We’re off to a solid start in the MLB picks column, going a perfect 3-0 on Sunday. Not only that, all three picks were priced at +100 or better, including two underdogs of at least +155. We’ll take that all season, please and thank you!
We have another 14 games to choose from on Tuesday, including an 11-game main slate starting at 7:05 p.m. ET.
Let’s dive into three of my favorite wagers on DraftKings Sportsbook for Tuesday’s slate.
The Pick: Twins ML (+120)
The Twins have the unenviable task of trying to hit Sandy Alcantara on Tuesday. Alcantara took home the NL Cy Young award last year, pitching to a sparkling 2.28 ERA while throwing the most innings in baseball by a country mile. Alcantara racked up 228 2/3 innings pitched — including six complete games — while no other pitcher cracked 205. It was a throwback season for a league that has become increasingly dominated by relief pitching in recent years.
However, it’s also fair to say that Alcantara was a bit fortunate. He’s not a traditional strikeout pitcher, racking up just 8.15 strikeouts per nine innings, so he relies on limiting the damage on balls in play. Alcantara can do that as well as anyone, but it’s a tough way to make a living against professional hitters. His 3.42 SIERA was much more modest than his traditional ERA and suggests he could be due for some regression.
Alcantara wasn’t his usual dominant self in his first start of the year, allowing three runs across 5 2/3 innings vs. the Mets. That was despite a batting average on balls in play of just .176, which was nearly .100 points lower than his career average. Add it all up, and he posted a dreadful 6.17 SIERA vs. the Mets.
The Twins can do some damage against right-handed pitchers, ranking sixth in wRC+ in that split last season. They’ll also have a respectable pitcher on the mound in Kenta Maeda, and the Marlins are not nearly as good offensively as the Twins. I’ll take my chances with the Twins as slight road dogs.
The Pick: Phillies ML (+135)
Can someone wake up the Phillies and let them know that the season started? They’ve dropped each of their first four games, and they’ve been outscored by 25 runs in the process. That includes a seven-run loss vs. the Yankees on Monday in the first game of this series.
Despite their struggles, the Phillies still stand out as an excellent baseball team. The absences of Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins certainly hurt, but the top of their lineup is still outstanding. Alec Bohm is off to a phenomenal start at the dish, and he’s joined by Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos, which is one of the most potent groupings of five hitters in baseball.
They should have a chance to strut their stuff Tuesday vs. Domingo German. He isn’t a gas can, but he’s not a pitcher that you need to fear, either. He pitched to a 4.22 SIERA last season, and he ranked in the 25th percentile for average exit velocity and 26th percentile for hard-hit rate.
The Phillies will hand the ball to Matt Strahm, who will transition to the rotation after spending most of his career as a reliever. Strahm put up excellent strikeout numbers in the Red Sox bullpen last year, and he followed that up with 11 strikeouts over 10 innings in Spring Training. He’ll likely be on a pitch count — especially since he was used as a reliever for one inning on Mach 30 — but I think he’ll be more effective than German when he’s on the mound. I expect the Phillies to get into the win column for the first time this season.
The Pick: Rockies ML (+215)
I mentioned on Sunday that I expect to be fading the Dodgers to start the year, and it has been a roller coaster through the first five games. They have lost two of their first five contests, but their three wins have all come by comfortable margins. That includes a nine-run victory vs. the Rockies during the first game of their series.
Both of these squads will have their “aces” on the mound on Tuesday, with Julio Urias squaring off with German Marquez. Calling Marquez an ace is definitely a stretch, but he looked the part on Opening Day, posting a 1.61 FIP across six innings vs. the Padres. Marquez pitched to a solid 3.34 ERA outside of Coors Field last year, so he’s a reliable option when outside of the thin Rocky Mountain air.
Still, this is more about the Dodgers than the Rockies. They’re being priced like the same dominant team that has won at least 106 games in the past three full seasons, and I just don’t see the same level of talent on this year’s squad. They’ve gotten some unexpected contributions from Trayce Thompson, James Outman and Jason Heyward to start the year, but don’t expect that to last all year. I don’t necessarily think the Rockies will win this contest, but +215 is just too good of a number to pass up.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mlamarca) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.