ vs. southpaws.
The Giants are also dealing with some key injuries to their lineup. Brandon Belt is currently on the IL, and Buster Posey was scratched from yesterday’s start. If Posey is out again, that would leave the team without arguably their two best hitters. I think that’s enough to make the A’s a nice value as underdogs.
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