After a brief respite on Monday, baseball is back in full swing on Tuesday. There are a whopping 16 games to choose from, including a 12-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Red Sox ML (+110)
It has been a brutal start to the season for the Red Sox. They’ve won just 10 of their first 29 games, putting them at the bottom of the standings in the AL East. They’re already 10.5 games behind the Yankees in the standings, so they have a lot of work to do if they want to win the division for the first time since 2018.
Fortunately, the Red Sox do have one of their lone bright spots on the mound on Tuesday. Garrett Whitlock has been dominant this season whether starting the game or coming out of the bullpen. He’s pitched to a 1.25 ERA and a 1.83 xERA through 21 2/3 innings, and he’s also tallied 12.05 strikeouts per nine innings.
The Braves will also have an elite starting pitcher on the mound in Kyle Wright. He’s pitched to a 1.74 ERA through his first five starts, but his production feels a bit flukier. He’s allowed far fewer homers to start the season – dipping from 2.84 HRs per nine innings in 2021 to just 0.29 this season – and he’s also stranded more than 85% of opposing baserunners. Most of the major projection systems expected Wright to be between a 4.00 and 4.50 ERA this season, so I’m expecting some regression moving forward.
Ultimately, the Red Sox are not going to continue to struggle all season. This feels like the right spot to grab them at better than even money.
Twins ML (+125)
Tuesday’s matchup between the Astros and Twins features another star-studded pitching matchup. The Astros will turn to Justin Verlander, who needs no introduction. The sure-fire Hall-of-Famer is off to another excellent start in 2022, pitching to a 1.93 ERA over his first five outings.
However, there are some reasons for skepticism about Verlander. His strikeout numbers are way down, but he’s thrived thanks to a minuscule .192 batting average on balls in play. Verlander has always excelled at limiting the damage on balls in play, but that is a ridiculously low number. Overall, his 3.23 FIP suggests he hasn’t been quite as dominant as his traditional ERA indicates.
Joe Ryan will be opposing Verlander, and he’s been arguably even better. He pitched to a 2.97 xERA over his first taste of big-league action last season, and he’s basically maintained that figure in 2022.
The Twins can also keep pace with the Astros offensively. They actually have a superior Statcast profile, faring better in xwOBA, xSLG, and average exit velocity, and they’re just behind the Astros in terms of wRC+ vs. right-handed pitchers. There simply isn’t much to separate these two squads, so I’ll gladly take the +125.
Marlins ML (-140)
I don’t typically bet on -140 favorites, but this appears to be a significant mismatch. In one corner stands Jesus Luzardo, the Marlins' talented young left-handed pitcher. He’s always had massive promise and was ranked as high as the No. 5 overall prospect back in 2019. He hasn’t always lived up to that potential, but he’s started to show glimpses of dominance in 2022. Luzardo has posted an elite 11.96 K/9 and a 2.77 xERA through his first five starts.
In the other corner stands the Diamondbacks, who have been a disaster offensively. They’ve been particularly poor against left-handers, ranking dead last in wRC+ in that split. Their .257 on-base percentage is easily the worst mark in baseball against southpaws, and they own the fourth-worst slugging percentage, as well.
I’m expecting Luzardo to carve through this lineup like a hot knife through butter. I’m not sure what Luzardo’s strikeout prop will be set at – my guess would be 6.5 – but there will likely be some value there too.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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