You know what I don’t like? Having to switch off the NFL Draft because the Diamondbacks have loaded the bases against the Cardinals with two outs in the ninth, and are threatening to somehow make me sweat a run line bet. You had an eight-run lead in the eighth inning! You’re killing me St. Louis. Still, the Cardinals would prevail, bringing our record to 10-8 on article plays as we reach the end of April.
Let’s finish the month strong. Here are three MLB wagers I like on Friday night.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
This line seems off. While I can understand that the Rangers currently have one of the lowest strikeout rates in the league (20.3%), they’re also in possession of the second-lowest team wOBA when squaring off with a right-handed pitcher (.262). Anderson isn’t going to need to strikeout multiple hitters per inning to clear this prop if he’s pitching into the seventh against a lineup that just can’t score runs with any level of consistency.
Anderson also comes with a certain level of strikeout pedigree. For his career as a whole, the 23-year-old has averaged over a strikeout per inning thrown, with a 9.16 K/9 across his 33 appearances. Last season, Anderson managed to strikeout at least five opponents in 15 of his 24 starts — a rate of 62.5%. Most importantly, dating back to his outing versus the Padres on Apr. 16, Anderson is rocking a swinging strike rate of 16.5%, which is good for the second-highest mark in the National League over that span of time. In first place? Corbin Burnes. That’s some pretty good company to keep and a very strong signal that high strikeout totals are around the corner.
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Through his first 77 plate appearances of the season, Turner’s sporting a pretty modest .127 ISO. It’s an indication that the extra-base hits have not been plentiful, though I feel strongly that a change is on the horizon. I’m not just talking about simple regression to the mean, either. In Friday’s matchup with the Tigers, Turner will be opposed by Tyler Alexander, a left-handed pitcher that has allowed RHBs to hit .291 with a .354 wOBA across his career. In a vacuum, that’s already reasonable evidence to like Turner’s prospects for this evening, yet the numbers only get better as you dig deeper.
To be blunt, there just might not be a more successful hitter of southpaw pitching in baseball than Turner at the moment. Going back to the beginning of 2020, here’s where the former first-round pick ranks among qualified bats within the split. Turner is first in batting average (.383), first in OPS (1.130), first in wOBA (.471) and first in wRC+ (198). Still, if you want to slightly knock him, Turner’s only fifth in ISO at .313. I think the shortstop easily clears 1.5 total bases against Detroit, and if you want to get a little more invested, Turner to exceed 1.5 hits is +170 on the DraftKings Sportsbook.
I’m going to keep coming back to this well until in runs dry. As of this morning, the Cardinals have covered the run line in 61.1% of their games, good for the fifth-best mark in baseball. Conversely, the Diamondbacks are 8-12 overall, are hitting below the Mendoza line as a team and rank 29th in baseball in both wOBA (.269) and wRC+ (72). By all standards of measurement, they are simply bad.
Tonight also feels like the night regression comes and steals Madison Bumgarner’s soul. The veteran left-hander has somehow maintained a 1.00 ERA across his first 18.0 innings of 2022, despite a 13.3% walk rate and the overall diminishing returns of the past two seasons. Don’t get me wrong, there are some positive signs with Bumgarner, as his fastball and cutter velocity have ticked up from 2021, but overall, I believe his 4.69 xFIP is a far more telling assessment of where the 32-year-old’s value currently is. On top of that, St. Louis leads MLB in wOBA (.375) and wRC+ (150) against LHPs. This is a very good matchup for the Cardinals.
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