As we inch closer to the halfway point of the season, we’re keeping our head above water when it comes to the DraftKings Sportsbook. In fact, even after a rough 1-2 performance last week, our record on article plays for the year stands at 15-11. With a lot of great baseball action on tap for this evening, let’s try to get back into the green.
Here are my three favorite MLB bets for Wednesday’s slate.
Milwaukee Brewers at Cincinnati Reds
First 5: Reds ML (-108)
This game opened with the Reds as +102 underdogs at home, but it’s moved to make Cincinnati the slight favorites. That change is understandable considering the presence of Brett Anderson, who is possibly the worst starting pitcher currently getting consistent innings in all of baseball. Through nine outings, the veteran left-hander has managed to register a jaw-dropping 8.58 expected ERA, a figure that is almost double his pretty pedestrian actual ERA of 4.42. Why do the advanced numbers dislike Anderson? Well, among the 145 pitchers who have conceded at least 100 batted ball events so far in 2021, Anderson’s 12.0% barrel per plate appearance rate is the worst of the bunch.
The key here is that the Reds should be able to jump out to an early lead against Anderson, yet I’m not 100% sure they’ll be able to hold the advantage. Cincinnati comes into Wednesday’s slate with the highest bullpen ERA in the league (5.82), so I think it’s best to take relievers out of play entirely by betting the first five innings line. Vladimir Gutierrez is a superior pitcher and the Reds’ offense is mightier than the Brewers’ attack. Everything backs siding with Cincinnati.
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Washington Nationals at Tampa Bay Rays
Team Total: Rays Over 4.5 Runs (+123)
I’m a little shocked that this line is as juicy as it is. While the Rays haven’t produced great numbers specifically against left-handed pitching so far this season, they’ve simply been one of the best offenses in baseball going back the last 30 days. To wit, in that span of time, Tampa Bay’s 115 wRC+ is the fourth-highest mark in the league.
This is also a matter of not all left-handed pitchers being in the same tier. Right now, I just have zero confidence in the abilities of Patrick Corbin. The veteran southpaw comes into tonight’s matchup with the Rays sporting a 6.33 xERA across 57.1 innings of work, the direct result of a massive dip in strikeout rate and surrendering 1.88 home runs per nine. It’s not like Corbin’s been rounding into form, either. Over his past four starts, the lefty has conceded a massive .396 opponent wOBA, which has led to Washington allowing at least five runs in three of those four contests.
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Zach Eflin Over 5.5 Strikeouts (-155)
Let’s not get too complex with this prop. Going back to Apr. 27 — a stretch of 42.0 innings — Elfin is sporting a well-above average 27.4% strikeout rate. It’s a seven-start span where the right-hander has managed to rack up at least six strikeouts in all but one outing. It’s also a sample where Eflin faced these same Braves and was able to record eight strikeouts across 6.2 solid innings of work. That doesn’t guarantee that he’ll be able to hit the over once again this evening; however, it certainly bodes well that Atlanta is in possession of the National League’s highest strikeout rate across the past two weeks (27.2%). I’m trusting in Eflin to get this done on Wednesday.
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