For what feels like the third or fourth time this season, I was burned by a West Coast bet on Thursday after going 2-0 on my early recommendations. Alas. The perfect 3-0 night still eludes me in 2022, yet we’re 13-11 for the year on article plays and there’s another huge slate in front of us this evening.
Let’s chase the white whale. Here are three MLB wagers I like on Friday.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Editor’s Note: Tonight’s game between the Blue Jays and the Guardians has been postponed due to inclement weather.
This is a devestatingly good pitching matchup. There’s a case to be made — and I’ve made it — that Kevin Gausman is having the best start to 2022 of any pitcher in baseball. So, I don’t make a bet against him lightly. However, despite the downtick in velocity, Shane Bieber is also having a solid run through his first five outings of the season. Bieber’s 2.45 ERA is backed up by a 3.06 FIP and he’s allowed one earned run or fewer in three of his five appearances. The RHP should have success against a Jays lineup that has underwhelmed across the first week of May, sporting just a .263 OBP and 80 wRC+. As for Cleveland’s bats, while I do think there’s some regression waiting down the road, the team’s statistics when facing a right-handed pitcher jump off the page. The Guardians come into Friday’s slate sitting first in OPS (.785), wOBA (.346) and wRC+ (132) within the split, as the lineup’s high-contact approach appears to be paying dividends. Will they post some crooked numbers versus Gausman? Doubtful. However, with Bieber on the mound, they might only need a couple runs to get this done.
The Astros are heating up. The team is riding a four-game winning streak coming into Friday’s matchup with the Tigers, while Houston has also won its last five contests at home and six contests as a favorite. It’s specifically the offense that’s turned the corner, with torrid recent results from Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker carrying the lineup. As such, the team should have little issue pilling up the runs against the overmatched Beau Brieske. The rookie has struggled in his first two MLB outings, conceding five barrels, four walks and three home runs across 10.0 innings of work.
On the other side, Luis Garcia hasn’t been amazing in 2022, yet I have my doubts that Detroit will be able to take advantage of what’s been the right-hander’s weakness: The long ball. Garcia’s surrendered five home runs in his last three starts, accounting for most of the damage the 25-year-old has given up. For the season as a whole, Garcia’s sporting an ugly 2.08 HR/9. Well, the Tigers have just a .095 ISO against RHPs, which stands as the second-lowest mark of any team in baseball. In fact, in 615 plate appearances within the split, Detroit has hit an MLB-low nine homers. The Tigers won’t be able to keep pace on the scoreboard.
This line would seem high even before factoring in the dead baseballs. I’m just not sure where the book sees all these runs coming from. In general, the Diamondbacks are one of the worst offensive teams in the league, entering play on Friday as MLB’s lone club batting below the Mendoza line at .191. It’s one of the main reasons the under has hit in 60.0% of Arizona’s games so far in 2022 — the second-highest mark among all NL squads. It’s also not like Chad Kuhl has pitched poorly in his first four starts. The veteran’s 1.90 ERA has certainly been aided by an unstable .177 opponent BABIP, yet a 3.65 FIP isn’t too shabby, either.
Another thing helping this bet is location. This contest is taking place outside of Colorado, where the Rockies are understandably worse at scoring runs. An .801 OPS at Coors Field drops to .697 away from home, and it’s been well documented how difficult specifically the first game of a road trip is when leaving the altitude. Then there’s Merrill Kelly. The 33-year-old is coming off seven scoreless frames against the Cardinals, lowering his ERA to 1.27 over 28.1 innings. Like Kuhl, this will normalize at some point, but it’s hard to not take note of a 2.11 FIP and the fact Kelly has yet to surrender a home run.
Put your knowledge to the test. Sign up for DraftKings and experience the game inside the game.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) and I 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 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.
Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (MI/NJ/PA/WV/WY), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (CO/NH), 1-800-BETS OFF (IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA), 1-800-NEXT STEP (AZ) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).
21+ (18+ NH/WY). AZ/CO/IL/IN/IA/MI/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/WY only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.