This article originally appeared on MLB.com: Here are 4 wise wagers for tonight’s Apple TV+ games
As always, tonight AppleTV+ will host two baseball games for tonight and they’re good ones. We start with the Rays begin their series in Boston against the Red Sox at 7 p.m. ET, followed by the Guardians at Mariners at 10 p.m. ET. Let’s go over two bets for each game you can follow along with while watching tonight.
Rays at Red Sox
The wager: Game Total Under 5 runs 1st 5 innings
Line: -105 (bet $100 to win $95)
I was surprised to see this game’s total set at 5 runs through the first five innings. I was thinking about taking the under when I first saw the pitching matchup, so I was pleasantly surprised to see five runs through the first five innings. Michael Wacha recently returned to the Red Sox rotation and has been stellar in his 12 2/3 innings. Having yet to allow a run, Wacha has scattered six hits while striking out 13 against the Orioles and Yankees. This will be only the second time this season he’ll face the Rays, whom he held to only two runs on three hits through five innings back in April. Wacha has also been his best at Fenway Park, sporting an impressive 1.14 ERA with a .227 wOBA through 39 1/3 innings.
On the Rays side, they’ll be running a bullpen game with opener JT Chargois. He’ll be out of this one early, having logged a total of 2 2/3 innings this season in three appearances. The Rays’ bullpen, as it usually is, has been one of their strongest points. Following him will likely be the lefty, Ryan Yarbrough. After a rough start to his season, Yarbrough has settled in nicely in the second half, posting a 2.81 ERA with a .282 wOBA and only eight earned runs allowed through 25 2/3 innings. Five runs feel like a tough hill to climb, especially for a Red Sox team that has been hitting the under on the game total through the first five innings with a 62-57-6 record.
Rays at Red Sox
The wager: Michael Wacha over 4.5 strikeouts
Line: +100 (bet $100 to win $100)
I was intrigued by this one because of the plus money. Overall, Wacha has not been a big strikeout pitcher, posting just a 6.8 K/9 on the season, which currently is the lowest mark of his career. His strikeout numbers have been impressive since his return in two tough matchups against the Yankees and Orioles. Wacha recorded 13 in those outings, which span over 12 2/3 innings, giving him a 9.2 K/9. While that isn’t a big enough sample size to go off, the Rays are a club that does provide plenty of strikeout upside, owning a 22.8% K% against righties, which ranks 10th in the league.
The Rays also have some individuals that strike out at a high rate against righties. In fact, four of the expected players in this lineup tonight have a K% of at least 25% against righties, with Jose Siri and Yu Chang both topping the list at over 30%. The other players include Francisco Mejia, Taylor Walls, and Randy Arozarena. With that in mind, I really like getting the plus money in this matchup for Wacha. If he continues to strikeout at least a batter per inning as he has been since his return, he should get over the 4.5 total.
Guardians at Mariners
The wager: Logan Gilbert over 2.5 earned runs allowed
Line: -130 (bet $100 to win $76)
The second half of the season has not been kind to Gilbert. After posting some solid numbers in the first half, Gilbert has fallen off quickly through 32 1/3 innings. He’s already allowed 22 earned run on 38 hits. His .385 wOBA and 4.67 FIP through the second half are already way higher than what we saw in through the first few months. A lot of the damage came from the Yankees in back-to-back starts, tagging him for 13 of the 22 earned runs he’s allowed. That said, Gilbert is not inducing strikeouts like he was and now faces one of the toughest teams in the league to strikeout. I think Gilbert struggles in this one early and before he departs, allows at least three earned runs in this content.
Guardians at Mariners
The wager: Guardians Run Line -0.5 1st five innings
Line: +110 (bet $100 to win $110)
Staying with the notion that Gilbert struggles early, I like taking the Guardians to lead after the conclusion of the fifth inning. While he’s not the strikeout machine we’ve known him to be, Bieber is still as efficient as ever. He’s allowed two runs or less in 14 of his 23 starts and has gone at least 6 innings in 18 games. Bieber is also on pace for his best month of the season, tossing 26 1/3 innings while posting a 1.71 ERA with a .237 wOBA and an 8.8 K/9.
Once Bieber is out of this game, it’s a much even matchup between both bullpens, who have been amongst the best in the league in August. Both the Mariners and Guardians have some of the lowest ERA in baseball with 2.35 and 1.99 respectively. It’s truly a coin toss once the starters are out of this game, so instead of picking a winner for the entire game, I feel good about the Guardians having the lead after five innings conclude.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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