Last night we had a perfect example of why you need to take advantage of the available promos on the DraftKings Sportsbook. That’s right! I’m a company man at heart.
[awkwardly turns to the camera and gives a thumbs up while smiling]
Anyway, thanks to the 2-Run Lead Early Win offer currently running, I was able to cash my Astros moneyline bet from yesterday’s article even though Houston would eventually lose to Toronto. Still officially goes as a loss in the books, bringing our record down to 30-23 for the season, but it’s easily the best “loss” I’ve had in two months.
Let’s dive into tonight’s full-slate.
I really thought about Twins moneyline here. In a vacuum, Sonny Gray opposed by Yusei Kikuchi is a massive pitching advantage for Minnesota. Still, I couldn’t pull the trigger. It’s simply difficult to trust the Twins to win at the moment. The team has dropped five straight games, they’re 1-6 in their last seven contests against the AL East and, maybe most importantly, their roster is in shambles at the moment. Byron Buxton and Joey Gallo are on the IL, Carlos Correa isn’t close to 100% and Jorge Polanco left yesterday’s loss due to hamstring tightness. Woof.
So where does that leave us? Well, Gray remains the probable for Minnesota and he’s been incredible in 2023, pitching to a 2.15 ERA and a 2.43 FIP across 67.0 innings of work. In fact, Gray has yet to allow more than three earned runs in an outing, while he’s surrendered two or fewer in 83.3% of his appearances. He should be able to keep an above-average Jays lineup in check. The real worry with this bet is Kikuchi, who owns a 5.96 FIP and has given up nine home runs in his last five starts. Fortunately, the Twins are hitting .191 with a 63 wRC+ in June. The club is also 26th in wOBA versus LHPs for the season (.300). There’s a reason Minnesota has hit the under at the third-highest rate in baseball (58.3%).
We’re now in year three of the Daniel Lynch experience, and I just don’t see him ever becoming a thing. The 26-year-old has started 44 games at the MLB level, pitching to a robust 5.27 ERA with an xERA also well above 5.00. In even my most optimistic days, Lynch looks like nothing more than a backend of the rotation arm with decent fastball velocity from the left-hand side. There’s certainly value in that role, but not against this Orioles lineup.
Baltimore is easily at its most dangerous when facing a southpaw in 2023. The team enters play on Friday with a 116 wRC+ within the split, in comparison to just a 98 wRC+ against RHPs. It’s the marquee bats carrying the load, too. Anthony Santander (178 wRC+), Ryan Mountcastle (171 wRC+), Adley Rutschman (133 wRC+) and Austin Hays (126 wRC+) have all thrived when opposed by a lefty this season. Honestly, a lack of left-handed opponents might be the biggest reason the Orioles have struggled to score runs the past couple weeks. Lynch will be the first LHP Baltimore has seen since all the way back on May 29.
Aside from one poor outing against the aforementioned Blue Jays, Houser has been fantastic since coming off the IL in early May, surrendering two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts. As you would expect, he’s also steadily built up his arm strength across the past month, hitting the over on this prop in three of his last four appearances. That shouldn’t come as too much of a shock. Houser fits the archetype of an innings eater perfectly. He’s got a low strikeout rate (14.1%). He’s got a low walk rate (5.2%). The former probably isn’t by design, yet that’s how you throw seven innings versus the Reds on only 92 pitches — you register just two strikeouts.
This is a pretty good matchup to exploit, too. While Oakland’s bats were surprisingly average in the early going of 2023, they’ve cooled significantly in recent weeks. Over the last 30 days, the Athletics are hitting a paltry .213 with a .281 wOBA — the second-lowest mark in all of baseball. Houser, strapped with a career ERA of 3.45 at American Family Field, should be able to work deep against this struggling lineup.
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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 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.