Monday features a 10-game MLB slate, so there are plenty of opportunities to look for value in the betting market.
Nationals ML (+125)
The Braves have been red hot recently, winning 11 straight games and cutting their deficit in the NL East to just 5.5 games. However, their winning streak isn’t as impressive as it sounds. Their wins have come against the Pirates, Athletics, Rockies and Diamondbacks, all of which are at the bottom of the NL standings.
Things won’t get much tougher on Monday vs. the Nationals, who have won just 23 of their first 62 games. That said, they will face a slight upgrade at pitcher in Josiah Gray. His numbers on the year are pedestrian – he owns a 4.43 ERA and a 4.68 xERA – but he remains a strong upside option. He was considered the No. 17 prospect per Fangraphs in 2021, and he has started to tap into that upside of late. He’s allowed just two earned runs over his past three starts to go along with 18 strikeouts over 16 innings.
While the Braves' offense has heated up of late, they remain vulnerable against right-handed pitchers. They’ve posted a below-average 96 wRC+ in that split this season, and their 26.0% strikeout rate is the worst mark in the league.
The Nationals have plenty of value at +125, and you can also make an appealing same-game parlay with the moneyline and the over on Gray’s strikeout prop.
Under 8.0 runs (-120)
Monday’s matchup between the Marlins and Phillies features an elite pitching matchup. The Marlins will hand the ball to Sandy Alcantara, while the Phillies will turn to Aaron Nola.
Alcantara has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. He’s pitched to a 1.61 ERA through his first 12 starts, which ranks second in the league. He also routinely pitches deep into games, averaging nearly seven innings per outing. He’s hit at least eight innings pitched in four of his past five games and has two complete-game shutouts in that stretch. The Marlins have the 11th-worst bullpen ERA this season, so getting as many innings as possible from Alcantara is undoubtedly a good thing.
Nola hasn’t been quite as impressive with his traditional stats, but his advanced stats are top-notch. His 2.68 xERA puts him in the 90th percentile for all pitchers, and his underlying metrics are also outstanding. He ranks in the 84th percentile or better in xBA, xwOBA, strikeout rate and walk rate.
Overall, offense should be hard to come by in this spot, which makes the under on 8.0 runs a strong option. Unders haven’t been nearly as profitable recently as they were to start the year, but the pitchers in this contest are too tempting to pass up.
Pirates ML (+155)
The Cardinals have vaulted to the top of the NL Central standings, owning a 0.5-game lead over the Brewers. Meanwhile, the Pirates continue to struggle, posting a record of just 24-34 to start the year.
That said, they’re in an interesting spot on Monday. They’ll be facing Zack Thompson, not to be confused with the Zach Thompson that actually pitches for the Pirates. The Cardinals’ Thompson is far more promising, entering the year as the team’s No. 5 overall prospect. He also allowed just one earned run over four innings in his first big-league start. Still, Thompson pitched to a 4.67 ERA in 10 starts in Triple-A this season, so he’s far from unhittable.
The Pirates have Mitch Keller on the mound, who is a candidate for some positive regression. His xERA is more than a full run lower than his traditional ERA, and his Statcast data is excellent. He ranks in the 82nd percentile in hard-hit rate and the 83rd percentile in average exit velocity.
He could see start to see some progression vs. the Cardinals. They’ve been solid offensively this season, but have made some of the worst contact in the league. They own the fourth-worst xwOBA, so their offense is not nearly as imposing as they look on paper.
With that in mind, I’ll happily roll the dice on the Pirates at +155.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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