We have another full day of baseball scheduled for Sunday, with 28 of the 30 teams set to take the field. The only exception are the Mets and Braves, who have been rained out for the second straight day.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Sunday’s slate.
Cleveland Guardians at Boston Red Sox:
The Pick: Guardians Moneyline (+110)
The Guardians and Red Sox are off to comparable starts this season, with both teams hovering right around .500. Boston has survived thanks to their offense, ranking third in the league in runs per game, while the Guardians have relied more on their pitching.
Fortunately, the Cleveland bats should be able to wake up vs. Chris Sale. Sale was once one of the most feared pitchers in baseball, but he has not looked even close to the same pitcher this season. He’s still generating plenty of swings and misses – he’s racked up 11.74 strikeouts per nine innings – but batters are doing massive damage when they make contact. Sale ranks in the 22nd percentile in average exit velocity and 18th percentile in barrel rate, so it’s not surprising that batters have averaged just under two homers per nine innings against him.
The Guardians are a contact-oriented offense, and they own the ninth-lowest strikeout rate vs. Southpaws this season. They should be able to put the ball in play vs. Sale, and when that happens, the ball tends to go a long way.
Logan Allen will make his second career start for the Guardians, and he was magnificent in his first. He racked up nine strikeouts over six innings, allowing just one run in the process. He likely won’t be that good vs. the Red Sox, but he’s a top-100 prospect with plenty of pedigree. I’ll take my chances with him vs. the declining Sale.
New York Yankees at Texas Rangers:
The Pick: Under 8.0 runs (-105)
If you haven’t been paying attention recently, the Yankees’ offense is kind of a joke. Without Giancarlo Stanton and likely Aaron Judge, the “Bronx Bombers” have very little offensive talent. They managed just two runs vs. the Rangers on Friday, and they were kept off the board completely by Nate Eovaldi on Saturday.
Those don’t stand out as major outliers. The Yankees have averaged just 4.07 runs per game this season, which ranks tied for 22nd. Against left-handers like Martin Perez, they’re 21st in wRC+.
Perez had a late-career breakout with the Rangers last season, pitching to a 2.89 ERA across 32 starts. He’s off to another strong start in 2023, posting a 2.60 ERA through his first five outings. He should have no problem carving through the current iteration of the Yankees, which features one of the least imposing bottom-five hitters in all of baseball.
However, the Yankees can still pitch. They haven’t had Carlos Rodon or Luis Severino at all this season, yet they still rank third in the league in ERA. Part of that is due to Nestor Cortes, who will get the ball on Sunday. His ERA is up a bit this season at 3.49, but his 2.79 FIP xERA is in line with last year’s mark.
Ultimately, runs should be at a premium in this contest, so I’ll grab the under on 8.0.
San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres:
The Pick: Giants Moneyline (+125)
If you missed yesterday’s Mexico City showdown between the Giants and Padres, you missed quite a spectacle. The altitude is even higher than it is in Coors Field, and they don’t have the special humidor for the baseballs that they do in Colorado. They use the same humidor as they do in the other 29 parks, so these two teams might as well be playing on the moon. They combined for 11 homers and 27 runs on Saturday, and the total for Sunday’s rematch sits at an absurd 20.5.
I seriously debated taking the over – that’s how ridiculous the scoring environment is – but I think the better play is just taking the underdog. That’s the Giants in this matchup. Since every ball that’s put in play has a chance to go over the fence, the pitching matchup really doesn’t matter. Yu Darvish is probably better than Alex Cobb, but in this environment, they’re both going to be serving up batting practice.
In general, events that are going to feature plenty of variances tend to favor the underdogs. That makes +125 pretty appealing.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) 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.