Thursday’s MLB slate isn’t a pretty thing, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still look for some value. There are just two games starting at 7:15 p.m. ET or later, so we’ll focus on both of those contests today.
Here are four of my favorite bets to target on Thursday.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers ML (+155)
This game is setting up as a “sharps vs. squares” showdown. The public is on the Cubs, who have been one of the best teams in baseball this season. They’ve jumped out to a 12-3 record, and they’ll have a strong starting pitcher on the mound in Yu Darvish. He’s produced a 2.12 ERA this season, and his 1.71 FIP suggests he’s been even better than his traditional metrics indicate.
Still, the sharps are not scared. The Brewers have generated just 33% of the moneyline bets in this contest, but those bets have accounted for 51% of the money.
Whenever there is a battle between the sharps and squares, I typically like to side with the professionals.
Chicago Cubs vs. Milwaukee Brewers: Under 8.5 (-112)
I’m going to double dip on this contest. I already mentioned the pitching prowess of Darvish, and the Brewers are sending a decent pitching option to the mound as well. He’s struggled a bit to start the year but posted a 3.89 ERA over 31 starts last season.
More importantly, the wind conditions at Wrigley field are favorable for an under. The wind is currently blowing straight in from center field at eight miles per hour, and the under has historically been a profitable investment at Wrigley with comparable conditions. There have been 203 regular season games at Wrigley with the wind blowout in since 2006, and the under has hit in 57.7% in those contests.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres: Padres ML (+128)
The Padres will get to send their ace to the mound in Chris Paddack, and he’s gotten off to a strong start in 2020. He’s pitched to a 3.18 ERA over his first 22.2 innings this season after posting a 3.33 ERA as a rookie.
The Padres’ offense has also been outstanding in 2020. They’ve been better vs. right-handers than left-handers, but they still rank 11th in wRC+ vs. southpaws. Their lineup is loaded with right-handed bats – Fernando Tatis Jr., Manny Machado, Tommy Pham, etc – so it wouldn’t surprise me to see them rise in the standings as the season progresses.
I’m fine with rolling the dice on them as a small underdog.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres: Julio Urias U 4.5 strikeouts (+105)
Urias is a very promising young pitcher. He posted a 2.49 ERA over 79.2 innings in 2019 and has followed that up with a 2.40 ERA over his first three starts in 2020.
That said, he isn’t exactly a strikeout maven. He’s produced a K/9 of just 6.00 through 15 innings this season, and he’s recorded three strikeouts or fewer in two of his first three outings. The Dodgers are also notorious for pulling starting pitchers early, so I wouldn’t expect Urias to go more than five or six innings in today’s outing.
The Padres can be a little strikeout prone – they rank 12th in strikeout rate vs. southpaws this season – but I still like this prop at better than even money.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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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.