We have a full slate of games for tonight’s MLB slate. Here’s what stands out to me on DraftKings Sportsbook on Wednesday.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s Reds-Brewers, Dodgers-Giants and Mariners-Padres games have been boycotted and postponed.
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Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies: UNDER 8.5 Runs (-109)
I like both of the starting pitchers in this matchup. To start the year, Aaron Nola looked nearly untouchable for the Phillies. That was until he struggled in his last outing against the Braves. Nola allowed four runs and didn’t make it out of the third inning. I think that game is causing the run total here to be a touch too high. For the year, Nola is still pitching well. He has 3.10 ERA with strong peripheral stats and is striking out a career-best 12.41 hitters per nine innings. He should bounce back against the Nationals, who only have a 94 wRC+ against right-handed pitching.
As for Patrick Corbin, he’s also pitching well other than one outlier start against the Orioles. A loss to Baltimore was the only outing he allowed more than three runs. Corbin has a 3.99 ERA, although that number should be a bit lower. He has an inflated .325 BABIP and his HR/FB% is a way above his career despite a similar batting ball profile. Corbin is actually allowing a career-best 4.6% barrel rate. Last year, hitters had an 8.8% barrel rate off Corbin, so it stands to reason he should allow less homers going forward.
Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins: OVER 8.5 Total Runs (-115)
I am not sure what to make of Mike Clevinger tonight, so I will side with the over and the Twins’ side of the game tonight. Following some off field controversy regarding his violation of COVID-19 protocols, Clevinger hasn’t pitched in the big leagues in three weeks. It’s tough to know how the time away from the Indians will impact him. We also need to consider that he wasn’t pitching all that well at the start of the season. In three outings, he walked 5.40 hitters per nine innings with a 6.28 FIP. Clevinger’s ERA only stayed in tact due to an incredibly lucky 97.6% strand rate. In addition to betting, the Twins make for a sneaky DFS stack.
St. Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals: OVER 9 Total Runs (-122)
I think both of the pitchers in this game are overrated. There is a ton of reason to think that Dakota Hudson is likely to face regression going forward. Neither his .250 BABIP nor his 82% LOB% are sustainable numbers going forward. Projection models have him with an ERA in the 4.50 range going forward, which I think is a more likely outcome for the rest of the season than his current 3.46 ERA. Hudson is also striking out a hitter per inning and that shouldn’t hold. He only strikes out 7.03 hitters per nine innings for his career and his swinging strike rate is in line with his career average.
Jakob Junis is another pitcher lucky to have an ERA as low as he has. Junis is walking the exact same amount of batters he is striking out, which is a huge issue, especially because he is prone to allowing homers. With a 6.49 FIP and a 5.77 xFIP, Junis should start to give up runs in bunches. He finished last season with a 5.24 ERA.
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Cincinnati Reds: Reds Moneyline (-132)
Adrian Houser is pitching decently this year, but he’s not nearly the same quality of pitcher as Sonny Gray. One of the frontrunners to win the NL Cy Young, Gray is having the best season of his career. He has a 2.21 ERA and is striking out 12.52 hitters per nine innings. The Reds should be priced as a prohibitive favorite just about every time Gray pitches. Even though they are favored, the line isn’t wide enough.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is gehrenberg) and 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.