Just another ho-hum MLB Tuesday, am I right?
After a wild trade deadline, baseball is offering up a 15-game slate starting at 6:40 p.m. ET.
The Pick: Mets win and Nationals Under 2.5 runs (-105)
The Mets are massive favorites on Tuesday, but I have to get some exposure to them in this spot. I’m not willing to lay the -330 on the moneyline or the -180 on the run line, but there are some creative ways to get the job done. This combination bet of the Mets moneyline and the Nationals under 2.5 runs is my favorite combo. The Nationals have the look of a Quadruple-A offense on Tuesday, and not a particularly good one either.
The Nationals are going to be extremely gutted following the trade deadline. They’ve moved their two best players in Juan Soto and Josh Bell, and they’ll have no major league-caliber reinforcements on the way yet. The Nats were already a subpar offense, and they are now possibly the worst unit in the league.
Additionally, the Nationals will use a bullpen game, and they have one of the worst bullpens in the league. They have the seventh-worst ERA and the second-worst FIP, so asking them to pitch nine innings could be disastrous. Cory Abbott will get the ball first, and he has a 5.91 ERA and an 8.03 FIP across 21 1/3 career MLB innings.
That’s going to give them a significant disadvantage on the mound against — checks notes — Jacob freaking deGrom. The two-time NL Cy Young award winner will make his first start of the year, and while he will be limited to around 80 pitches, he should be able to slice and dice the Nats during that time frame.
The Pick: Tigers ML (+160)
The Tigers’ offensive struggles this season have been well-documented, particularly against right-handed pitchers. They own just a 67 wRC+, which is the worst mark in that split by a sizable margin. The A’s have been the second-worst team against right-handers this season, and they own a 78 wRC+.
Still, the Tigers get an outstanding matchup Tuesday against Chris Archer. Archer owns a 5.03 xERA, and he has been hit hard all season. He ranks in the 28th percentile in hard-hit rate and the 14th percentile in xERA and xwOBA. Archer has survived thanks to an unsustainably low BABIP, but he allowed six earned runs over three innings in his first start post-All-Star break.
The Tigers will hand the ball to Matt Manning, who will be making his first start since the beginning of the year. He missed nearly four months due to shoulder and bicep issues, but Manning was previously considered one of the best pitching prospects in baseball. He was ranked the No. 12 prospect per FanGraphs in 2021, so he clearly has the raw talent to succeed in the majors.
While the Twins have a clear edge on offense, the pitching differential skews heavily towards Detroit. I’ll take my chances with them as sizable underdogs.
The Pick: Over 7.5 runs
Both of these teams stink. The A’s were always expected to be terrible this season — that tends to happen when you trade away every player of value during the offseason — while the Angels were sneaky garbage. L.A. got off to an outstanding start this season, which threw us off the scent. The Angels have fallen all the way from 11 over .500 at the high point to 16 games under .500 currently, but at least they decided to keep Shohei Ohtani!
I would expect both of these teams to make at least one move before the trade deadline, and those moves will undoubtedly make these teams weaker. One player rumored to be on the block is Noah Syndergaard, who is scheduled to start for the Halos on Tuesday. Syndergaard is not the same dominant force he was in his prime, but he’s posted a respectable 3.83 ERA this season.
If Syndergaard is scratched, the Angels will have a worse pitcher on the mound than expected. They could opt for a bullpen game, and they own the eighth-worst bullpen ERA in the majors.
I’m willing to grab the over on 7.5 runs just on the chance that Syndergaard is scratched. The sharps seem to be in agreement, with a whopping 98% of the dollars landing on the over.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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