T’was a cold night on the prop market on Thursday. We missed on both plays, which pulls down our record to 22-16 so far this season. You win some, you lose some. Well, I specifically lost two units. That’s how math works.
Fortunately, we’ve got a full slate this evening to attempt a bounce back. Let’s dive into some plays on the diamond.
I have a theory as to why the Orioles win people as much money as they do on the road — they’re currently an AL-best 13-8 away from Baltimore. Basically, it comes down to starting pitching. No one on the Orioles’ staff is good enough to be a road favorite in a relatively neutral matchup, which means you often get the club at a really nice number. It’s not like you’re betting on Baltimore because of their starting pitching, anyway. It’s the lineup and the bullpen.
Friday is a perfect example. Am I shocked that a team led by Kyle Gibson is priced as the underdog in Toronto? Not for a second. However, to me, Gibson and Yusei Kikuchi are not all that dissimilar, which means this game should end up high scoring. In such a scenario, the Orioles have the advantage. Baltimore enters tonight’s tilt with a 124 wRC+ against left-handed pitching. The team is 6-1 in its last seven games versus a left-handed opponent on the road, while it’s also 9-3 in its past 12 games versus a southpaw starter overall. Kikuchi is allowing 2.38 home runs per nine and sports a 5.46 FIP. The Orioles are going to put up some crooked numbers.
My first inclination in this spot was to take a chance on the Angels as home underdogs. However, I’m absolutely terrified of Joe Ryan. So, the logical next step was to simply figure out how exactly I wanted to bet the under. Let’s roll with the first five total and keep the bullpens out of the equation. Ryan has been a magician in 2023. The sophomore went out and developed a split-change in the winter and now he’s unhittable. Ryan owns a 2.16 ERA and a 2.16 xERA across 50.0 innings. He’s striking out 29.7% of the batters he’s faced and his 8.1 K/BB ratio is the fourth-best qualified mark in the league. He’s an ace. Don’t overthink it.
The scarier half of this bet is Reid Detmers, who was a fantasy baseball darling in the months leading up to April. Detmers dominated Spring Training and it truly looked as if the former first-round pick was getting ready to make the leap. Well, things haven’t gone as planned. Detmers owns a 4.89 ERA, yet due to a .372 BABIP, the lefty’s 3.90 FIP is much more digestible. I still believe in the 23-year-old’s potential, and this is a matchup that Detmers should be able to take advantage of, as the Twins can not hit LHPs. Minnesota has an 84 wRC+ and a 27.6% strikeout rate within the split this season.
There’s a pretty easy path to this prop blowing up in my face. The Braves are one of the best lineups in baseball. They lead the National League in both wOBA (.347) and wRC+ (116). Atlanta is, without question, the most difficult matchup Miller has had to this point in his brief career, yet I still find myself believing in the rookie. It’s not just that Miller has looked good in his first three MLB outings, it’s that he’s looked otherworldly.
The 24-year-old has posted a 0.47 ERA and a 0.42 WHIP across 19.0 innings. In all honesty, he’s sort of looked like a George Kirby clone. Miller’s walked only one opposing hitter so far, and his 48.0% zone rate would be the third-highest mark in MLB had he the innings to qualify (Kirby owns the highest at 49.4%). The key aspect of not issuing is walks is two-fold: You’re limiting base runners, but you’re also conserving pitches. That’s played out over Miller’s three appearances, as the RHP has gone at least six innings in all three starts without ever going over 90 pitches thrown. He’s an innings eater. I mean that in the best way possible.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is theglt13) 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.