It’s Thursday, and that not only means the weekend is around the corner, it means we’ve got plenty of baseball on the docket. I’ve taken a look at the entire card and I think I’ve picked out three winners.
Here are my best MLB bets to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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Don’t look now, but the Yankees are coming for the Astros’ throne. No, I don’t mean the Yankees are going to surpass Houston as the league’s top team, but they’re coming dangerously close to becoming the kings of left-handed pitching.
Once a big problem for the Yankees, who carried over struggles from last season into the first half of 2021, the Bombers have come to master southpaws with a 116 wRC+ to rank second in baseball. This meteoric rise shouldn’t come as a massive surprise, considering New York has some of the most talented right-handed power bats in baseball, but it’s encouraging entering Thursday night nonetheless.
Tyler Anderson isn’t really an imposing pitcher, and while he has limited walks and hard-hit balls, which will help against the Yankees, he’s given up a lot of home runs this season because he pitches to contact. That’s not really going to fly in Yankee Stadium. What is going to fly is the baseball.
I love the Yankees’ bats in this spot and I love the strikeout-happy Nestor Cortes against a Mariners team that has struggled to hit lefties all year long.
The number here is high, but I think we should see plenty of runs scored. The Astros should do most of the heavy lifting, looking like an indomitable offense yet again and facing Griffin Jax, who enters with a 6.16 FIP and 2.4 homers per nine. I’m not quite sure what Minnesota sees in the righty to keep him around, with horrible hard-hit, strikeout and walk rates missing the league-average mark by a good deal, but a professional lineup like Houston’s should pose real issues.
Then, there’s Framber Valdez. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not the lefty is good over the last few years, and I think I’ve settled on him being an effective young pitcher. With that being said, he’s still got some issues — he walks 10.7% of the hitters he faces and his strikeouts have been below league average.
Minnesota checks in with the 11th-best wRC+ against lefties and a decent 7.9% walk rate, though strikeouts have been a big issue in this split. With depressed numbers in that department for Valdez, I think the Twins can chip in a few runs of their own to get us over the number.
Another night, another pair of disappointing pitchers going between the Braves and Cardinals. This time, it’s left-hander Wade LeBlanc against once-promising youngster Touki Toussaint. While the conditions seem ripe for many runs once again, I do think the Braves have the decided edge here.
For starters, Toussaint hasn’t been that bad. I mean, over half of the batted balls against him traveling at 95+ mph is pretty bad, but he’s at least complemented that with a well-above average strikeout rate and a low 5.6% walk rate. He’s done a great job this season of missing bats and limiting the damage done by homers and other loud hits.
On the other side, we’ve got soft-tossing lefty Wade LeBlanc, who should play right into Atlanta’s hands. He’s struck out just 14.4% of the hitters he’s seen this season, giving up a boatload of contact in the process. While the Braves have struggled against left-handed pitching by the numbers, they’ve brought in some great right-handed bats which I think have really brought the offense to life in that split. Now, Ozzie Albies’ prowess from the right side of the plate is more important than ever in the leadoff spot with guys like Jorge Soler and Adam Duvall following.
LeBlanc should be knocked around here, and I’ll take the hotter offense against the weaker pitcher any day.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jetsfan196) 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.