It’s been a tough couple weeks at the ol’ sportsbook. Which is why I get to complain about the Reds ruining what could’ve been a perfect 3-0 article last Friday by blowing multiple leads past the seventh inning. That’s what I get for trusting any team in the NL Central.
We’re 57-51 on article plays for the season as a whole. Here are three bets I like tonight.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
Between the injuries and the underwhelming results, Lynn has not had a very good season. However, the one consistent aspect of his 2022 campaign has been strikeouts. Not only has the right-hander racked up at least six strikeouts in six of his last seven starts, but his 28.4% strikeout rate since July 16 is better than the marks of Corbin Burnes, Zack Wheeler and Max Scherzer within that same span. That’s why it’s a little surprising to see the over on this prop juiced like it is.
Matchup is also key with this bet. The Orioles are pretty average when it comes to strikeout rate both for the season (23.0%) and for the past two weeks (21.3%), but they are one of just nine teams with a swinging strike rate over 12.0% across the past 14 days. That might be why Lynn managed eight strikeouts in 6.2 innings the last time he faced Baltimore back in late June.
The smart move here would just be to take the Jays on the moneyline, as Toronto is 12-3 against the Red Sox this season, even posting a 7-1 record at Fenway Park. However, the more profitable bet is on the under, so let’s talk game total. Kevin Gausman is obviously the starting point of any analysis on run prevention, as the Jays’ ace has now thrown 22 consecutive scoreless innings on the road. For the season, the right-hander owns a 1.65 ERA over 71.0 innings within the split, as he’s limited opponents to a .297 slugging percentage and a .245 wOBA. Gausman also leads all qualified pitchers with a 2.06 FIP overall, so he’s pretty much been amazing in every capacity. He should thrive against a Red Sox lineup that might still be without Xander Bogaerts and Tommy Pham.
The more interesting (and scary) aspect of this wager is the presence of Kutter Crawford. The rookie surrendered 11 hits and nine earned runs all by himself in his most recent outing, and his ERA across his past three appearances is a ghastly 9.82. However, it’s been left-handed bats doing most of the damage against Crawford, as opponents within the split have posted a .595 slugging percentage versus the RHP in 2022. Right-handed bats have had much less luck, with Crawford holding RHBs to a .331 slugging percentage. Well, Toronto leads MLB in right-on-right plate appearances by a huge margin. The team’s righties are quite good, but as it pertains to Crawford’s splits, they’re still right-handed.
I’m a little torn on this bet. On the one hand, Dunn’s been pretty awful in his brief time with the Reds, pitching to a 7.93 xERA and an 8.52 FIP in his three outings. He’s also failed to throw at least five innings in two of those starts. On the other hand, with T.J. Zeuch only going 2.2 innings on Wednesday and the team essentially doing a bullpen day on Monday, Cincinnati might need Dunn to eat outs regardless of the results.
Still, at plus-money, I’ll lean towards a quick exit for the 26-year-old. In the most basic terms, Dunn simply isn’t an efficient pitcher. Thanks primarily to a 13.1% walk rate — which is somehow lower than his career mark of 15.2% — Dunn is averaging a massive 17.2 pitches per inning so far in 2022. For context, that figure would rank as the third-highest mark in baseball had Dunn the total innings to qualify. It’s crucial to note that the Phillies have been thriving offensively in August, as well. Philadelphia sits in the top five in the month in ISO (.182), wOBA (.343) and wRC+ (119). Plus, there’s a chance Bryce Harper is back in the lineup tonight.
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