It’s Thursday, and that not only means the weekend is around the corner, it means we’ve got plenty of baseball on the docket. I’ve taken a look at the entire card and I think I’ve picked out three winners.
Here are my best MLB bets to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Even when Anthony Rizzo was playing regularly for the New York Yankees a week or two ago, things were still sluggish at the plate. Down several big bats and still struggling with strikeouts at 25.6%, the Yankees own a 109 wRC+ over the last two weeks. Now, while those numbers aren’t bad, per se, they’re not quite at the level we’d expect from a team that’s jettisoned itself into the playoff picture with a long hot streak.
So, I’m not quite sure the Yankees have the firepower to reach what is an astronomical total, even at Yankee Stadium. The Twins will run a bullpen game, and that unit hasn’t been all that bad with a 4.28 xFIP over the last two weeks. John Gant, who will start this one, has also been very effective over the last few years as a reliever, but showed with the Cardinals he can’t really go through the order more than once.
I’m focusing on the Yankees’ offense so much because Jameson Taillon has been so incredibly excellent in his six starts after the All-Star break, pitching to a 1.53 ERA. He’s producing the numbers his xERA has always indicated he’s capable of.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Marlins SP Nick Neidert will start Thursday vs. the Reds.
Put quite simply, this is a matchup between two very good pitchers, and the line should reflect that, but really doesn’t.
Zach Thompson has been solid out of the rotation for Miami with a 2.90 ERA over 11 starts, limiting baserunners to the tune of a 1.12 WHIP. His .344 xwOBA on contact would indicate he’s pretty much pitched in line with what his counting stats would indicate.
On the other side here, we have Luis Castillo, who has turned around his season in dramatic fashion. The flame throwing righty has brought his fastball velocity back up after a slow first couple of months, and while the strikeouts haven’t always been there, he’s settled down in a big way with a 1.71 ERA in June and a 2.15 ERA in July. He recently had a clunker against the Indians, but aside from that hiccup he’s been dependable.
Thompson’s task will be tall, but it’s important to note that Cincinnati doesn’t quite pack the same punch it has in months past without its best bat, Jesse Winker. And, while there are renewed concerns about Castillo, Miami has been one of the worst offensive teams this year and has a below-average 96 wRC+ since the All-Star Break.
This is a pitching matchup with a bigger disparity than the line would indicate. On the one hand, we have Brandon Woodruff, who’s pretty much had no weaknesses this year and is one of the best pitchers in baseball. He’s struck out hitters at an elite clip, and his hard-hit rate is one of the best in the game at 31%.
He’ll run into a Cardinals team that, while technically hot with eight wins in their last 11 tries, still enters with an OPS outside the top 10 in baseball over the last two weeks. Their wins have come as a result of pitching against bad teams (Kansas City and Pittsburgh) and they can’t be trusted against a pitcher of Woodruff’s stature.
On the other side of the coin, Jon Lester will try to quiet a Brewers team that has been one of the very best in baseball with the fifth-best wRC+ over the last two weeks. Their ability to make contact (77.7% rate in the second half) should hit Lester where it hurts, considering his hard-hit rate is nearing 40% and his strikeout rate is a lowly 14.2%. Milwaukee also hasn’t hit many ground balls, ranking 15th since the break, making it difficult for Lester to pitch to contact.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.