A big series starts on Friday at Fenway Park — one that could also benefit the Blue Jays. Here’s how to get in on Red Sox-Yankees, Toronto’s trip to Minnesota and a few other MLB Friday night games via DraftKings Sportsbook.
If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.
Red Sox-Yankees games are historically known to be high-scoring affairs. But there are always exceptions. Like, for instance, when you get one of the best pitchers in baseball (Gerrit Cole) going toe-to-toe with an ex-Yankee who’s at his best against his old team (Nathan Eovaldi).
Yes, the Red Sox have rocked Cole in the past, and he is coming off a brutal outing vs. Cleveland, but I can’t imagine he’s going to turtle completely. Boston may be rolling, but he’s just too good to get absolutely rocked in back-to-back starts.
And I’m sticking with the first seven frames over the first five or the full contest because I don’t mind mixing in the bullpens a little bit. But a lot can happen in the late innings of a Red Sox-Yankees contest, especially with postseason implications on the line. Best to avoid those if possible.
Washington may have thrown in the towel on 2021 at the end of July — understandably so — but Juan Soto hasn’t allowed this offense to let up. The Nationals have put together one of the best months against right-handed pitching this season, ranking fifth in OPS, wOBA and wRC+ against righties in September, as well as ninth in ISO.
As far as the long ball goes, the Nats have hit 23 off of right-handers this month, which is the seventh-best mark in baseball. Twelve of those home runs have come on the road — and in fewer plate appearances than at home.
While Nationals Park has a very favorable Park Factor, per StatCast, it’s still not quite as hitter-friendly as Cincinnati’s Great American Ballpark, where Friday’s contest is being held.
BREAKING NEWS: Same Game Parlays are now available! pic.twitter.com/dUg1dJ5pK8— DraftKings Sportsbook (@DKSportsbook) August 5, 2021
This weekend has a chance to be a big one for the Jays. They’re visiting the team at the bottom of the AL Central standings while the Red Sox and Yankees, who are both narrowly ahead of Toronto in the AL Wild Card standings, duke it out in Boston. Of course, Toronto can’t control the latter. All the Jays can do is ensure they maximize on what happens when the dust settles at Fenway Park after New York’s visit.
Jose Berrios could very well deal in his return to Target Field, but Toronto’s hitters are the ones I expect to get it done this weekend. And what better way to set the tone than do what you’ve done all season: mash right-handed pitching. September has been no exception to the rule, and Bailey Ober knows that full well.
The Jays recently got to the Minnesota right-hander for four runs over four innings. Now, Twins relievers were tough on Toronto last these two teams met, but that can’t hold up with the way Minnesota’s bullpen has thrown for much of the season.
The St. Louis right-hander makes his return to game action Friday, bringing an end to his second IL stint of 2021. Now, I don’t necessarily expect him to struggle vs. the Cubs. As much as they’ve hit right-handed pitching well this month, they have a whopping 30.4% strikeout right against right-handed pitching in September.
Normally, I’d be all about Flaherty hitting the over, but he’s acting more as an opener vs. Chicago. The right-hander doesn’t expect to throw much more than 15 pitches, per the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which means he might only go one inning. Even if Flaherty goes two frames, punching out two hitters per inning is a lot to ask of anyone in their return to game action.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.