Major League Baseball enters its third week, and we have another nine games to choose from this evening.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Monday’s Giants-Mets game has been postponed due to inclement weather.
The Pick: Mets ML (-120) The Giants head to Citi Field to take on the Mets in a battle of first-place squads. The Mets dropped their last game, but they’re still off to a 7-3 start in what they’re hoping will be a big year. Meanwhile, the Giants are at 7-2 and looking to prove that last season’s 107 wins weren’t a fluke. Both teams will have interesting pitching options on the mound on Monday. The Mets will turn to Tylor Megill, who was not expected to be a part of their rotation at the start of the year. However, injuries to Jacob deGrom and Taijuan Walker have given him new life. Megill has taken full advantage through his first two starts, allowing zero runs with 11 strikeouts over 10 1/3 innings. Cobb had a dreadful stint in Baltimore from 2018 through 2020, but he turned things around with the Angels in 2021. He pitched to a career-high 9.45 strikeouts per nine innings, which allowed him to rack up a 2.92 FIP. Now in San Francisco, he has a chance to better his marks in one of the most pitcher-friendly parks in baseball. I’m bullish on Cobb this season — Oracle Park has made plenty of pitchers money throughout the years — but he won’t have the same benefit on Monday. He’ll also have to navigate a lineup that ranks third in wRC+ against right-handers to start the year. I don’t expect we’ll have many opportunities to grab the Mets as such moderate home favorites this season, so let’s take advantage while we can.
The Pick: Orioles ML (+170)
The Orioles are a bad team. That’s no secret, and they’re expected to lose close to 100 games for the fourth straight full season. Still, grabbing them at +170 vs. the A’s seems like a wise investment.
The Athletics blew up their team during the offseason, trading away guys like Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea and Chris Bassitt. They’ve managed to stay competitive to start the year, winning five of their first 10 games, but I’m not sure this team is any better than the Orioles on paper. Their preseason win over/under of 70.5 wasn’t all that higher than the Orioles’, and 538 currently projects them for just 72 wins despite the solid start.
The A’s will have a clear pitching advantage in this contest, with starter Frankie Montas pitching to a 3.54 FIP through his first 11 1/3 innings this year. Still, Montas is far from Sandy Koufax, so I don’t think they deserve to be -200 favorites.
It appears as though the sharps agree with me. The Orioles have received just 23% of the moneyline wagers, but those bets have accounted for 76% of the dollars. That’s a massive discrepancy, which suggests the professional bettors are backing the Birds.
The Pick: Aaron Nola Over 5.5 strikeouts (-150)
Nola is headed to Coors Field on Monday, which is almost never a good thing for a pitcher. It’s the worst pitching environment in all of baseball, and the total on this game sits at 11 runs. If Nola struggles to keep the Rockies off the scoreboard, it will likely result in a shorter outing than usual.
However, if Nola is able to get to five or six innings, his strikeout prop is simply too low. He’s averaged 11.57 strikeouts per nine innings through his first two outings, and he’s racked up double-digit strikeouts per nine innings in each of the past three seasons. Nola racked up at least six strikeouts in 22 of 32 starts last year (68.8%), so -150 is a very generous offering. I’m happy to grab the over at that price tag.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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