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MLB Best Bets: Baseball Picks, Predictions, Odds to Consider on DraftKings Sportsbook for June 21

Nick Friar gives his best bets on DraftKings Sportsbook for Monday’s MLB betting card.

Umpires begin checking pitchers for the use of illegal foreign substances on Monday, so it only makes sense to back one of the hottest offenses in all of baseball. Here’s what I like on DraftKings Sportsbook from Monday’s action.

If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.

Houston Astros at Baltimore Orioles

Astros over 5.5 runs -120
Keegan Akin over 5.5 hits allowed -120

The Astros are rolling right now, hammering the over on Monday’s total in 12 of their last 15 games. On the day the league will begin checking pitchers for sticky substances, they get to face a left-hander who got shellacked by Tampa Bay and Cleveland in his last two starts — two teams that haven’t done nearly as well against lefties as the Astros recently.

In fairness, most offenses aren’t on the same level as Houston right now. The Astros are second in OPS and third in ISO against left-handed pitching over the last two weeks, so Keegan Akin is about to have a rough start to his week.

And when Baltimore’s lefty gets knocked out, the Astros will face a bullpen that continues to struggle. Over the last two weeks, Orioles relievers have combined for a 5.88 ERA, 5.11 FIP, 1.35 WHIP and 1.8 HR/9. If you’re wondering whether or not the Astros will have any luck against right-handers the Orioles trot out, Houston has the best OPS and ISO against righties over the last two weeks.

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Cincinnati Reds at Minnesota Twins

Tyler Mahle over 6.5 strikeouts +105

Mahle has hit the over on Monday’s strikeout prop in three of his last four outings, coming one strikeout short in his four-run, six-inning outing at Colorado on June 11. The Rockies are making contact more frequently than any team on pitches out of the zone over the last two weeks, so strikeouts have been a little tougher to come by for opposing pitchers.

The Twins (4.14 plate appearances per strikeout) are striking out almost as frequently against right-handers as Milwaukee (4.12) over the last two weeks and more often than St. Louis (4.50) during that span — both are teams Mahle struck out seven-plus times. While the Brewers and Cubs (the third team Mahle struck out seven-plus against in his last four starts) aren’t making much contact on pitches out of the zone right now, the Cardinals are a tick better in that department than the Twins in that regard over the last two weeks — Mahle had eight K’s vs. St. Louis.

But here’s the biggest reason this bet is so appealing: the righties Minnesota has faced over the last two weeks. Chris Flexen, Jose Urquidy and Brady Singer each outperformed their 2021 K/9 in their recent starts vs. the Twins, all logging at least seven strikeouts. Singer is the only one of those three who averages a strikeout per inning, but none of those three strikes out hitters as frequently as Mahle (10.9 K/9).

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