Philadelphia plays host to a great pitching matchup on Friday, and the Red Sox are visiting the Bronx for the first time in 2021. DraftKings Sportsbook has bets centered around both games that are musts in what should be a great day of baseball.
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If you’re one of those people who hates how much hitters are striking out, you won’t want any part of Friday’s game in Philly. Zack Wheeler vs. Max Scherzer (O/U 8.5 strikeouts on DraftKings Sportsbook). It’s a dream for anyone who loves good pitching.
The Phillies have been striking out more against right-handed pitching (11th in strikeout rate against righties) than the Nats (25th in strikeout rate against righties) throughout the entirety of 2021. But, over the last two weeks, Washington has gone down by way of the K against righties more than Philly. Also, during that same stretch of games, the Nationals have one of the worst OPS’ in all of baseball against right-handers.
As for Wheeler’s role in this, he hasn’t recorded fewer than seven strikeouts once in his last five starts — that includes his May 12 start vs. the Nationals. Perhaps the most important factor coming into this one, relative to this bet: Wheeler ranks among the 12 best in opponents’ contact rate on pitches in the strike zone, alongside Scherzer and Jacob deGrom. The Phillies have the second-lowest contact rate on pitches in the zone.
No one is hitting left-handed pitching better than the Braves right now. Over the last two weeks, Atlanta leads all of baseball in OPS and ISO against lefties.
That doesn’t mean Urias will get torched like he did in his last start, which came vs. the Giants — a team he was facing for the second time in as many starts, which tends to be troublesome for any starter. But, the Los Angeles lefty isn’t in for an easy night on the road.
I also like that Urias doesn’t walk hitters often. He can rack up strikeouts, but the lefty isn’t afraid to let opposing hitters make mistakes. That should present the Braves with a good amount of hittable pitches, at a time where they’re seeing offerings from left-handed pitchers well.
Any time the Red Sox and Yankees go at it, there’s always plenty of offense to go around. But, Nathan Eovaldi is usually tough in games against his former teams — and he’s hit or miss at Yankee Stadium as the visitor — so the overall game total is a bit tougher to predict. Though it’s hard to imagine the Yankees do much against him with the way they’ve hit lately.
Michael King is another story. One would think the Yankees want to stretch him out a little more after his last start with Corey Kluber out for a while. Even if the Yankees intentionally treat his Friday outing like a bullpen day — rather than attempt to stretch him out over five or six frames — King just gave up four runs in 2 1/3 vs. the Tigers. Detroit has been better of late, but not that much better. King also gave up seven runs over the three relief appearances (7 1/3 innings) that preceded his move to the rotation
This is the first time the Red Sox have seen King since they tagged him for two runs on two homers over 3 2/3 last season. Boston’s bats have quieted of late, but they did take a step in the right direction in their last game vs. the Astros. Going up against a subpar starter, Red Sox hitters will be able to build off what they did on Thursday.
As for the Yankees relievers, who the Red Sox will certainly get reacquainted with Friday, their FIP over the last two weeks (4.73) indicates they’re due for some regression.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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