There are quite a few good pitchers taking the mound on Friday. Here’s how I want to back some of them on DraftKings Sportsbook for Friday’s MLB slate of games.
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Robbie Ray has been cooking with gas since the start of August, and he’s facing a Orioles lineup that’s far from intimidating. Of course, that makes this a desirable game to target, but a hard one to find value — the Jays are -170 run line favorites.
So, let’s tighten our focus to the early portion of this one and put our focus on Ray, who’s posted a 1.51 ERA over his past eight starts. He hasn’t given up more than two runs since his tough July 21 outing, but we need him to hold Baltimore under two runs in this one — though not for the entire game. Over these past eight starts, opponents have scored two runs three times against Ray. In one of those instances, he held his opponent under two runs over the first five frames — oddly enough, that start was vs. Baltimore — meaning he’s held opponents to at most one run through five innings in six of his last eight starts.
The Orioles have been far from a tough opponent for lefties, too. They’re among the eight worst teams in terms of wOBA, OPS and ISO against lefties over the past month. Baltimore has been a bit better at home than on the road against lefties during that span but still far from intimidating — especially for someone who’s rolling to the level Ray is.
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Jordan Montgomery has been pitching pretty well for a little while now. Certainly not to the level of front-end starters, who are usually the pitchers I like to turn to with these bets, but plenty good enough to hold the Mets down on Friday. Over his last seven starts, he’s only given up more than one run once. Now, Montgomery did only log 4.2 innings last time because of his pitch count, but the bullpen still got the job done, limiting the damage to one run over that game’s first five innings.
Now he faces a Mets lineup that’s struggled against lefties over the past month. They’re bottom four in OPS, wOBA and ISO against lefties during that span. The Mets have been a little better at home against lefties during that stretch, but they definitely haven’t been tough.
It’s been a while since Ohtani saw the Astros, but that May meeting does have some relevance when assessing this bet. Ohtani punched out 10 over seven innings of one-run ball in Houston, at a time where the Astros were striking less against right-handed pitching at home than any other team (16.6% strikeout rate in May). Ohtani returns to the mound in Houston on Friday in the midst of a month-long stretch where the Astros have posted a 22% strikeout rate at home against righties. That’s still not overwhelming, but it’s a substantial difference from when Ohtani last saw them.
And six strikeouts is far from an overwhelming feat for the Angels right-hander. He’s punched out six-plus in each of his last five starts.
Not to be forgotten in all of this: Ohtani has a 15.4% swinging strike rate, which is one of the highest marks in all of baseball. A big reason for that is he generates a lot of swings on pitches out of the zone and limits contact on those offerings.
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