Few people have every been happier to turn the page on a month of gambling content than me, as August was not kind to the ol’ checkbook. Still, we’re at 59-55 on article plays for the season, so it’s not all bad. Some of our long-shot future bets also aren’t looking terrible as we enter the final stretch of the season.
But let’s focus on tonight’s action. Here are three bets I’m considering on the diamond.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
This is a better pitching matchup than you might initially assume. Kyle Bradish has been solid since returning to the Orioles’ rotation in late July, posting a 3.21 ERA in his last six appearances. That includes eight scoreless innings of work in Houston last week against the Astros. Not too shabby. Not to be outdone, Shane Bieber’s last six starts have also been insanely good, as the veteran has managed a 1.56 ERA and a 1.76 FIP across 40.1 innings. Even without the velocity and elite strikeout rate we’ve seen in the past, Bieber’s been among the best and most consistent arms in the American League in 2022.
On top of the pitching matchup, I would submit that these are two teams that simply tend to play towards the under. Both have a top 10 under rate this season — with Baltimore sitting sixth in all of baseball at 54.0%. The more recent results are even more lopsided. The under has hit in each of the last six games the Orioles have played, while the Guardians are 16-4-1 to the under in their past 21 contests. Good pitching and a lack of raw power is a powerful combination.
The Diamondbacks are 14-9 in their past 23 games. The Diamondbacks are 9-7 the last 16 times Merrill Kelly has started. The Diamondbacks have the eighth-highest win rate as a home underdog of any team in all of baseball. Even without digging too deeply into the specifics of tonight’s matchup, those are quite a few reasons to like Arizona.
But let’s dig, shall we? Kelly has been fantastic since the All-Star break, registering a 2.28 ERA that is backed nicely by a 2.83 FIP. Meanwhile, the recent results have not been quite as gleaming for Brandon Woodruff. Though the right-hander has only conceded seven total earned runs in his last four outings, the six opponent home runs he’s surrendered within that stretch raises some eyebrows. It also raises his FIP, which sits at an underwhelming 4.69 since August 10. With the Diamondbacks owning the league’s eighth-best wOBA since the beginning of August (.321), I think Arizona’s bats can give Kelly just enough run support on Thursday evening.
Kelly’s a workhorse. Not including pitchers who have made 27 starts (Kelly’s 27th will be tonight), the 33-year-old has thrown the eighth-most innings of any pitcher in the league at 157.2. He’s also been efficient with his pitches, averaging just 15.3 per inning for the season. Combine these factors, and it’s easy to see how Kelly’s surpassed this prop in six of his last nine appearances. The Brewers’ bats have been hot the past two weeks, but at plus-money, I think Kelly can once again pitch into the seventh.
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