Saturday features a sizable MLB slate, with all 30 teams in action. That includes 12 games starting at 6:10 p.m. or later, which is what this piece will focus on.
Let’s break down some of my favorite wagers to target on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Cubs ML (+100)
Both of these teams were essentially gutted before the trade deadline. The Nationals shipped off Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, Daniel Hudson and Yan Gomes, while the Cubs lost Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant, Javy Báez, Craig Kimbrel and Ryan Tepera. Both teams lost some other players as well, so these teams look nothing like the playoff hopefuls that they were at the start of the season.
The Nationals probably have more remaining talent on their roster – they at least have Juan Soto – but the Cubs should have the pitching advantage in this matchup. They’ll send Kyle Hendricks to the mound, while the Nationals are starting Joe Ross. Hendricks is not the same pitcher that he was in his prime, but he’s still pitched to a solid 3.85 ERA in 2021. He’s also been significantly better after a dreadful start to the year, posting sub-3.00 ERAs in May and June and a 3.41 ERA in July. Ultimately, I’ll take the reliability of Hendricks over Ross on Saturday.
Mets ML (-130)
The Mets have been treading water recently, but they did get some help before the trade deadline. They added two starting pitchers to their roster in Rich Hill and Trevor Williams and a potential middle-of-the-lineup thumper in Javy Báez.
Hill will take the mound Saturday vs. the Reds, and you know what you’re getting from him. He should go somewhere between five and six innings, and he should be able to limit the damage from the opposing offense. The Reds rank just 27th in wRC+ vs. left-handed pitchers this season, so Hill has the chance to be a bit better than usual on Saturday.
Báez should have a chance to make an impact in his Mets’ debut (assuming he’s in the lineup). He’s always hit left-handed pitching well, and the Reds will give the ball to southpaw Wade Miley. Miley has posted a strong 2.86 ERA this season, but his 4.01 xERA suggests he’s been a bit lucky. He’s been vulnerable against right-handed hitters in particular, and the Mets now feature a few strong right-handed bats in Baez, Pete Alonso and J.D. Davis. They should bounce back after yesterday’s disappointing performance.
Rangers ML (+115)
The Rangers are shaping up to be a preferred target for the sharps on Saturday. They’ve received just 22% of the moneyline bets, but those bets have accounted for 37% of the dollars. That has caused some significant line movement, with the Rangers dropping from as high as +150 earlier in the day to +115 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
The Mariners had some weird activity at the trade deadline, buying like a contender in some deals while selling in others, but they are firmly in the hunt for a playoff spot. They will send one of their new acquisitions to the mound on Saturday in Tyler Anderson, but he doesn’t stand out as much of an upgrade to their pitching staff. He’s posted a 4.35 ERA and a 4.26 FIP over 18 starts this season, both of which are mediocre at best. The Rangers’ offense is certainly beatable – especially after trading away Joey Gallo – but there’s no reason to expect Anderson to mow them down.
The Rangers will send a southpaw of their own to the mound in Taylor Hearn, and he’s been essentially just as good as Anderson. The Mariners have also struggled against southpaws this season, so this looks like a true coin flip. With that in mind, I’ll always gravitate toward the team with plus odds.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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