Monday features a nine-game MLB main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
The Pick: Marlins ML (+105)
The Marlins haven’t had the best season, but don’t blame their pitching staff. Sandy Alcantara has been arguably the best pitcher in baseball this season, and Pablo Lopez hasn’t been much worse. Lopez will get the ball for the Marlins on Monday, and he’s pitched to a 2.61 ERA and a 9.04 K/9 over 14 starts.
Lopez will have his work cut out for him vs. the Cardinals, who have been outstanding against left-handed pitchers this season. They rank fourth in wRC+ in that split, which is not surprising with lefty-mashers like Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado on the roster.
Still, the Cardinals’ offensive success continues to come with subpar Statcast data. They have improved in that department after a dreadful start to the year, but they’re still merely 21st in xwOBA. They rank 10th in actual wOBA, so that’s a pretty significant discrepancy. Overall, they’re a team that appears due for some offensive regression.
Perhaps that will start Monday against Lopez. The sharps are clearly interested in the Fish, who have received 74% of the dollars on just 30% of the bets. The line has moved significantly in Miami’s favor, so I’m looking to lock them in at plus-money while I still can.
The Pick: Over 8.5 runs (-115)
Monday’s game between the White Sox and Angels features an intriguing pitching matchup. Lucas Giolito and Noah Syndergaard have previously been considered ace pitchers, but neither is having a 2022 to remember.
Syndergaard has dealt with various arm injuries over the past few years, which have made him a completely different pitcher in 2022. His K/9 has plummeted all the way to 6.17, and his average fastball velocity is down five miles per hour from his peak. He’s now a pitch-to-contact pitcher, and he’s done a decent job of limiting the damage on balls in play. Still, his 4.36 xERA puts him on pace for the worst full-season mark of his career.
Meanwhile, Giolito has basically thrown batting practice this season. He’s allowing 2.13 homers per nine innings, which would easily be the worst mark among qualified pitchers. He also ranks in the 12th percentile for average exit velocity, seventh percentile for hard-hit rate and fifth percentile for barrel rate. Giolito is still generating plenty of swings and misses, but opposing batters are doing serious damage when they make contact.
Giolito’s 5.40 ERA is nearly two full runs higher than his mark from last season, and his 5.23 xERA suggests he hasn’t been all that unlucky.
Additionally, these two offenses are both capable of putting runs on the board. The White Sox have improved to sixth in wRC+ against right-handers, and while the Angels rank 20th, their lineup with a healthy Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout is obviously terrifying. I think this total is based more on the pitcher’s reputations than results, so I’m happy to target the over.
The Pick: Rangers ML (-135)
If you haven’t been paying close attention this season, you may have missed the stellar production from Martin Perez. Perez is a journeyman pitcher, and he’s pitched to an ERA between 4.50 and 6.22 in nine of the past 10 years. He rejoined the Rangers this offseason amid virtually no fanfare.
All of that makes what Perez has done to start 2022 one of the biggest surprises of the year. He owns a remarkable 1.96 ERA, and he’s allowed one earned run or fewer in 10 of his past 12 starts. That’s ridiculous! Perez doesn’t strike out many batters, but he’s an extreme ground-ball pitcher who keeps the ball in the ballpark. Just 2.6% of his fly balls have turned into homers, and he doesn’t allow many fly balls to begin with.
With that in mind, it’s hard to avoid the Rangers as slim -135 favorites vs. the Royals. The Royals are merely 16th in wRC+ against southpaws, and they’ll send a mediocre starter to the mound in Kris Bubic. I don’t typically like to bet favorites in baseball, but this line is disrespectful to Perez and the Rangers.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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