It’s getaway day for a lot of MLB teams, so most of the games get going in the afternoon. That’s where out focus will be this Wednesday as we roll though my plays on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Wednesday marks Pablo Lopez’s first career start against the team he spent his first five MLB seasons with, so he’s in an extremely familiar setting after going off for his new team on Opening Day.
Catching Lopez after an early season gem shouldn’t surprise the Marlins, either. Minnesota’s right-hander has a career 2.55 ERA in 17 career March/April starts.
If Sandy Alcantara were opposite Lopez, that might not matter. But, Minnesota’s already experienced that nightmare. Instead, Jesus Luzardo is on the mound after he skunked the Mets across 5 2/3 innings. But it’s going to take that level of a showing from the left-hander for Miami to have a chance.
The Marlins only won four of Luzardo’s 18 outings in 2022. Furthermore, Miami was 27-41 following a win last season.
Ideally, this total gets set at 1.5 so we can get a better price. Buxton always has a shot at multiple bases against a left-handed pitcher, posting a .340 ISO against them last season after he had a .300 ISO within the split the season before. He’s also come out the gates hot, logging three multiple-hit performances and two extra-base hits before his quiet showing in the series opener vs. Miami.
Also, Buxton got the day off on Tuesday, which isn’t an uncommon occurrence for him. Throughout the first two months of last season, Buxton had 10 performances that came after he’d missed at least one or more games. In six of those games, he logged a hit. In five of those games, he logged multiple bases.
Boston wasn’t expected to have a great 2023, but losing two games to the Pirates is a tough look. Tuesday’s game was less shocking than Monday’s with Roansy Contreras bumping for Pittsburgh in the 4-1 finish. However, Mitch Keller should not pose the same problem for the Red Sox.
Mitch Keller did rack up some Ks vs. Cincinnati in his first start of the season, but he’s far from a strikeout pitcher. He logged a 20.1% strikeout rate in his second full big-league season after he had a 19.5% strikeout rate in 23 starts throughout 2021. Moreover, the Red Sox haven’t been striking out much against righties, posting a 17.3% strikeout rate through 156 plate appearances.
And while Keller went over this number in 16 of his 29 starts last season, most of his 5-plus strikeout performances came later in the season. In his first 10 starts of 2022, Keller went under this number 10 times.
This is a simple numbers game. The Astros have lost two games to the Tigers. A sweep, though? Even after a pair of wins, Houston is still -255 on the moneyline. But it makes it easier to take the Astros to win by at least two when considering they’re also 2-4 on the run line to start the season.
One of the two games Houston has won by two-plus runs was Cristian Javier’s first start of the season. That was not the norm for him last season, with Houston only winning eight of his 25 starts. But the Astros are getting a look at a left-hander they saw twice last season, and absolutely dismantled in their second opportunity. Houston hasn’t done much in their plate appearances against lefties to start the year, but they also haven’t had many opportunities against them. This was one of the toughest lineups for lefties to navigate in 2022. As much as not having Jose Altuve hurts, they didn’t all of a sudden forget how to hit lefties.
Alvarez has been cooking to start the season, and we all know how streaky he can be.
Houston’s big bat has logged an extra-base hit in three of four games. In the one game he failed to do that, Alvarez had three singles. When the Astros smoked Eduardo Rodriguez last season, Alvarez had two hits against the left-hander.
And that performance wasn’t an exception for Alvarez, either. He hit .321 with a .265 ISO and a 40.6% hard-contact rate against lefties. On top of that, E-Rod didn’t do well with left-handed hitters in 2022. They posted a .299 average and 39.6% hard-contact rate against him.
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All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.
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