This is the last Thursday Best Bets article of the MLB regular season. That’s insane, right? We’ve been going at this for six full months, plugging away with obscure player props and first five wagers. Sometimes it’s enough to make you want to pull your hair out, but we’ve actually done quite well, if I do say so myself. For the season as a whole, our record sits at 74-62.
With a small slate this evening, I’m going with a small card. Here are a pair of bets I’m staring down on Thursday.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
The Guardians are 18-4 in their last 22 games. That’s an incredible feat. However, I think it speaks to the level of competition that they’ve faced in the AL Central, that despite that recent success, the team is still just 2-7 in its last nine home games against an opponent with a winning record. The Rays are really good, and it’s specifically their pitching that makes me doubt Cleveland’s chances on Thursday night.
Jeffrey Springs is in the midst of a breakout campaign. Across 126.1 innings, equipped with a devastating change-up, Springs has maintained a 2.56 ERA and a 3.38 expected ERA. The lefty has been even better in the stretch run of the season, posting a 2.38 ERA and a 2.47 FIP in the 53.0 innings he’s tossed since the beginning of August. It wasn’t like Springs was facing a creampuff schedule, either. That span includes two games apiece against the Yankees, Blue Jays and Red Sox. As for tonight’s matchup, the Guardians have proved time and time again that they simply can not hit southpaws in 2022. Cleveland enters Thursday with an AL-low 85 wRC+ within the split, which is paired with an MLB-low .105 ISO versus LHPs. I truly believe they’ll struggle to score a single run off Springs.
If anyone’s been reading this article all season, you’ll know my sorted history with Marco Gonzales. He’s so, so underwhelming statistically, and yet whenever I bet on him to lose, he wriggles himself out of every single jam his contact-oriented style of pitching welcomes. He’s my white whale. Fortunately, I think I’ve found a way to bet against Gonzales that doesn’t necessarily involve the Mariners losing: Hits allowed props.
In 2022, Gonzales has struck out just 12.9% of the opposing hitters he’s faced. Of the 128 pitchers who have thrown at least 100.0 innings this season, that’s the lowest mark of the group. Toss in an 88.4% zone contact rate, and you’ve got a starter that gives up an incredible amount of batted ball events every single time he takes the mound. That level of volume, even when paired with Gonzales’ relatively low .275 opponent BABIP, leads to hits. In fact, the veteran lefty has surrendered six or more hits in 12 of his last 17 outings. The Rangers are also the exact type of team to take advantage of these trends, as they’ve posted a 114 wRC+ against southpaws.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.