Major League Baseball takes center stage on Tuesday. The focus will be on the 15-game MLB main slate.
Orioles ML (+170)
Toronto’s offense has started to heat up of late. They rank first in wRC+ over the past 14 days after toiling at the bottom of the batting leaderboards for much of the year. They’ve moved up to 10th in runs per game after finishing third in that department last year. The Blue Jays have made excellent contact all year — they trail only the Yankees in hard-hit rate and average exit velocity — so expect them to continue to climb the offensive rankings.
Their pitching remains the biggest question mark, and they’ll have Yusei Kikuchi on the mound Monday. He’s pitched to a dreadful 5.51 xERA this season, despite a career-best 10.03 strikeouts per nine innings. Batters have hit Kikuchi extremely hard when they have put the ball in play, with Kikuchi ranking in the sixth percentile or worse in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate and barrel percentage.
With that in mind, expect there to be plenty of runs scored in this contest. You could grab the over on 9.0 runs, but I’d rather roll the dice on the Orioles moneyline. Targeting moderate divisional underdogs in games that are expected to be high scoring has historically been a solid investment, and the +170 odds are too tempting to pass up.
Padres ML (-140)
What am I missing here? The Padres have been one of the best teams in the National League all season, while the Cubs have been one of the worst. Why are the Padres such small road favorites?
Their advantage on the mound in this contest is also massive. The Padres will hand the ball to Sean Manaea, who has been solid in his first year with the team. He’s pitched to a 3.48 xERA and a 9.26 K/9, and the Cubs rank merely 19th in wRC+ against left-handed pitching. He should be able to keep their offense at bay.
On the other hand, Kyle Hendricks has been dreadful for the Cubs. He’s managed just 5.68 strikeouts per nine innings this season, and he’s been unable to limit the damage on balls in play. Add it all up, and his 5.44 xERA is easily the worst mark of his career. The Padres aren’t an offensive dynamo, but they rank 10th in wRC+ against right-handers over the past seven days.
I’m always wary of bets that look too good to be true, but the Padres should roll in this matchup. I’ll take the bait.
Mariners ML (-120)
This contest features a matchup between two excellent young starters. The Mariners will turn to Logan Gilbert, while the Twins will hand the ball to Joe Ryan. Both pitchers have posted an ERA of 2.41 or better so far this season.
However, Gilbert is the easier player to trust on Tuesday. For starters, he was considered the superior pitching prospect. He entered the 2021 season as one of the top pitching prospects in the league, checking in at No. 24 overall in FanGraphs rankings. Ryan was a decent prospect — he ranked No. 5 in the Twins’ system heading into 2022 — but he’s not nearly as heralded as Gilbert.
Additionally, Ryan will be making his first big-league start in more than three weeks due to COVID-19. He did make a minor league rehab start last Thursday, but he was limited to just 40 pitches. That means he’ll likely be eased into action vs. the Mariners, so the Twins’ bullpen could be a bit busier than usual. They’re not a bad unit, ranking 15th in bullpen ERA, but they’re certainly not as good as Gilbert.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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