Full slate of MLB action on Saturday with things kicking off just after 1 p.m. ET. We’ll get things started with picks from the earlier action to hold us over until the evening.
Follow along on Twitter (@Nick_Friar) for updates.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
We’re doing a little bit of chasing here, but the Mets have been cooking. They’re 7-1 RL out the gates, covering in four of the five games they’ve been favored and winning by two runs five times in total. Compound that with Arizona being 3-4 RL after Friday’s 10-3 finish, and it’s hard to imagine the trend will change.
Carlos Carrasco will be opposite Zac Gallen, the latter of which will be making his first start of the season. Neither lineup has gotten much of a taste against either right-hander, which plays in the pitchers’ favor. And in a battle of arms, the gap is too much in New York’s favor when looking solely at the two starters.
As for the bullpen, neither has been lights out so far. But, the Mets’ 3.59 bullpen FIP against their 4.34 ERA indicates they’re due to improve, whereas Arizona’s 4.40 bullpen FIP against their 3.82 ERA says the opposite.
After posting the third-lowest OPS, second-lowest ISO and lowest average against right-handed pitching of his MLB career in 2021, Abreu’s struggles against righties have continued. He’s a mere 4-for-20 with a double and two walks against righties to start 2022. But even in a year where he posted a .772 OPS against righties (2019), Abreu has hit Corey Kluber well throughout his career.
Now, it’s been a while since the two squared off — last time being that 2019 season. Still, Abreu has gotten a good taste of Kluber at his best and thrived in those opportunities. Chicago’s first baseman is 18-for-53 (in 58 plate appearances) with five home runs and four doubles against Kluber. Although the Tampa Bay right-hander is in good form to start the season, he’ll have his work cut out for him when he goes toe-to-toe with his old AL Central rival.
Although they’re underdogs on the money line, the Cardinals are RL favorites Saturday. It’s a worthwhile play at +160, but St. Louis is only 2-2 RL as favorites this season despite being 4-2 straight-up out the gates. As much as I think Steven Matz can do the job Saturday, I’ll leave room for a one-run win with this pick at even money.
A lot of this will come down to how Matz and Adrian Houser perform given both bullpens have been strong out the gates. Now, their bullpen FIPs to indicate regression is in order, but St. Louis’ 3.23 bullpen FIP is still plenty good and superior to Milwaukee’s, which is middle of the road at 4.00.
Also, Cardinals hitters have gotten a good look at Houser, who didn’t exactly throw all that well in his first start of 2022 — which came against the lowly Orioles. Now, Matz had a gross start himself in his first Cardinals appearance vs. Pittsburgh. The Pirates aren’t the Orioles, but they’re not exactly a scary lineup. However, neither is Milwaukee’s, posting a .586 OPS, .116 ISO and .265 wOBA against left-handed pitching in the early going.
Cleveland’s bats went quiet in their home opener on Friday, but Carlos Rodon is a far tougher opponent than Anthony DeSclafani. Plus, the Guardians only have a .138 team ISO against lefties in the early going. Against righties, however, they lead baseball with a .871 OPS and .379 wOBA while sporting the third-best ISO against right-handers (.218).
San Francisco’s lineup has only popped off once, but the Giants are also in a favorable matchup against Cal Quantrill. The Giants are also among the teams hitting righties best this season, posting an .808 OPS, .205 ISO and .354 wOBA against them in the early going. And they also might get some help from Cleveland’s bullpen in this one. Guardians relievers have a decent 3.45 ERA, but their 4.92 FIP indicates trouble is on the horizon.
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