Yet another 16-game MLB slate with the Rockies and Tigers set to play a doubleheader in Detroit. Let’s get things rolling with some of the earlier action.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Kyle Hendricks has pretty much been fine to start the season. He had a good Opening Day start, got rocked the next time out then churned out mediocre performance in his third 2022 outing. Hendricks still has moments where he looks like his old self, but he simply isn’t that guy on a day-to-day basis anymore.
More importantly, that bad start Hendricks had earlier in April came against this same Pirates lineup. But that outing wasn’t the first bit of experience some of these Pittsburgh hitters have experienced against the Chicago right-hander.
The Pirates have also gone over this number the last two games vs. the Cubs, but that’s not all. In the five games prior to their last series (vs. Milwaukee), the Pirates had scored two-plus runs in the first five innings four times. Pittsburgh faced a right-hander in three of those four games — which they also did in the first game of this series vs. the Cubs on Thursday.
Although Adrian Houser is off to a good start, he’s about to have a reunion with an ex-NL Central hitter who the Milwaukee right-hander has struggled with in the past. Castellanos is a cool 7-for-21 in 22 plate appearances against Houser. Three of those hits have gone for extra bases.
Also, Castellanos has a .906 OPS. .402 wOBA and .244 ISO against right-handed pitching this season. He managed to go over this number in Philadelphia’s win on Friday thanks to a 2-for-4 performance. It’d work just fine if he did that again on Saturday, but Houser is absolutely someone Castellanos could take for extra bases — more than once.
Texas absolutely destroyed Adam Oller on Friday. They also tacked on an extra three runs in the ninth to win 8-1. The Rangers are coming off a pair of strong showings, but against a pair of pitchers who aren’t nearly on the same level as Frankie Montas.
Oakland’s right-hander has bounced back well from his Opening Day clunker, holding opponents to three runs over his last 12 1/3 innings. He’ll face a lineup on Saturday that, despite Friday’s shellacking of Oller, has a .590 OPS, .271 wOBA and .084 ISO against righties to start the year.
Now, the A’s haven’t exactly been the scariest bunch for left-handed pitchers to face. But at least they’ve been middle of the pack — not bottom of the barrel like Texas against righties. More importantly, Oakland will get a crack at Martin Perez on Saturday. One doesn’t exactly have to be a lefty pitcher’s nightmare to rock this Rangers starter.
And if it comes down to the bullpen, Texas has the worst one in all of baseball. Oakland’s is solid with its 3.28 ERA and 3.30 FIP. So while the latter can get hit on occasion (prime example being Friday’s game), the former is abysmal.
This is more about backing Murphy than anything else. As of writing, you can only get him 0.5 TB -190 straight-up on DraftKings Sportsbook. You want to go that route, be my guest, but I feel very comfortable hunting more value. And since I like Oakland to cover in this one, backing them to score at least two runs makes for an easy parlay. If you like them to score more against Texas’ less-than-stellar staff, feel free to up Oakland’s run count on this play.
In looking at Murphy’s numbers, it’s pretty clear who he’s hitting well. Although he’s shown some power against right-handed pitchers (four doubles and a triple), lefties are his preferred opponent. In 16 plate appearances against left-handed pitching, he has one walk and seven hits, six of which have been for extra bases. Saturday will mark the first time Murphy faces Perez, and the Oakland catcher’s start to 2022 indicates the Texas left-hander won’t look back on this experience fondly.
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