After a light day on Monday, baseball is back in full swing on Tuesday. All 30 teams will be in action, and there are 16 games to choose from on DraftKings Sportsbook. That gives us plenty of opportunities to look for betting value.
The Pick: Yankees ML (+110)
In the movie Tin Cup, the legendary Roy McAvoy had an iconic quote: “Ride her until she bucks you or don’t ride at all.” That’s the approach I’m taking with the Yankees at the moment. They have been extremely good to us recently – winning each of their past 10 games – and I’m not getting off the train just yet.
The Yankees have arguably the best offense and the best pitching staff in all of baseball. That’s a lethal combination. They lead the league in virtually every offensive metric, especially the advanced metrics that are based on Statcast data. The Yankees are making elite contact at the plate, ranking first in hard-hit percentage, average exit velocity, and barrel rate. They also rank second in team ERA, combining a dominant bullpen with better-than-expected starting pitching.
The Yankees will face a tough test Tuesday vs. Alek Manoah, who has pitched to a 1.44 ERA through his first four starts this season. However, his 3.70 xFIP suggests he’s been far from dominant, so regression could be coming vs. the Bronx Bombers. I’m happy to grab the best team in baseball at better than even money.
The Pick: Reds ML (+195)
On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Reds have been the clear worst team in baseball this season. They’ve won just three of their first 22 games, and they’ve been outscored by 65 runs over that stretch. The gap between the Reds and the Pirates – who have the second-worst run differential – is actually larger than the gap between the Pirates and the Diamondbacks (who rank 23rd). Basically, it is impossible to overstate just how bad they’ve been this season.
However, betting on bad teams like the Reds is often the best way to find value in the betting market. It’s only natural for lines on those teams to become inflated since no one in their right mind wants to bet on them.
The Reds are also not going to be this bad all year. Even the worst teams typically win around 60 games, so the Reds are not going to post a winning percentage of just 13.6% all year. They’ll have one of their best pitchers on the mound Tuesday in Tyler Mahle, who is a major candidate for positive regression. He’s struggled to a 6.45 ERA through his first five starts, but his 2.88 xERA and 2.41 FIP suggest he’s been extremely unlucky. Ultimately, I’ll roll the dice with an extremely undervalued pitcher as a nearly 2-1 dog.
The Pick: Royals ML (+100)
The Royals are shaping up to be a preferred target for the sharps. They’ve received just 21% of the moneyline wagers in their matchup vs. the Cardinals, but those bets have accounted for 54% of the dollars. That’s a sizable discrepancy, which has dropped the Royals from +110 to +100 on DraftKings Sportsbook.
So what do the sharps like about the Royals? It starts with Brad Keller on the mound, who has pitched to a sparkling 2.19 ERA through his first five outings this season. Keller doesn’t fit the description of a prototypical stud pitcher – he owns a paltry 6.20 K/9 – but he makes up for it with an elite Statcast profile. He generates groundballs at a high clip, and opposing batters have managed a hard-hit rate of just 22.1%. That’s the ninth-best mark among qualified pitchers this season.
Dakota Hudson will get the ball for the Cardinals, and he’s a very similar pitcher to Keller. He’s historically been among the leaders in groundball rate, but his Statcast data hasn’t been quite as impressive as Keller’s this season. Overall, his 4.33 xERA and 4.66 FIP put him significantly behind the Royals’ starter in both metrics.
Finally, the Cardinals' offense has been arguably the worst in baseball to start the season. They rank dead-last in xwOBA and xSLG, thanks in part to their league-low 33.5% hard-hit rate. With that in mind, I’m backing the sharps and the Royals in this spot.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and 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 do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. 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.
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