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MLB Best Bets: Baseball Picks, Predictions, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for August 23

Nick Friar gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Monday’s MLB betting card.

I usually like going with team game totals, but I found myself limiting my exposure to bullpens for Monday’s action. Here’s what I like on DraftKings Sportsbook for this small slate of games.

If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.



Atlanta Braves vs. New York Yankees

First Five Innings Braves over 2.5 runs +105
Jordan Montgomery over 4.5 hits allowed -140

Let’s take New York’s bullpen out of the mix entirely Monday night. They’ve certainly had their hiccups, but I’d rather not toy with a bullpen that has a 3.25 FIP, 2.27 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 0.68 HR/9 for the month of August if possible. Instead, let’s focus on Montgomery and the Atlanta lineup that’s put opposing lefties to work all season.

While the Braves have hit right-handed pitching a little better of late, they’re numbers over the last couple weeks against lefties are consistent with their season-long stats. The Braves are 10th in OPS against lefties and lead all of baseball in ISO against left-handers in 2021.

Montgomery has thrown well since the All-Star break, which means he’s due for some tougher starts — like the one he had vs. Boston last time out. Speaking of regression, he was giving up five-plus hits per start on the regular until July. Against a strong lineup like Atlanta’s, he should reach that mark fairly comfortably.


Chicago Cubs vs. Colorado Rockies

First Seven Innings Total under 6.5 runs +105

We’re going a bit unconventional here. I like the under on the first five innings total (4.5) more than the full game total (9), but the first seven innings is where I’m most comfortable for this contest Monday.

One of the big factors being: we want to limit our exposure to either bullpen. Although Colorado’s bullpen FIP in August indicates improved results are on the way, that group is far from steady. Cubs relievers are even less reliable. But, I don’t mind trusting those groups with an inning or two apiece.

Antonio Senzatela and Kyle Hendricks should each comfortably last six innings apiece on Monday. Senzatela will still give up some hits like he always does, but he’s still facing a Chicago lineup that’s not striking fear into the heart of any opposing pitchers. Even when he gives up a bunch of hits, the Colorado righty has managed to navigate those messes at times. As far as Hendricks goes, we all know what happens when you pull the Rockies out of Coors. Plus, the Chicago right-hander just shut down a very potent Reds lineup.

But while I trust the two starting Monday’s matchup at Wrigley enough, a little wiggle room would be nice. Going with the seven-inning total over the five-inning total provides that extra space.



Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics

First Five Innings Mariners over 1.5 runs -140

Paul Blackburn hasn’t pitched a ton at the big league level since he made his MLB debut back in 2017. Things haven’t exactly gone well in his limited chances, yet he’s managed to keep the ball in the yard for the most part.

But Monday, he goes up against a Seattle lineup that’s hit right-handed pitching much better this month than it has all season. And much of that work has been done over the last two weeks.

Combine the Mariners’ recent power boost against lefties with the fact they’ve walked often against right-handers all season and Blackburn hands out free passes more than a fair amount, and it’s hard to imagine Seattle doesn’t get at least a little bit done against the Oakland right-hander early. Thankfully, for this pick, all the Mariners have to do is get a little bit done.

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