Whether you’re an NL or AL Central fan, DraftKings Sportsbook has quite a few MLB bets worth your time on Friday. The NL Central one I’m targeting, in particular, stands out above the rest.
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Whether he’s limited the runs or not, Hendricks has given up six-plus hits in each of his last six outings. The last team to do so against him? The lowly Tigers, who only scored a run on eight hits against the Cubs righty. Before that, the Pirates — who are, to put it lightly, not hitting righties well — logged nine hits in five innings against Hendricks.
For those curious how the Cardinals do against right-handed pitching: St. Louis is 15th in OPS and ISO against righties this season. Not good enough where it’s a guarantee they’ll light up the run column, but certainly good enough to, at minimum, do what everyone else has against Hendricks for much of 2021.
The Tigers strike out a lot against everyone, but they’re actually quite a bit worse in that regard against lefties (33.7% strikeout rate) than righties (27.1%). Moreover, Detroit is dead-last in OPS, ISO and wOBA vs. left-handed pitching.
Maybe you didn’t need those numbers to know Minor will log a healthy number of innings vs. the Tigers, but now you can feel a little more comfortable about his chances of going at least six frames. As much as he has a 9.2 K/9 this season, knowing his start will have length is a big part of why this is a good pick. Minor’s swinging strike rate is just over 10%, and hitters are laying off his pitches out of the zone more than usual — as much as they’re hitting those offerings a little less frequently.
Last, but certainly not least: Minor’s nine-strikeout performance back on April 23, a season high, came against this very same Tigers team. That performance was one of the four times he’s hit the over on Friday’s prop in his last five starts.
The White Sox just went to town in two of three games vs. Minnesota, and they’ve crushed left-handed pitching all season, leading all of baseball in OPS and wOBA vs. lefties while sitting fourth in ISO against them. Jordan Montgomery’s 3.98 FIP may indicate his 4.75 ERA is due to improve, but it’s not like Montgomery is about to start dealing. He’s already been barreled up 10 times — twice more than last season despite having thrown exactly 100 more pitches in 2020 than he has this season. Montgomery has also averaged over two walks per nine innings and is prone to giving up home runs (1.30 HR/9). Not a great combination to have as a pitcher.
As for Rodon, most of the runs he’s surrendered this season have come in the first three innings. While he won’t repeat what he did last time out (four earned runs in 5 2/3 vs. Kansas City), one or two runs in the first five from him is in play. But, I’m comfortable relying solely on Montgomery here — and whoever comes out of the bullpen early if it comes to that.
Also, the game is at Yankee Stadium. Runs aren’t exactly hard to come by there when there isn’t a stud on the mound (i.e. Montgomery). Also, it wouldn’t hurt if Jose Abreu returned for Friday’s game.
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