I can only blame myself. Obviously not for bad picks, but for tempting the Sportsbook Gods. Did I make a quick “nice” joke about having 69 winning article play bets last Friday? I did. Flash forward to the present, and after an 0-3 showing on the Friday in question, our record for the season as a whole stands at 69-61. Will I be forever stuck on that humorous win total? Only time will tell.
Let’s get to the bets, shall we?
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Think of this as an augmented moneyline bet. Instead of betting the Guardians to win at -140, we now get them at plus-money, with the caveat that we have to trust the backend of their bullpen. That’s not too horrible a fate when said bullpen is led by Emmanuel Clase. I guess getting the lead early is also important, but that should cause little sweat. Cleveland has been red-hot at the plate the past two weeks, ranking second in runs (77) and sixth in wOBA (.340) within that span of time.
So, that only leaves the first eight innings to cover. Good thing Bieber is starting for the Guardians. Any concerns the collective public had about Bieber and his velocity loss should be put to bed at this point in the season. The right-hander has been amazing as of late, maintaining a 1.68 ERA and a 2.49 FIP over his last 10 appearances. In fact, Bieber’s 8.2 K/BB ratio within that same span is the sixth-best qualified mark in baseball, putting him in the class of some truly elite arms. Cleveland smells blood in the water. The division can essentially be won tonight. Look for the team’s ace to get the job done.
Who doesn’t love cheering against history, right? I don’t think most people are running to the DraftKings Sportsbook to bet on the pitcher throwing the ball to Aaron Judge tonight, but I simply can not get over how off this prop seems. Wacha has been the most consistent arm the Red Sox have rostered in 2022, and while that isn’t an incredibly high bar to clear, that consistency has tended to translate most tangibly to innings pitched. Wacha’s recorded at least 16 outs in each of his past seven trips to the mound and in 13 of his last 17 starts overall.
Ironically, Wacha’s current streak of seven consecutive outings began with seven scoreless innings against the Yankees back on August 14. Since that point, the RHP has pitched to a 2.47 ERA and a 2.79 FIP. Maybe the most important aspect of Wacha’s recent run has been outstanding control, as he’s sporting a microscopic 2.4% walk rate within this span. That conserves pitches, which in turn, helps the 31-year-old work deeper into games. This isn’t rocket science. Also, if you care, Judge is 0-for-13 with nine strikeouts versus Wacha in his career. Maybe he’s due.
Taking an under at Great American Ball Park is generally a fool’s errand, but in 2022 the over is only 36-35-2 in Reds’ home games. That’s what happens when ownership is actively trying to lose and constructs a team with a payroll well below the league average. However, I’m not here to scold Cincinnati’s brass, I’m here to talk about a fantastic pitching matchup. Brandon Woodruff and Hunter Greene have been almost unhittable in their recent outings. Woodruff owns a 2.68 FIP and a 31.4% strikeout rate across his past five starts, while Greene has registered a 1.85 FIP and a 34.5% strikeout rate in his last five appearances.
Those strikeout rates are key. The park factors don’t matter much if neither team can actually make contact. Greene, in particular, seems to really be coming into his own in the second-half of the season, as he’s currently riding a streak of 14.0 straight scoreless innings. Considering both the Brewers (96) and the Reds (84) have an underwhelming wRC+ in the month of September, I’d expect the good times to keep rolling for both pitchers this evening.
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