It took almost two months, but with last night’s 1-1 record, we’re officially up over 10 units so far this season. I’d like to thank my family, my agent and the Oakland Athletics for being so easy to fade.
We’re 26-17 on article plays heading into Friday. Let’s keep it rolling.
Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles
Rangers ML (+115)
I’m not going to get on my soapbox and proclaim that this line doesn’t make sense. Baltimore has the second-best record in baseball and the team is 15-8 when playing at Camden Yards this season. In general, they should be favored in this spot. However, while acknowledging that, I believe it’s also fair to see some value with the Rangers on Friday — particularly when it comes to the pitching matchup.
Jon Gray’s 18.4% strikeout rate and 5.18 xERA are worrisome, but the veteran has looked much better in his last three outings, surrendering just a pair of earned runs over 20.0 frames. Crucially, Gray’s strikeout rate sits at 25.3% in this span, which equates to far more digestible ERA estimators, such as a 2.78 FIP. Meanwhile, Grayson Rodriguez is headed in the other direction. The rookie’s May has been disastrous, with Rodriguez posting a 9.17 ERA and conceding an eye-popping .769 slugging percentage to opponents. Texas has a 120 wRC+ in the month. It should be able to take advantage of the struggling top prospect.
San Francisco Giants at Milwaukee Brewers
Under 8 (-105)
These two teams don’t exactly have explosive offensive potential. In fact, across the past two weeks, the Brewers and the Giants rank 22nd and 25th, respectively, in wRC+. In that same stretch, the two clubs also sit within the top-five in strikeout rate, which sort of explains much of the issues they’ve been having. Heck, as recently as yesterday, Milwaukee was shutout in a loss, while San Francisco struggled to do anything with Julio Teheran, a man who had not started an MLB game since 2021. Not ideal.
If you can believe it, things project to be even worse for the Brewers this evening. Alex Wood hasn’t been anything special so far in 2023, but the only thing you have to know about the 32-year-old is that he’s left-handed. For the season, Milwaukee ranks dead-last in batting average (.209), wOBA (.275) and OPS (.620) within the split. It has been indescribably awful against southpaws. As for the Giants, they’re in line to square-off with Freddy Peralta. The hard-throwing RHP has been at his best when pitching at home, posting a 2.43 ERA and a 2.73 FIP in 29.2 innings. Any way you slice it, runs are going to be at a premium.
St. Louis Cardinals at Cleveland Guardians
Under 7.5 (-105)
To be honest, you can basically take my analysis from directly above and apply it to this tilt between the Cardinals and Guardians. All you have to do is replace “Milwaukee” with “Cleveland” and “Freddy Peralta” with “Shane Bieber” and you’re good to go. The Guardians are really the lone team in the league that has struggled with left-handed pitching as much as the Brewers. Cleveland enters play on Friday with an AL-worst .278 wOBA within the split and an MLB-low .121 ISO. To be fair, the Guardians can’t really hit anybody, regardless of handedness, as they also sit dead-last in wOBA and ISO for the season as a whole. It’s the main reason the under has hit in 63.8% of Cleveland’s games in 2023.
Really, the only hesitation I have with this bet is the Cardinals’ red-hot lineup, as the team’s 132 wRC+ over the past two weeks is the best mark in baseball. Fortunately, the Guardians are sending their ace to the mound. Bieber has once again started the season outperforming his peripherals by a pretty substantial margin, yet at the end of the day, the veteran owns a 3.08 ERA and he’s allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his 10 starts. If Bieber can keep the Cardinals to two or three runs, this under will hit.
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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.