When I say tonight features a small MLB slate — I mean it’s really small. In fact, the Field of Dreams game between the Reds and the Cubs was initially supposed to be on an island, but necessity forced a postponed contest between the Orioles and the Red Sox into the picture. That’s it. Two games starting past 7:00 p.m. ET.
As such, I’ll be keeping my card just as small this evening, with a plus-money bet on each matchup. We’re 53-44 for the season on article plays. Let’s dive in.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
The Orioles are one of the hottest teams in baseball, and their franchise cornerstone has been right in the middle of the action. Rutschman, a switch-hitting backstop, has been a force as a left-handed batter dating back to the beginning of June. In 150 plate appearances within the split in that span, Rutschman is slashing .323/.427/.575 with a 185 wRC+. That’s some impressive offensive output for a catcher, particularly one in his rookie campaign.
Rutschman also couldn’t ask for a better matchup on Thursday evening, as Josh Winckowski’s weaknesses line up perfectly with tonight’s scenario. Winckowski versus LHBs? He’s allowed a .300 batting average and 1.59 home runs per nine within the split. Winckowski at Fenway Park? The rookie has pitched to a 6.18 ERA in his six opportunities to start a game at home in 2022, conceding a massive .566 slugging percentage to opposing hitters. Like I said, everything’s coming up Adley. I’d expect the 24-year-old to take advantage of the circumstances in a big way.
We don’t have a huge sample of Field of Dreams games, but last season’s featured eight home runs into the corn. Who am I to bet against that kind of magic once again? In fact, if you’re specifically looking for home run props, my three favorites are Farmer (+425), Patrick Wisdom (+340) and Willson Contreras (+330). However, if you want to keep things a little more grounded, taking Farmer to finish with at least two total bases at plus-money is a route worth considering.
Farmer will be hitting third in the Reds’ lineup this evening against the left-handed Drew Smyly, which makes sense, as the infielder has crushed southpaw pitching in 2022. In fact, among players with 100 plate appearances within the split, only six have both a wOBA and an expected wOBA above .400: Austin Riley, Mookie Betts, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Judge, Trea Turner and Farmer. That’s some pretty decent company to keep! As for Smyly, he’s surrendered 1.76 home runs per nine to opposing RHBs this season. Smyly’s also conceded 1.95 home runs per nine dating all the way back to 2019 — the most of any pitcher with 300-plus innings in that span.
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