This article originally appeared on MLB.com: Here are 5 wise wagers for tonight’s slate
The final Tuesday in August features quite a few appealing underdogs that we’ll back via DraftKings Sportsbook.
Follow along on Twitter (@Nick_Friar) for updates.
Cole Irvin responded to his two roughest outings of the season with 11 strikeouts, three hits and no walks over seven shutout innings vs. the Marlins. That led to Oakland’s first win in an Irvin start since July, despite the fact the left-hander churned out two strong outings at the start of August.
The offense backing him hasn’t been crushing right-handed pitching this month, but Oakland just scratched out wins in back-to-back close contests vs. the Yankees. Washington’s lineup isn’t nearly as problematic as the one Irvin will face on Tuesday, and Erick Fedde is far from lights out, so Oakland is in a spot to win consecutive Irvin starts; of the Athletics’ eight wins in Irvin starts this season, four were preceded by a win in the left-hander’s previous outing.
Alonso has been swinging it well lately, logging multiple hits in three of his last five games. He has only one extra-base hit during that stretch, but Tuesday presents him with a spot to log another one. Since the break, Alonso has a .217 ISO against left-handed pitching. That’s been the result of a 47.4% line-drive rate and 36.8% fly-ball rate. With Andrew Heaney on the mound, those numbers could improve. Although the Dodgers left-hander has surrendered a .322 wOBA to right-handed hitters this month, they have a 23.7% line-drive rate and 47.4% fly-ball rate against him.
No matter whom the Twins have been playing, they have not managed to pull out a win in a Chris Archer start since June. The Red Sox haven’t had much luck in recent Kutter Crawford starts, either, but that skid only began this month.
The difference, though, is the quality of opponent they’ve been facing. Crawford has faced the Yankees, Blue Jays and Orioles in his last three starts. This month alone, the Twins have been unable to win when Archer has started against the Tigers, Angels and Rangers. Both offenses have been middling against right-handed pitching this month despite making a good amount of quality contact. With Red Sox hitters having much more familiarity with Archer, Boston is in a good spot to bounce back following Monday’s loss.
This White Sox lineup has seen Brady Singer quite a bit, but Eloy Jiménez is the only one who’s given the Kansas City right-hander much trouble. Even then, Elvis Andrus is the only White Sox hitter who has an extra-base hit in his career against Singer (one double). Given the form Singer is in — 1.37 ERA, 3.16 FIP and 26 strikeouts across his last 26 1/3 innings (four starts) — and the fact Chicago has a .104 ISO against right-handed pitching this month, the status quo should maintain.
Now, Kansas City’s hitters haven’t been the best against right-handed pitching this month (.138 ISO), but Lucas Giolito remains a volatile option on the mound — especially at home. The Chicago right-hander has a 6.71 home ERA this season, having given up seven runs to a struggling Houston offense in his last home start after allowing the Tigers to put up four over seven frames in the outing prior. It’s understandable that the White Sox are favored here, but this is a strong spot for an upset with Singer in very good form.
Don’t look now, but the Pirates are starting to do some work at the plate; they’ve posted five runs in back-to-back games. Doing so against Noah Syndergaard is impressive but not mind-blowing. Scoring five against Corbin Burnes, on the other hand, is borderline unfathomable. Combining the Pittsburgh offense’s recent form with the pitching matchup set to take place on Tuesday puts the Pirates in a spot to steal one on the road.
Mitch Keller has struggled in his last two starts, bringing the Pirates’ record in his 2022 starts to 8-16. But the right-hander had been in very good form until those rough outings, posting a 2.23 ERA and 3.29 FIP across six consecutive starts. He’ll go toe to toe with Jason Alexander, who is a major step down from the last two right-handers the Pirates have seen. They’ll likely see a lot of Milwaukee’s bullpen, which has a 3.81 ERA and 4.29 FIP since the start of August. Plus, Devin Williams will likely be unavailable after throwing in back-to-back contests.
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