Saturday’s MLB slate is a large one, with all 30 teams taking the field. Let’s break down some of my favorite wagers to target on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Washington Nationals @ Philadelphia Phillies:
Nationals ML (+104)
Both of these teams have been disappointing to start the year. The Phillies sit at just 26-30, while the Nationals are at 24-30. That said, they’re still in contention in the wild NL East. The Mets are the only team above .500 in the division, and they’re only sitting at 27-23. This is still anybody’s race.
I like the Nationals' chances of pulling out a win on Saturday. They’re taking on Spencer Howard, who has the potential to be a future ace in the big leagues. However, he’s struggled to translate that potential into success in his brief tenure at the Major League level. He pitched to a 5.92 ERA over 24 1/3 innings in 2020, and he’s followed that up with a 5.56 ERA in 11 1/3 innings in 2021. He’s struggled mightily with his control this season, allowing an average of 7.15 walks per nine innings.
The Nationals haven’t been particularly impressive against right-handed pitching to begin the year, but they have the potential to improve in that department. Juan Soto’s numbers are way down against right-handers, but he was one of the best hitters in the league in those matchups last season.
Set your DraftKings fantasy baseball lineups here: MLB $125K Bat Flip [$25K to 1st]
Cincinnati Reds @ St. Louis Cardinals:
Johan Oviedo Under 3.5 strikeouts (+110)
Oviedo will get the start for the Cardinals on Saturday, and he has been unimpressive to start the season. He’s pitched to a 5.40 ERA and 6.04 FIP, and he’s averaged nearly as many walks per nine innings (6.75) as strikeouts (7.20).
That could be a problem against the Reds. Their offense is loaded with quality left-handed bats, and they rank fifth in the league in wRC+ vs. right-handed pitching this season. That means they could make this a short outing for Oviedo, who has pitched 4 1/3 innings or less in three of four starts.
The Reds have also been a tough team to strike out recently. They own the lowest strikeout rate in the league against right-handers over the past seven days, and they’ve posted the third-lowest mark against right-handers this season. Given that Oviedo has not been a guy who racks up strikeouts early in his career, I will gladly take the plus-money with the under on his current strikeout prop.
New York Mets @ San Diego Padres:
Mets ML (-112)
Runs are expected to be at a premium in this contest. The over/under currently sits at just six runs, which is almost unheard of for a nine-inning game. These teams have arguably the best pitching staffs in baseball, and both squads will send elite starters to the mound on Saturday.
The Mets have their ace going in Jacob deGrom, and he has been downright unhittable to start the year. He leads the league with a 14.47 K/9, and he’s pitched to a ridiculous 0.71 ERA through his first eight starts. His 1.10 FIP suggests he hasn’t been all that lucky either. The Padres’ offense is good, but expect deGrom to make them basically non-existent on Saturday.
The bigger question is can the Mets actually score any runs for him? He has historically gotten very little run support, and the Mets managed just three hits and zero runs in yesterday’s contest. They’re facing Joe Musgrove in today’s outing, who has been excellent in his own right to start the year. He’s pitched to a 2.08 ERA through his first 60 2/3 innings, and he also threw the first no-hitter in franchise history.
Despite their struggles yesterday, the Mets’ offense has quietly started to heat up. They rank third in wRC+ against right-handers over the past seven days, so some of their hitters are starting to show signs of life. Getting Pete Alonso back in the lineup makes a huge difference, and Francisco Lindor has started to hit like the player the Mets thought they were trading for. He’s posted a 173 wRC+ in June, and while that’s obviously a small sample size, Lindor’s struggles during the early part of the year were a major outlier for his career. Overall, I expect the Mets’ offense to grab a run or two of Musgrove, and that should be enough for deGrom.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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