The MLB action keeps rolling along, and we have another 15 games to choose from on Tuesday.
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The Pick: Tigers +110
It has been an ugly start to the season for the Red Sox. They dropped two of their first three games vs. their biggest rivals, and they followed that up with a loss in the first game of their series vs. the Tigers. They’ve averaged just three runs per game while surrendering an average of 4.25.
They’ll hand the ball to Rich Hill on Tuesday, who just recently turned 42 years old. That may not be normal in everyday life, but it’s ancient for an athlete. Hill racked up a respectable 3.86 ERA last year, his xERA, FIP, and xFIP were all at least 4.35. The major projection systems are projecting him for an ERA of closer to five this year, so he’s a prime candidate.
Tyler Alexander isn’t much better, but I see this matchup as a draw on the mound. With that in mind, I’ll grab the Tigers as slight home underdogs against a team that has faltered out of the gates.
The Pick: Mariners +110
The Mariners have dropped their last two games, which makes them an interesting buy-low target vs. the White Sox. Historically, road squads coming off a loss facing a quality opponent have posted a win rate of 41% in their following contest. That may not sound like much, but it results in a return on investment of +10%. That’s why baseball is one of the best sports there is for sports bettors. You don’t have to be right all that often to turn a profit.
The Mariners will turn to a relative unknown in Matt Brash, but he has dominated the minor leagues. He posted a 2.08 ERA in A-ball in 2019, and he posted a 2.13 ERA over 10 starts at AA last year. The No. 98 prospect per MLB Pipeline followed that up with an impressive Spring Training, which was enough to earn a spot in the M’s rotation.
Meanwhile, the White Sox will turn to Vince Velasquez. He has strong strikeout stuff, but he’s never been able to translate that into success at the major-league level. He’s posted an ERA of 4.85 or worse in five straight seasons, including a mark of 6.30 last year. I will gladly take the unknown in Brash over the guy I know can’t get anyone out.
The Pick: Yankees -115
These two teams both have big aspirations, and both teams are expected to be juggernauts offensively. The bigger questions are with their pitching staffs. The Blue Jays got an excellent performance from Alek Manoah on Monday, but the Yankees have the more appealing pitcher on Tuesday.
They will hand the ball to Nestor Cortes Jr., who was brilliant between the rotation and bullpen last season. He was slightly worse as a starter, but he still pitched to a solid 3.07 ERA over 73 1/3 innings.
The Blue Jays will turn to Yusei Kikuchi, who had a solid season in his own right. However, he’s a southpaw, and the Yankees have historically teed off on left-handers. They ranked sixth in wRC+ last season, and their lineup is loaded with guys who smash left-handers: Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, D.J. LeMahieu, and Josh Donaldson just to name a few. Kikuchi allowed a .357 wOBA to right-handed batters last year, so this is about as bad as it gets for him from a matchup perspective.
The Pick: Marlins +135
I just can’t quit Jesus Luzardo. He was terrible last season, pitching to a 6.61 ERA over 95 1/3 innings, which is a big reason why he’s in Miami instead of Oakland.
However, Luzardo’s stuff is electric. He posted a 1.50 ERA when he was first called up by the A’s in 2019, and he was listed as high as the fifth-best prospect heading into the 2020 season.
It remains to be seen if he can recapture that success, but Spring Training was a positive sign. He pitched to a 0.77 across 11 2/3 innings, and he racked up 10 strikeouts compared to just three walks.
Ultimately, I’m willing to be burnt by Luzardo one more time.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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