We have some horses going today, and I’m about to tell you why the best MLB bets to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook are centered on a few of them.
If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.
Yeah, we need Bieber to get 10 strikeouts on Friday. But guess what, his last start was the only time he hasn’t hit Friday’s over through five starts — and he got nine strikeouts in that one.
The White Sox aren’t exactly a team that strikes out a ton against right-handed pitchers, but it’s not like the Royals and Reds turn into putty against righties themselves, and Bieber hit Friday’s over against both Kansas City and Cincinnati this season. Oh, and he’s already hit the over vs. the White Sox in his one start against them.
Bieber has one of the best swinging-strike percentages in the league (19.1%) and has the lowest contact rate on pitches thrown outside of the zone (36.4%). If he gets through six innings—which he’s done every start this season—he’ll get at least 10 punchouts.
Darvish is coming off back-to-back nine-K outings vs. the Dodgers. Those two outings may be the only times Darvish has hit Friday’s over this season, but Los Angeles doesn’t strike out against righties much.
The Giants are a different story. San Francisco is third in strikeout rate against righties. And while the Giants are among the best teams against all pitchers at making contact on pitches out of the zone, Darvish hasn’t relied on hitters chasing a ton (24.9% O-contact%).
Relying on the Mets’ offense in any capacity seems risky on the surface, but there are two major factors to consider Friday: Jacob deGrom isn’t pitching for the Mets and Chase Anderson is on the bump for Philly. OK, the deGrom bit is getting old, but he was on the mound the only two times the Mets have been held scoreless this season.
As for Anderson, he’s the ultimate reason to trust the Mets to cover; Philly’s bullpen has a role to play, and we’ll get there in a second. We’re just finishing off the first month of the season and this guy is already facing New York for a third time. In nine innings vs. the Mets, he’s given up two home runs and five walks. On the season, Anderson’s walks are sky-high (4.32 BB/9) and he’s still giving up homers at too high of a rate (1.6 HR/9), so there isn’t reason to think he’s going to turn a corner out of nowhere (5.67 FIP).
When it comes to the Phillies’ bullpen, they’re not great at getting hitters to swing outside the zone (bottom five in MLB in O-swing%). But when Philly relievers do get opponents to go after pitches out of the zone, hitters tend to win that battle (fifth-highest O-contact% in MLB). Even with Mets hitters being middle of the pack in these categories against all pitchers, I feel good about their bats given Philly’s numbers.
Now, like Anderson, Marcus Stroman is making his third start vs. the Phillies this season. Unlike Anderson, Stroman has held the Phillies at bay—he allowed one run in six innings on April 6, and then tossed six shutout innings on April 13. I always like a good pitcher coming off a bad outing, too (four earned runs over four innings vs. Washington on April 24).
Not to be forgotten in all of this: the Phillies could easily be without Bryce Harper (face) again after he ate 97-mph cheese on Wednesday. That’s a pretty big bat to be without.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is dk-nfriar) 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.
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